You can always file a personal injury claim, but I think a common question would be whether your personal injury case is still viable. Some hazardous conditions are open and obvious. A reasonable person would have seen the hazard and would have taken steps to avoid it, like a vast sinkhole in the parking lot. You can’t miss it. In Massachusetts, as far as I know, a person injured by an open and obvious defect can still recover against the property owner. However, you can expect that the jury will reduce your damage proportionally to the extent of your fault. So, you can always file a claim, and the outcome of the case will depend on your case’s facts.
Does It Impact My Slip And Fall Injury Case If I Was Injured On Someone’s Personal Property Versus A Business Establishment? Does That Change The Case At All?
It does, a little bit. The duty of care is stricter on business owners than on private owners. The rationale is that business owners invite persons onto their property because they want them to purchase goods or purchase services. There is a heightened duty for a business owner to a business customer. You have a high responsibility to inspect your property, remove any dangerous conditions, or warn your customers about them.
In contrast, if you are a private landowner, you are not expected to perform inspections of your property. You have a duty of reasonable care to remove any known defects, but you don’t have a responsibility to inspect your property.
Should I Ever Sign Anything If I Am Injured At A Business Establishment And They Give Me Some Documents Saying It’s An Accident Report?
It depends on what was documented in the report. It depends on what the admission was and if it could have an impact on the case. But the answer is no. Please do not sign it. First, incident reports are contemporaneous, meaning they are prepared very close to the actual incident. Therefore, the incident reports’ contents would hold much credibility in front of a judge or a jury. Second, incident reports might contain language that trick you into signing away your claim. Remember, unlike a police report which is an unbiased report prepared by a neutral 3rd party, company incident report is prepared by someone who is going to be your defendant. So, our advice is that you do not sign an incident report if the business scripts it.
I Was Injured At A Friend Or Family Member’s House, If I Sue, Will I Be Suing Them Directly?
Technically no, because they would have a homeowner’s insurance policy that would be paying the damages. We will be naming your friend or family as the defendant, but their home insurance carrier will be obligated to step in and provide defense for them. Formally, yes, we will be suing them, but the homeowner’s insurance will pick up the defense work.
Are People Generally Hesitant To File An Injury Lawsuit Against Someone They Know? Is There Any Guilt That Plays Into That? How Do You Explain That, If So?
Yes, we have noticed that some of our clients who were injured while they were a guest in a friend’s house might be hesitant to sue their own friends. In the last premises liability case, we had a client who was a guest at a friend’s house, and she tripped and fell on a warped plank on the friend’s porch. She had to have a titanium rod implanted on her wrist. One of her main concerns was her relationship with the host, which is understandable. In that case, we will explain to them that even though we are naming them as a defendant, it doesn’t mean that we are trying to make them pay. We are just suing them because that is the formality required to recover under their homeowner’s insurance policy.
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