Over 4 million people get bitten by a dog every year in America. About one out of every five of these people require immediate medical attention.
While anyone can argue that all dogs are good boys or girls, they all have the potential to bite. If you’ve been bitten, seek out a premise liability attorney.
They’ll determine who’s at fault for the dog bite, gather witnesses, and assist you in filing a lawsuit if it comes down to it. They can also negotiate with insurance companies and collect evidence that will help support your case. Check out this guide to learn more.
What Is a Premise Liability Attorney?
Every property owner is under a silent legal obligation to ensure their building is safe to traverse. Of course, this is within reason.
If a burglar trips over a piece of wood and falls over while robbing the place, they won’t have a case against the property owner. However, if a customer breathes in a hazardous chemical while shopping around a store, they can sue with the help of a premise liability attorney.
The property owner will be held accountable for the shopper’s injuries if the lawyer can prove they knew about the chemical and didn’t clean it up before letting people into the store.
1. Research Your Case
The first thing a personal injury attorney in Pensacola will do is research your case. They’ll gather evidence like police reports, medical records, eyewitness testimony, and surveillance footage.
You can help push the investigation along by taking pictures of the scene of the incident.
When you’re done snapping photos, see a doctor. If you don’t, the insurance company may claim that you weren’t as injured as you claim.
Report the accident to the property owner, if applicable, and keep track of all the expenses you owe due to your injuries.
2. Determining Who’s at Fault
A lot of times, the owner of the property is the only person at fault for your injuries. Sometimes, there are other people involved.
That’s something for your attorney to determine. They’ll use their research to make a list of all responsible parties. By doing so, they could win you a higher settlement.
3. Negotiating With Insurance Companies
The hardest part of navigating premise liability cases is negotiating with insurance companies.
You see, not all insurers have your best interests at heart. They’ll give you a low-ball settlement amount and hope you accept it.
A lawyer knows the compensation amount you deserve, and they’ll fight to make sure you get it.
4. Gathering Witnesses
There’s a good chance that other people were around at the time of your accident. These are all witnesses who can testify for you in court.
Go around and get the contact information of all witnesses before you leave the property. Your injury attorney will use this information to gather these witnesses later.
5. Helping You File a Lawsuit
In most scenarios, premise liability cases never make it to court. The attorney is able to negotiate a settlement that pleases both parties before it comes to that.
Sometimes, however, it can’t be helped. If the insurance company stands firm in its settlement decision, your lawyer will walk you through the paperwork needed to file a lawsuit.
Choosing the Best Attorney for the Job
Now that you know why you need a lawyer, it’s time to learn how to choose the right one for the job.
You can start by getting a referral. After that, ask about the attorney’s fee structure and experience level.
Get a Referral
If you know someone in your network that’s had to hire a lawyer, talk to them.
Even if they can’t put you in contact with a premise attorney, they can help you reach out to a lawyer. There’s a good chance this lawyer knows at least one premise attorney and can point you in their direction.
Every lawyer has a different pay structure. Most of them work via a contingency fee.
This means they won’t receive compensation for their services unless you win your settlement. They’ll take a small percentage out of what you’re paid.
Note that contingency doesn’t mean free. You may still have to pay for court filing fees and travel costs.
The attorney will walk you through everything they charge for. If they don’t, or they try to rush you into signing a contract, pick a different lawyer. You don’t want to run into any surprises after your case is settled.
Like most areas of law, premise cases are complicated. If your lawyer doesn’t have experience with it, they won’t be able to fight for you.
Before hiring an attorney, ask them how many years they’ve been practicing law. You should also find out how many premise cases they’ve taken.
If they’ve been in business for over five years and won a handful of cases like yours, you’ll be in good hands.
You Need a Premise Liability Attorney for Your Case
If you were bitten by a dog or slipped and fell on someone’s property, there’s a chance you have a case. Get into contact with a premise liability attorney.
They know how much compensation you deserve and will fight to ensure you get it. They’ll gather evidence, question witnesses, and represent you in court.
When choosing a lawyer for the job, ensure you’re comfortable with their fee structure, and ask them how many years they’ve been practicing.
For more tips that will help you navigate your way through the world of law, explore the rest of our blog.