Reasonable warning is the key when it comes to the viability of a lawsuit involving personal injury on someone else’s property. Property owners – both commercial (think stores, public places) and residential (homeowners) have a responsibility to ensure individuals are protected from an unreasonable risk of injury while on their property.
That responsibility includes inspections to identify dangerous conditions and either repairing those conditions, barricading them or warning visitors about them. If a property owner is aware of a dangerous condition or if he or she could have known of about the existence of a dangerous situation through the exercise of ordinary care and the property owner fails to address the danger or adequately alert visitors (provide reasonable warning), then he or she may be liable for injuries suffered because of the dangerous condition.
If you or someone you know has been injured on someone else’s property, follow these steps to begin building your case:
1. Seek medical attention for the injured person immediately.
2. If you are able, take photos of the area as soon as possible or have a family member or friend stay behind to photograph the scene.
3. Write down or record yourself describing the events that led to the injury in as much detail as you can.
4. Take photos of any clothing and accessories the injured person was wearing.
5. Keep copies of health-related paperwork including hospital, emergency room or urgent care documents.
6. Keep a record of witnesses and their contact information.
7. NEVER sign paperwork related to the injury UNTIL after you have had a chance to speak with a lawyer.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.