What Types of Evidence Should Be Collected in a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability laws require property owners to maintain their property to prevent injuries to their guests. When a property owner’s negligence results in an injury, the victim may be able to recover compensation from their losses. However, to obtain this compensation, you must show that the property owner was negligent and you were harmed as a result. You can do this by collecting convincing evidence. A premises liability lawyer can help.
If you were injured because of dangerous conditions on another person’s property, Derek L. Hall, P.C. can help. We can review the circumstances of your accident and explain if you have a valid premises liability claim during a free consultation. We can also help you collect the evidence described below.
Pictures of the Accident Scene
Pictures or videos can be one of the most powerful pieces of evidence to support your premises liability case. If possible, try to photograph the following:
- The hazardous condition that caused your accident, like debris on the ground, a substance on the floor, or a crack in the sidewalk
- Signs or lack of signs of the dangerous condition
- Your injuries as they progress over time
Try to take these pictures as soon as possible after the accident before the property owner has a chance to fix whatever caused your injuries.
Also, try to note any video cameras. Your premises liability lawyer may be able to request the video surveillance footage to show how the accident happened.
Lease Agreements or Property Records
Premises liability claims are usually filed against the owner of the property or the party who had possession and control over it. Property records like deeds can show who owns the property and may be a matter of public record.
After your slip and fall, it is essential that you report the accident to the property manager to notify the owner of your claim. If you made an accident report, ask for a copy of it. The accident report may contain important information that could be useful for your premises liability case, such as:
- Information about your accident
- Contact information for the property owner and its insurance company
- Statements from witnesses or employees
If you were unable to make a report at the time of the accident, write out everything you remember about the accident as soon as possible, including;
- Where you were injured
- The time of your accident
- The person you spoke to and their position
- The essential details of the accident
If you make a claim against a home or business owner, you will likely first file a claim with their insurance company. You can ask the property owner for their insurance information and policy. Our premises liability lawyers can carefully review all applicable policies and the coverage limits.
Medical Records and Bills
Slips and falls can lead to severe injuries, including:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Broken hips, arms, or legs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries like muscle strains or sprains
- Burn injuries
Your medical records can help show the seriousness of your injuries. They can also show that you sought medical treatment immediately after your slip and fall.
Your medical records can also show how much compensation you should receive for the medical expenses aspect of your claim. They can also provide a basis for your pain and suffering claim.
Provide your lawyer with the original medical records you received, including:
- Hospital admission notes
- Doctor’s notes
- Laboratory results
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy notes
- Counseling notes
You can also receive compensation for the lost wages and employment benefits you suffered because of the accident. Your pay stubs and employment records are important evidence of your lost wages. If you are unable to return to work after your accident, your tax returns can show how much you have lost because of your injuries.
If you were in a store, at a party, or in a public place at the time of the accident, other people might have seen the accident. A neutral witness’ statement can go a long way toward supporting your premises liability claim since they have nothing to gain by lying about the events.
They can also corroborate your own testimony about the conditions on the property at the time of your accident. Obtaining witness statements as soon after the accident as possible is critical so that you can get their version of events while witnesses’ memories are fresh.
Ask for any witnesses’ names and contact information at the accident scene. Then, let your premises liability follow up with them later to get their statements.
In some premises liability cases, it may become necessary to have an expert witness testify about how the accident occurred, the property owner’s negligence, or the extent of your injuries.
Your lawyer may consult with or have the following experts testify on your behalf:
- Medical experts – A medical expert can connect your injuries to the accident, explain the type of medical treatment you had and will need in the future, and provide your final prognosis.
- Safety experts – A safety expert may be able to describe how a hazard on the property could lead to injuries like the ones you suffered.
- Accident reconstruction experts – An accident reconstruction expert may use available evidence and software to give an opinion about how the accident happened.
- Economic experts – An economic expert may discuss how your injuries will affect your earning capacity and financial outlook.
Contact Our Premises Liability Lawyers Today
This information may seem overwhelming. However, you do not have to deal with this on your own. An experienced premises liability lawyer can collect evidence to support your case while you focus on your recovery.
At Derek L. Hall, P.C., we can thoroughly investigate your claim, determine what evidence is necessary to prove your case, and speak with witnesses. To discuss your situation and how we can help, contact us today.