What Do I Do if I’m Injured on a Business’s Property?

by Staff Blogger | April 22nd, 2024

When you visit a business, whether it’s a retail store, office, or restaurant, an accident can happen that leads to you suffering injuries. These accidents range from slipping on slick surfaces and cutting yourself on exposed sharp objects, to being burned by hot surfaces and tripping over uneven flooring.

Understanding the steps to take following an injury on business premises is crucial. This knowledge can protect your legal rights and well-being. Our California property injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can guide you through what to do after an accident on a business’s property and help you get the compensation you need to recover.

Understanding Premises Liability

Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of property owners, including businesses, for injuries occurring on their premises due to negligence or unsafe conditions. Businesses must maintain a safe environment for customers and visitors. This duty includes regularly inspecting the premises, promptly repairing hazards, and providing warnings for potential dangers.

When a business fails to uphold this duty, and someone is hurt, the injured party may have grounds to file a premises liability claim against the business. This typically involves negotiating a claim with the business’s commercial liability insurance or filing a personal injury lawsuit in court.

To win a premises liability claim, you must prove that the business had a duty of care toward you as a visitor, knew or should have known of the danger, and failed to take steps to address it. You must also show evidence, such as medical bills or witness testimony, demonstrating the damages you suffered from the accident.

Filing an Injury Claim

If you’re injured on a business’s property, you must take specific steps to protect your rights and file an adequate claim for compensation. Here’s what to do after your accident:

  • Get Checked by a Medical Professional: Even if your injuries seem minor, get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be apparent right away but could worsen if left untreated.

Example: You slip on a wet floor in a coffee shop and initially feel fine, except for a minor ache in your ankle. However, when you visit a walk-in clinic for a check-up, the doctor discovers a sprain. This timely medical assessment provides essential documentation for your injury claim.

  • Report the Injury: Immediately notify the business owner or management about the incident. Ask them to document the incident in their records and obtain a copy. This creates an official record of the accident, which can be valuable for your claim.

Example: Right after tripping over a loose tile in a bookstore, you find the manager and explain what happened. The manager writes an accident report, and you get a copy for your records, creating an official account of the incident, which you can use when filing your claim.

  • Document the Details: Take detailed notes of the accident, including the date, time, and location, as well as the circumstances leading to the injury. If possible, take photographs of the hazardous condition or area where the incident occurred. Collect contact information from any witnesses who saw what happened.

Example: Immediately after slipping on an icy sidewalk outside a mall, you use your phone to capture pictures of the area, highlighting the absence of salt or sand. You make a note of the time, date, and which entrance you were near when you were injured. Before leaving the scene, you swap contact details with any bystanders who witnessed the fall or assisted you. These actions gather crucial evidence for your accident claim, allowing you to contact the witness for a statement during the filing process.

  • Preserve Evidence: Keep physical evidence of the accident, like torn clothing, shoes, or damaged personal belongings. This evidence can support your claim and demonstrate the severity of your injuries.

Example: After snagging your sleeve on a sharp object in a clothing store, leading to a torn garment and a deep scratch on your arm, you keep the damaged clothing and document your injury with photographs. These pieces are tangible evidence of the occurrence and the direct injury inflicted, proving invaluable for substantiating your claim with insurance companies or in a legal setting.

The Role of Personal Injury Attorneys in Premises Liability Cases

Filing a premises liability claim can be complex, especially when dealing with insurance companies or pursuing legal action against a business. A personal injury attorney specializing in premises liability cases can help with several aspects of your case, helping you maximize compensation.

Our attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can use our 40+ years of legal experience to protect your rights and do the following:

  • Evaluate your case and determine the strength of your claim
  • Use all available evidence to calculate the full compensation you’re owed
  • Negotiate with the business’s insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair recovery award
  • Represent you in court if a settlement is not reached and litigation becomes necessary
  • Handle all legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery

Get the Settlement You Deserve with Berg Injury Lawyers

Suffering harm on a business’s property can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, knowing how to respond and protect your rights is essential.

If you’ve been injured on a business’s property in California, contact us today for a free consultation. We can help you start a compensation claim and get your life back on track.