What is premise liability insurance?
Premise liability insurance is designed to insure business owners for personal injury lawsuits for accidents that took place on their premises.
Business owners are expected to take, “reasonable care” to protect invitees such as customers and visitors. It is their responsibility to make sure that their premises are clean and obstacle free. If someone slips and falls, they may be liable.
Premise liability is not limited to business. According to personal injury attorney Timothy J. Ryan & Associates, a person may also sue a homeowner or apartment building if they are injured due to the property owner’s negligence.
Although the state of California does not require it, most companies have commercial general liability (CGL) insurance. The state does not cap awards in liability lawsuits and the state is known for being very generous with awards in personal injury cases.
There are several basic categories of visitors to a business, and the likelihood of filing a successful insurance claim may depend upon which category of visitor you are. An invitee is someone who the owner wants at his or her business, such as a customer. A licensee is a visitor who is there on outside business, such as a gas or phone company employee or a food delivery person. A trespasser, such as a vagrant seeking shelter or a burglar. An invitee will have a much better argument for a personal injury insurance settlement than a trespasser. However, there have been some trespassers who have successfully sued the businesses at which they were injured.
How to File a Premise Liability Claim
When you have an accident at a business, one of the employees should take an accident report. If they do not, make sure to contact a manager and tell them what happened. The businesses insurance company will then call you and ask you questions about your accident. Insurance companies don’t want to pay anything they don’t have to, so they will ask questions designed to confuse you. Be prepared to tell them the direction in which you were walking, whether or not there were any warning signs posted, and how quickly you were traveling, If the insurance company won’t pay you what you deserve, you may have to sue.
Although you may be distracted when you are injured, it is important to collect as much evidence as you can. Look around to see what caused you to slip and fall. There have been successful lawsuits in cases where the business simply didn’t sweep and mop the floors properly. Get the names of witnesses and ask if they have a security camera. Be sure to save all bills related to your accident.
There are several factors to take into consideration when determining fault in an accident. You must establish that the business owner neglected its duty of care. According to the Legal Dictionary, “duty of care is the legal responsibility of a person or organization to avoid any behaviors or omissions that could reasonably be foreseen to cause harm to others.” You must prove not only that you were harmed due to the company’s negligence, but that the negligence was a major contributing factor to your accident.
What to Do if Your Claim is Denied
If your insurance claim is denied, you will want to discuss suing the company with an experienced personal injury attorney. A competent attorney in Orange County can help you get the money you deserve.
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