Maximizing Your Premises Liability Insurance Claim
How to Increase Compensation for Premises Liability Personal Injury Claims
If you were injured on someone else’s property due to the negligence of the property owner you may believe you have a strong case. However, most insurance companies will try to intimidate you by offering a lower settlement than you deserve.
In California, there are ways that an insurance company will try to diminish your claim, but with the help of an experienced premises liability attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers you can defend your case and receive maximum damages.
Premises Liability Defenses That Can Reduce Your Insurance Settlement Amount
Insurance companies do not want to pay you a high settlement and will do everything in their power to pay you the least amount possible. California courts will examine these four defenses:
- Comparative Negligence. Probably the most common defense in a premises liability case is comparative negligence. A comparative negligence defense accuses the victim of being partially responsible for their own accident. For example, if a person was intoxicated during a slip and fall accident, the insurance company can argue that they are partially responsible for their own injuries and do not deserve higher damages.
- Assumption of Risk. This can only be applied to certain businesses and situations. With this defense, the property owner can claim that the victim knew of the potential danger and decided to enter the premises anyway. An example of this would be a property owner hanging a sign that says “Beware of Dog”.
- Pre-existing Injuries. After you have filed your claim, plenty of insurance companies will ask you to go to a doctor for a check up. If you have had a pre-existing injury, an insurance company may claim that the accident only aggravated the injury and didn’t actually cause it.
- Embellishment of Injuries. Lastly, an insurance company may choose to argue that your injuries are not as serious as you claim they are. They may also claim insurance fraud. To prove this, a company may look into your social media accounts and try to find you doing activities that may indicate the injury isn’t as severe.
What You Can Do to Increase Your Insurance Claim
In most cases, it is the burden of the victim to prove the negligence of the property owner or landlord. Listed below are a few ways you can ensure maximum compensation.
- Evaluate the situation. Right after a premises liability accident, evaluate the situation by making sure everyone involved is okay.
- Call 911 and/or make a doctor’s appointment. Contact the police right away if anyone is suffering from obvious injuries. Paramedics will arrive to provide immediate medical assistance to the victim. If you were involved in a premises liability accident, you should get checked out to determine whether or not the injuries you endured are minor or severe. Your visit will be saved on file and can be used as proof to the courts and insurance company that you were actually hurt.
- Be careful with what you say. Embarrassment may cause you to assume liability, even when it is not your fault. The statements you make can affect your insurance claim.
- Take photos. If your accident was caused by a crack in the pavement or a faulty wire, be sure to take pictures of the violation. This will help you prove your case in court.
- Get the contact information from witnesses. Check your surroundings to see if there was a witness. If so, ask them for their consent to have them involved in your case. Make sure to get their name and contact information. Talk to anyone You may need them in court.
- Contact a lawyer. Lastly and most importantly, you want to contact a premises liability lawyer that can help you with your case.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
Our personal injury attorneys will not charge you for a consultation. Our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk to prevent you from reaching out. Our qualified personal injury lawyers are highly-trained and have extensive experience with cases that are similar to yours. West Coast Trial Lawyers is committed to helping you resolve your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results.