The Steps Taken After Retaining an Attorney to Handle a Premises Liability Case
Interviewer: What are the steps that an attorney would take in handling a premises liability case?
Richard Sailer: The attorney would try to find out who the owner is of the property and whether or not they are the responsible party. We would also notify the property owner of our representation of the injured person. Additionally, we would ascertain if there was any insurance and whether or not there had been any prior investigation. Lastly, we would find out if there were any photos, any type of incident report, any witnesses, and/or a surveillance video.
The Surveillance Videos May Be Accessible Depending on the Preferences of the Premises Owner
Interviewer: Do you have access to surveillance videos?
Richard Sailer: It depends on where the injury occurs. Sometimes the premises owners are forthright and will typically provide you the video if it shows something that would be exculpatory to them. However, other premises owners may indicate that they don’t release any video until a lawsuit is filed and the surveillance videos subpoenaed.
Store Owners Typically Fight a Premises Liability Case and Do Not Offer Settlements
Interviewer: Do the store owners normally settle or do they fight a premises liability case?
Richard Sailer: My experience is that store owners typically do not offer anything because they don’t want to give the victim the idea that they are entitled to something. Usually store owners take a defensive stance that they were not negligent because they don’t want to open the door to a lawsuit. However, many of these cases that end up in lawsuits could probably have been resolved initially had the store owner taken responsibility and offered to remedy the situation. As a result of the store owners not admitting fault, the injured person is forced to pay out of pocket for the privilege of being hurt on somebody’s property if they have medical bills, or get an attorney to file a lawsuit.
The Difference Between a Slip and Fall and a Trip and Fall Case
Interviewer: What is the major difference between a slip and fall and a trip and fall?
Richard Sailer: In a slip and fall, there isn’t necessarily any defect on the flooring. We’ve got a perfectly fine floor installed with the right materials and cleaned and polished with the proper agents. However, if someone drops a banana peel and another person steps on it, then it’s a slip and a fall. Trip and falls deal with an inherent defect such as a crack, a raised threshold, or an unseen change of elevation.