If you've been injured on someone else's property by a slippery floor, a broken rail, a falling object
If you've been injured on someone else's property by a slippery floor, a broken rail, a falling object, a malfunctioning piece of machinery, or any other hazard, you may have a right to claim damages from the property owner. The best way to determine which damages apply to your case is to speak with a seasoned premises liability lawyer in Houston or wherever you live. In the meantime, here are some common types of damages included in premises liability lawsuits.
What Types of Damages Can Be Sought in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
Premises liability law covers any injury suffered on someone else's property. This includes workplace injuries, which are very common in certain types of industries. Learn more about workplace injuries here.
When it comes to seeking compensatory damages in premises liability cases, there are two main types: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages apply to losses you've suffered that have a clear monetary value, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for physical pain, emotional suffering, and other losses that are less easily quantifiable. On top of compensatory damages, you may also be able to claim punitive damages. Let's now look at each damage type in more detail.
After suffering an injury, your medical expenses may be significant, especially if you've suffered a catastrophic injury. All hospital bills, doctor's fees, prescription bills, physical therapy fees, and home healthcare costs can be included in your damages. You can even claim for the costs of travel to and from doctor's appointments.
In many premises liability lawsuits, it makes sense to wait until an injury is fully recovered before claiming medical expenses damages. That way, you know the full costs of your treatment from start to finish. But some injuries are severe enough to require years or even a lifetime of ongoing treatment. In these extreme cases, you can also claim damages for estimated future medical bills.
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Your injury may have kept you away from work for a period of time. Any wages or work-related benefits you missed out on as a result of your accident can be included in your damages. Lost wages may include missed commissions, bonuses, promotions, and pension plan contributions. If you used any paid leave days while receiving treatment, they should also be recovered from the at-fault party.
Your injury may have reduced your capacity to work in the future or caused you to alter your career in some way. Over the years ahead, this change in your work life may amount to a significant monetary loss and should therefore be compensated for with your lawsuit damages. Determining the value of both future lost wages and future medical expenses is a complex feat that ideally requires an experienced premises liability lawyer and the help of various expert witnesses.
Pain and Suffering
Non-economic damages are sometimes referred to as pain and suffering damages. The traumatic experience of the accident and all the physical pain and emotional suffering you've experienced during the recovery process can be included in your damages. Accident victims sometimes suffer from anxiety disorders or depression following an accident. Disfigurement or humiliation caused by your injury may also be included in your damages.
Pain and suffering damages are more subjective in nature than medical bills and harder to evaluate because you don't have any receipts to show the jury. Nevertheless, a skillful attorney can effectively calculate and prove these non-economic damages, which often make up a significant portion of the final settlement figure.
In order to recover the aforementioned compensatory damages, you'll need to prove that the property manager or owner acted with negligence in allowing the injurious hazard to exist on their property. If the property owner went beyond simple negligence, however, and acted with recklessness, you may be able to include punitive damages in your lawsuit against them.
Recklessness, otherwise known as gross or wanton negligence, means a willful disregard for the safety of guests on the property. In these egregious cases, the jury may award punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant and serve as a warning to others.
When To Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer in Houston
As you can see, the variety of potential damages to include in a premises liability lawsuit are extensive. Damages also vary a great deal on a case-by-case basis. Attorneys are experts in calculating and also proving the full value of damages. It's generally wise to hire a specialist premises liability attorney as promptly as possible following an accident, especially if your injuries are severe or the defendant is disputing liability for the accident.
Premises liability lawsuits can be difficult to win because the liability of the defendant isn't always clear. In some situations, no surveillance cameras or eyewitnesses saw the accident happen, leaving the plaintiff with little evidence to back up their claim. In these cases, an experienced premises liability attorney may still be able to build a strong case to prove liability and also prove your damages.
Following an accident on someone else's property, it's crucial to understand the full value of the damages you have a right to claim. With the right attorney by your side, you're far more likely to maximize your damages and avoid leaving money on the courtroom table.
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