Making a Premises Liability Insurance ClaimPublished: Mar 24, 2017 in Personal Injury
Were you injured while at a concert or out shopping? Did the accident occur because there was an unsafe condition on the property like slippery floors or broken stairs? When you suffer an injury while on someone else’s property because there was a hazard, you may have the right to recover compensation. Your first option to gain compensation is to file a premises liability insurance claim. However, it can be difficult to investigate and prepare for this type of claim. You can significantly benefit from seeking legal guidance during this time.
Determining the Property Owner or Manager
You may have to do some digging to figure out who was responsible for the area or hazard that caused your injuries. Sometimes it as simple has determining the owner of a property, such as a homeowner or business owner. However, the person or company in control of a specific area or hazard may not be straightforward. For example, if you were hurt on a sidewalk, is the nearby business responsible for your injury or the municipality? Or if you were injured near a construction site where numerous companies are present, who was in charge of ensuring that area was clear and safe?
Potentially responsible parties include:
- Property owners
- Business owners or proprietors
- Property lessees
- Maintenance providers
- Construction companies
- Security services
- Government branches or entities
When you are involved in a premise liability claim, you need to find out who is likely responsible for your injuries. This can be complicated when multiple parties have an interest in the property or were present at the time of the accident. A Jersey City premise liability lawyer from Bhatt Law Group can investigate the situation for you to ensure you do not waste your time making a premise liability insurance claim against the wrong party.
Determining The Property Owner’s Responsibility Toward You
To figure out whether you have a valid premise liability claim, you must determine whether the relevant party had a duty of care toward you. Without this responsibility toward you, the party’s insurer is highly unlikely to approve your claim.
Under New Jersey law, individuals and businesses have a duty of care toward invitees and licensees. In less legally complex terms, parties have a responsibility toward guests. You were an invitee or licensee if you had explicit or implicit permission to be on the property. Explicit permission includes being invited verbally or in writing, like an invitation to a party or event. Implicit permission is when you enter onto a premise for lawful, expected reason, such as going into an open business to shop. However, if you were an adult trespasser, the other party is unlikely to have had a duty of care toward.
Ask for an Incident Report From the Responsible Party
When you were hurt, the business or another responsible party may have completed an incident report. They are not required to; however, it is often common practice for businesses who understand they could be liable for issues like this. You should ask for a copy of this incident report to determine what facts may support or undermine your claim. This can help you prepare your insurance claim and increase your chance of success. The business is not legally required to give you a copy of an incident report if you haven’t filed a lawsuit, however, it is smart to try anyway.
Gathering the Insurer’s Information
Once you have determined the responsible party and whether they had a duty toward you, it is time to file a premise liability insurance claim. This requires obtaining the party’s insurance information. This could be a business’s property liability insurance policy or a homeowner’s insurance policy, depending on the responsible party.
If the individual or business is not being forthcoming with this information, send a written letter to the party detailing the accident and your injuries and asking for immediate cooperation. If you are unsure of what to do or say, contact a premise liability attorney. A lawyer will have experience working with businesses and people to determine their insurance coverage.
Making a Premise Liability Insurance Claim
When you make a formal insurance claim you will need to be prepared to provide documentation and a recorded statement. It is smart to work with a Jersey City premises liability attorney before making your formal claim. Your lawyer will ensure you are ready to give an accurate statement without admitting fault or responsibility.
To increase your chance of success, you will need to provide evidence of the insurance company’s client’s responsibility toward you as well as your injuries. This can include photographs of the scene of the accident, witness statements, medical paperwork and bills, and documents from your employer regarding time off work and lost wages. You want to give an insurer all of the necessary documentation, yet you do not want to offer too much. For instance, the insurer does not need your entire medical history. You should provide only the medical documentation the insurer needs to verify the type and extent of your injuries.
Contact Our Jersey City Premises Liability Lawyers for Help
Premise liability insurance claims can become complex matters, particularly if more than one party may be responsible for the accident and whether there are issues proving your injuries, expenses, pain and suffering, and other compensable elements of your claim. However, Bhatt Law Group has significant experience representing personal injury claims based on premise liability, negligence, and recklessness.
If you were injured because of someone else’s unsafe property, the Jersey City premises liability attorneys at Bhatt Law Group are ready to help you with the insurance claim, and if necessary, a lawsuit.