Employees and customers alike have the right to feel safe when entering any business premises. When companies fail to meet this obligation, often due to negligence, the victim may be able to sue them for the resulting injuries. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in the United States.
- The CDC reported 38.5 million physician office visits for unintentional injuries in 2016
- Emergency department visits for unintentional injuries reached 29.4 million in 2017 (CDC)
- There were 2.8 million employer-related injuries and illnesses in 2018 (BLS)
Here’s what you need to know about suing a business for personal injury.
When the Business is Responsible
Most lawsuits of this nature are filed on the grounds of negligence. In such cases, the plaintiff must prove that:
- The business had a duty of care
- That duty of care was breached
- Said breach caused the injury
- Damages were faced as a result
All businesses are expected to provide a safe and comfortable environment for visitors. The exact nature of this provision mostly depends on who’s visiting. Customers are typically owed the highest duty of care. Of course, none is given to trespassers who lack any valid reason or permission to enter the facility.
A sensible duty of care is defined as that which prevents all possible accidents, without being unrealistic. This includes:
- Regular site inspections and cleaning schedules
- Warning signs on wet floors and other hazards
- Mats to prevent slippage in wet places
Valid Grounds for Lawsuits
Knowing the above, we can identify several situations where you can sue a business for personal injury.
Let’s say you suffered a slip and fall over liquid that was left on the floor. In a negligence claim, causation needs to be established. Staff could have known about the mess but failed to clean it, for example. Your medical bills and records showing lost wages can be used to prove that physical harm occurred as a result of the injury.
Facilities that are crowded, slippery, poorly-lit, or otherwise dangerous are often to blame for slip and fall injuries. Experiencing food poisoning from contaminated restaurant meals is another common situation.
What should you do if you’re injured on business premises? Naturally, the first step will be to seek immediate medical attention. This is important as it will help you obtain key documentation that may be useful in the near future. Be sure to save any and all records, including correspondence from doctors and insurers so that you can be reimbursed later.
Most companies are protected by a legal team that will fight your case to avoid making a payout. That’s why you need to partner up with a legal expert who can ensure an outcome in your favor. Take a look at the website for personal injury lawyer Stephens Law, PLLC for more information on how an attorney will help.
Don’t forget to collect information from any nearby witnesses. Write down your own recollection of the event as well. Be sure to keep any details related to your suffering and how it impacted your finances, career, and any other factors.
Interesting related article: “What is an Occupational injury?“