Accidents can happen unexpectedly, and where they occur matters a lot when it comes to who is responsible and how much compensation you could get for your injuries. This is especially important if you get hurt at a business or a property someone owns. Regardless of where your accident happened or who’s at fault, the end result is an injury. In such cases, you’ll need to go through the legal process to help you with your recovery.
At Ylla Gosney, our team of experienced Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers have built a strong reputation for protecting our clients’ rights. We’ll stand up for you and represent you if you’re injured at a business or anywhere else in Oklahoma City because of someone else’s negligence. We can work to figure out who’s responsible and make sure they are held accountable for your injuries. If you want to know more about how they can help you, contact us for a free consultation.
How Does Oklahoma Law Approach Premises Liability?
When you go out in Oklahoma City, there are numerous things to watch out for, from drivers in vehicles to hazards at a property. While you have certain responsibilities when it comes to avoiding hazards, every business or property has an overriding responsibility to keep you safe while you’re on the premises. When this doesn’t happen, and there’s an accident that injures you or someone you’re with, the owner or manager of the property is legally responsible–or liable.
That’s the crux of premises liability law in Oklahoma City. On your end, though, you have to show negligence on the part of the owner or manager to establish a premises liability case. This includes showing the following:
- The person or company that owns, occupies, or leases the property is responsible for your injury – Establishing who has control over the property can sometimes be complex, but it’s crucial to confirm liability.
- The property owner was negligent in maintaining or operating the property – After identifying the property owner, you need to demonstrate that they neglected their duty to keep the property safe, which resulted in your injury.
- You sustained an injury – Every premises liability claim requires proving that you were indeed injured. This is usually straightforward, but it’s essential to keep records of your medical expenses and documents that illustrate the impact of your injury.
- The owner’s negligence significantly contributed to your injury – The final hurdle is showing that the owner’s negligence was foreseeable and played a substantial role in causing your injury. This means negligence doesn’t have to be the sole cause of your injury, but it must have had a material impact.
Premises liability in Oklahoma City–and other places–can give rise to a variety of different types of accidents. Usually, though, they involve the following:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Animal attacks
- Swimming pool accidents
- Stairway collapses
- Falling objects
- Fire or open flame injuries
- Electrical accidents
- Negligent security
Naturally, various factors can come into play in a premises liability case. A common defense used by property owners revolves around “foreseeability,” arguing that it’s not possible to anticipate every potential hazard for an accident. While this may be technically true, the legal standard maintains that property owners must exercise a “reasonable” level of care for visitors to their property.
Thus, it’s important to understand what you need to do to protect your rights in these situations.
Protecting a Viable Premises Liability Claim in Oklahoma City
When you’ve addressed the above factors, you may have a viable premises liability case. However, while the law is straightforward, figuring out the various parties and other aspects may not be. Then, there’s the responsibility of establishing:
- Your legal protection and rights
- The extent of your damages
As long as you’re legally allowed to be on the particular property–like shopping at a store or invited to a private residence by the tenant or owner–they have the legal responsibility to keep you safe. With that established, you will then have to prove negligence on their part when you were hurt while there. In order to do that, you’ll likely have to do the following:
- Get medical help – If you’re hurt, the first thing to do is see a doctor. Even if your injuries seem small, it’s important to get checked out because some injuries may not show up right away. Keep all your medical records and bills to help with your case.
- Notify the property owner or management – Let the people in charge know about the accident. This could be the property owner or the manager if it happened at a business. Ask them to make a report and give you a copy. Reporting it quickly helps prove it really happened.
- Take pictures and videos – Snap photos or videos of where the accident took place, any unsafe things, and your injuries. This visual proof can show what happened and how the property owner might be at fault.
- Don’t admit fault – Be careful when talking to insurance companies or the property owner’s representatives. It’s smart to talk to our lawyers first. What you say could be used against you, so a lawyer can help you handle these conversations the right way.
Another important aspect of a premises liability claim is your damages. While every case is different, you could potentially recover the following in a premise liability claim, either through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit:
- Medical expenses – Compensation for the cost of medical treatment, including hospital bills, doctor’s fees, medications, rehabilitation, and future medical care related to the injury.
- Lost income – If the injury causes you to miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or a decrease in their earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering – This category covers physical pain, emotional distress, and mental suffering caused by the injury. It’s often more challenging to calculate and varies based on the severity of the injury and its impact on your life.
- Property damage – If your personal property (e.g., clothing, electronic devices) is damaged in the incident, the cost of repair or replacement can be part of the damages.
- Loss of companionship – This refers to damages awarded to a spouse for the loss of companionship, support, or marital benefits due to your injuries. You can also recover damages for a reduced quality of life because of the injury.
- Punitive damages – In some cases, punitive damages may be able to be recovered. These are not intended to compensate you but to punish the defendant for particularly reckless or egregious conduct. However, punitive damages are relatively rare in premises liability cases and usually reserved for extreme cases of negligence or intentional harm.
It’s important to consult with our team of experienced lawyers who can evaluate your case, assess the damages you may be able to recover, and help you seek fair compensation in a premises liability claim.
Dedicated Premises Liability Lawyers Ready to Work For You In Oklahoma City
When you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, it can throw your whole world into turmoil. Medical bills, treatment, rehabilitation, and missing work are all potential consequences of an injury. When this happens to you, make sure our team of dedicated and experienced Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers at Ylla Gosney is on your side. We can help you hold the at-fault parties accountable for your injuries, allowing you to get the financial support you need to aid you in your recovery.
Don’t wait–contact us today to set up your free consultation with our office.