When is the last time you nearly tripped and fell? What were the circumstances? If it happened in your own home, you might have only yourself to blame. But if it happened nearly anywhere else and because of some negligent action or inaction on the part of an Anchorage property owner, blame now shifts.
Under premises liability law, the presumption is that if you are invited onto another's property, the owner has met his or her duty to maintain the facilities in such a way that they are reasonably safe. So, if you happen to catch your toe on a rumpled mat at the front door of a building and suffer injury in the fall, you likely have a right to seek compensation for your care, pain and suffering.
And liability can extend to other circumstances as well. For example:
- In a hotel: Liability might exist if you slip and fall on spilled food or drink in a banquet hall, bar or restaurant. Uncleared ice or damaged walkways at entrances could be evidence of negligent maintenance.
- Inadequate security: Courts increasingly find that facilities such as schools, malls and standalone shops all have a duty to make sure security is sufficient to prevent assaults against individuals. In recent years, the duty of security has also been applied to banks to counter assaults at ATMs.
- Insufficient fire safety measures: Generally, owners and managers of commercial or multi-unit residences have an obligation to keep you safe in the event of a fire. That means making sure people on the property escape any blaze that breaks out.
Having all of this information is useful, but unless you are in a position to act on it you could find it is more of a hindrance than a help. When you are injured, your main concern should be on recovering. If your injury leaves you unable to work, you face the added concern of how to pay bills and care for yourself and your family. And in such situations, it is considered wise to consult with legal counsel.
Initial consultations tend to be free and a skilled attorney will be able to:
- Assess your legal options.
- Comprehensively investigate what happened and how.
- Approach the matter objectively, free of anger.
- Manage the complexities of any litigation.
Cases often settle without need of a trial, but should that be required, early enlistment of an attorney enhances prospects that you'll receive the fullest measure of compensation possible.