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Rockford personal injury attorneysWhen we think about restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, we typically envision friends getting together to have a few drinks, eat a meal, dance, and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, sometimes a night out turns into a nightmare. If you or a loved one was the victim of assault or battery at a bar, nightclub, or other commercial establishment, you may have questions about liability. Even if the police were called and the person who attacked you is facing criminal charges, you may still be left with serious expenses related to your injuries. In some cases, the establishment in which someone was physically attacked is liable for the costs suffered by the victim. However, bars and other establishments are only liable for injuries from an attack in certain situations.

Physical Attacks Can Lead to Considerable Damages

Whether you were injured in a fight or you were simply a bystander who was injured while other people were fighting, injuries from a bar fight can be severe. You may have sustained deep lacerations, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, or other injuries that required emergency medical care. Now you are left with medical bills and other financial concerns. You may be unable to work and earn an income while your injuries are healing. In situations such as these, a premises liability claim against the establishment may allow you to recover financial compensation.

Commercial Establishments Have a Legal Duty to Customers

Premises liability laws deal with the legal responsibilities that property owners have to the individuals who lawfully visit their properties. Commercial property owners and occupiers have a legal duty of care to their customers to keep the premises reasonably safe. Of course, understanding what constitutes “reasonably safe” can be quite difficult. Typically, a bar or other commercial property is legally responsible for injuries sustained by a customer when the establishment knew or should have known about a dangerous situation and did not take steps to protect customers from the foreseeable danger. For example, if patrons are routinely injured in fights caused by the bartenders overserving alcoholic drinks, it could be argued that the establishment should have taken steps to prevent future fights from occurring. The establishment may also be liable if it broke state or local laws and this unlawful conduct led to your injuries.

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Rockford negligent security lawyersWhen a person is harmed during a robbery or attack, criminal charges are often brought against the aggressor. While this may bring the perpetrator to justice, it does little to  address the injuries caused to the victim. A person hurt in an act of physical violence may suffer lacerations, broken bones, internal organ damage, traumatic brain injury, and other serious physical injuries. He or she may also experience deep emotional pain and psychological scarring. In some cases, a civil lawsuit brought against the owner of the property on which the attack occurred may enable a victim to recover compensation.

What is Considered Negligent Security?

Property owners cannot be expected to prevent every injury on their property, but they are required to keep their property free of foreseeable dangers. This includes equipping the property with adequate lighting, locks, cameras, and other security measures. The level of security that a property should have is largely determined by the property’s location and the frequency of crime in the area. For example, If a store owner knows that two customers have already been mugged in the dark parking lot outside of his store, he should have lights installed and take other steps to help prevent future muggings. If he fails to take these steps and another customer is injured as a result, the customer may have a valid personal injury claim. 

Lawsuits for negligent security may be brought against a store, restaurant, bar, hotel, apartment complex, or other facilities. Such suits may be filed in addition to any civil claims made against the perpetrator, as permitted by law. It is possible to have more than one party share liability for your injuries. 

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysBeing assaulted is a nightmarish experience to endure. If you have been injured in a robbery or any other type of attack, you may be left with significant mental trauma and expensive medical bills. One way you may be able to receive compensation for these and other damages caused by the assault is through a premises liability lawsuit. If inadequate security was to blame for the assault, you may bring a civil claim against the property owner in addition to any civil claim or criminal charges you press against the attacker

Examples of Negligent Security

Property owners and managers have a legal obligation to keep properties reasonably safe for individuals who are invited onto the property. A property owner cannot guarantee the safety of everyone who enters his or her property, but the owner must appropriately address foreseeable risks. When a property owner does not fulfil this obligation and a visitor to the property is injured as a result, the owner may be liable for the damages caused by the injury. Examples of negligent security may include:

  • A hotel owner fails to fix a broken lock on a room door
  • A parking garage owner does not replace burnt out lightbulbs even though several patrons have been robbed in the garage at night
  • The owner of a mall in a high crime area fails to hire enough security guards to adequately patrol the parking lot
  • A landlord knows that a tenant is selling drugs out of his apartment but does nothing to stop it

Pursuing Compensation for Inadequate Security

Premises liability lawsuits may be brought against the owner or manager of a store, restaurant, bar, mall, hotel, apartment complex, parking garage, resort or other property. Victims of a shooting, assault, battery, rape, sexual assault, or other injury-causing attack may bring an injury claim against a property owner. If negligent security contributed to a fatal attack, the surviving family of the deceased person may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The victim or victim’s family may be compensated for medical bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more.

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WInnebago County personal injury attorneysSlipping and falling can cause devastating injuries in mere seconds. A person who falls and hits their head on concrete, for example, may suffer a traumatic brain injury which leaves them with agonizing pain and other adverse symptoms for months. Slip and fall injuries can also incur tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills. A serious fall can take away a person’s independence, their ability to work, and significantly decrease their quality of life. If you or someone you know was injured in a slip and fall accident, you may wish to pursue compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. In order to be awarded financial damages for injuries related to a slip and fall, you and your legal team must prove liability, or responsibility, for the accident.

Legal Responsibility for Your Injuries May Lie with the Property Owner or Manager

Property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their property safe for individuals who legally visit the property. For example, a store owner must endure that spilled liquid is marked as hazardous and cleaned up as soon as possible.  If the owner knows that a slippery substance is on the floor and does nothing to address the situation or warn customers of this danger, he or she may be liable for an injury caused by the environmental hazard. Similarly, a residential property owner who has a broken staircase can be held liable if a visitor to their property falls from the staircase and is injured. In some premises liability cases, the person or entity that manages or oversees the property is the responsible party instead of the property owner.

Proving Negligence is Required for a Successful Premises Liability Lawsuit

Not every slip and fall accident is the fault of the property owner or manager. Sometimes, a person is injured in a freak accident which is not caused by negligence on the part of the property owner. Negligence occurs when a party owes a duty to another and fails to uphold that duty. With slip and fall accidents, a property owner has a duty to ensure that his or her property is reasonably safe and free of danger before allowing visitors or patrons onto that property. A property owner who does not regularly maintain the property or who ignores potentially dangerous conditions will likely be considered negligent.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysImagine this scenario: You are at a friend’s house enjoying a party. While walking upstairs, you experience a horrible slip and fall. You are taken to the hospital where you learn you have significant injuries that will require thousands of dollars’ worth of medical care, corrective surgery, and physical therapy. Even worse, you will be out of work for months, so you will lose money this way as well. You may be asking yourself, “Would my friend’s homeowner’s insurance cover any of these expenses?”

Does the Property Owner Have Insurance?

The first question to consider if you have been injured at a friend or neighbor’s house is if the property owner even has homeowner’s insurance. Fortunately, most homeowners do. Mortgage companies require homeowner’s insurance, so if a person has a mortgage and is still paying off their house, they should have homeowner’s insurance. However, there is still the chance that a person who owns their home free and clear and has no mortgage might not have homeowner’s insurance.

Report the Incident to the Insurer Immediately

If the owner of the property on which you were injured does have homeowner’s insurance, you should report the incident to the insurer as soon as possible. Waiting too long to report the claim can make you lose credibility in the eyes of the insurer. There is no register of homeowner’s insurance information, so the only way you will be able to know the name of the insurer is to ask the property owner.

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