If you have been hurt on someone else’s property because of its owner’s failure to maintain it safely, you may have a legal claim based on premises liability. I am Sara L. Gabin, a slip and fall attorney who has represented residents of Portland and other Oregon communities since 1981. I can examine every detail of your accident and assert your right to the proper compensation for your injuries from those responsible. I will help you sort through your options to craft a strategy tailored to the details of your situation.Hold Negligent Property Owners Accountable
To hold a person or entity liable for damages associated with your injuries, you must be able to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your harm. For example, a store that fails to clean up a spill in a timely manner, or a landlord that fails to fix a broken step or railing, may be found responsible if someone trips and falls as a result. In addition to their responsibility to fix a dangerous condition, property owners must also warn of any hazards on their premises so that people there can avoid them.
Property owners owe different degrees of precautions to those entering their premises, based on the purpose of the visit. People entering an establishment, like a store or restaurant, for a commercial reason are owed the highest level of care. These individuals are known as invitees. Owners opening their property to invitees must inspect the premises regularly to check for dangerous conditions. Licensees, or those entering for a social reason, such as friends and dinner guests, are owed a lesser degree of care. Owners entertaining licensees must maintain their property in a reasonably safe way, repair hazards, and warn of any known dangers.
If you have been hurt on someone else’s property, it is important to find out what insurance options you have and the type of policy the owner holds. Additionally, some insurers may pressure a victim to settle before all of his or her injuries and damages are known. For this reason and others, it is advisable to seek out legal advice as soon as possible. In a premises liability case, it is also helpful that photographs be taken of the scene at the time of the accident or soon thereafter to determine how and where the slip and fall occurred. Sometimes safety experts or investigators may be necessary to fully develop a case.What you Need to Focus On
Your first priority, after you regain your bearings, is to notify the property owner that you have been hurt.
As soon as possible, you should also take as many photographs as possible of the unsafe conditions that caused the accident.
You should get the medical attention you require promptly and comply 100 percent with all treatment advised. Waiting too long to get medical care or failing to comply with treatment can harm your case later on.
You should resume your pre-injury activities as your medical condition improves and as your doctor allows.Statutes of Limitations and Damages
Premises liability claims must typically be filed within two years from the date the injured person was hurt. However, the time limits are different if you were injured as a tenant on your landlord’s property. In these situations, if the landlord is found negligent, he or she may be liable to pay attorney fees in addition to other damages. To preserve this right to fees, a lawsuit must be filed within one year from the date of the accident. Other damages that are potentially available in premises liability cases include economic costs, such as medical expenses and lost wages or earning capacity, as well as non-economic harms, such as pain and suffering.Fees
Attorney fees in premise injury claims are contingent. That means you do not owe a fee unless you receive a recovery.
Typically, fees are 33 1/3 percent of your recovery if your claim is resolved more than two weeks before trial, and 40 percent of your recovery if your claim is resolved within two weeks of trial or at trial.Costs
In nearly all cases, I will incur out-of-pocket costs. These are not attorney fees, but are fees for such things as medical record duplicating charges, attorney/doctor conferences, treating doctor medical reports, safety expert fees, expert witness fees, court filing fees, mediation fees, and arbitration and trial fees.
I incur these expenses only when necessary to prepare properly. I am bound to follow Oregon State Bar ethical rules that require the client to assume responsibility for these costs if the client is able to pay. Therefore, I will bill for these costs but will not expect reimbursement unless you can afford to reimburse me.Discuss Your Premises Liability Claim with a Portland Attorney.
Injuries sustained on someone else’s property can have long-lasting effects. As a premises liability lawyer with over 30 years of experience, I have assisted accident victims in Lake Oswego and elsewhere in Multnomah, Clackamas. Washington and Yamhill Counties. I am dedicated to helping you seek compensation from at-fault parties and their insurers. Contact Sara L. Gabin at (503) 620-3171 or online to discuss your case. Free Consultation.