When someone is seriously hurt due to an accident at a commercial property or another person’s residence, the insurer associated with that property may be liable for financial compensation. If the incident was caused by negligence on the part of the owner or the owner’s representatives, the case qualifies under a legal concept known as “premises liability.” Personal injury attorneys in Houston help clients when insurers are unwilling to help or offer an unreasonably low settlement.
Knowledge of the Situation
The property owner, a manager, or someone else in charge must have known beforehand about the hazardous situation that caused the accident, or the insurer may not be liable. A broken stairway or torn carpet that causes a trip-and-fall incident may have been a problem for several days or even longer, with nothing being done about it. An insurance company might claim that nobody knew about the situation, but personal injury attorneys in Houston know that this is highly unlikely.
Even if the property owner was unable to get the stairway or carpeting fixed promptly, there should have been caution signs placed at the scene. People who ignore those signs may not have a case, but if there was no warning provided whatsoever, they would not know the need for caution.
The Burden of Proof
In a personal injury case, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. If the property owner denies responsibility, the plaintiff and their attorney must find evidence to substantiate their claim. This might come in the form of eyewitness testimony in a deposition, or someone who is willing to testify that the problematic situation was well-known among people working in the building.
Settling the Case
Insurance companies would generally rather settle than go to court. They realize a jury would find it improbable that a broken stairway could remain unnoticed by a manager or property owner for very long. Once the injured person hires a lawyer from an organization such as Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, other parties are typically more eager to settle.