What happens if you're injured in a dangerous building?

Sometimes people can become injured when they're in a dangerous building or structure. If this happens to you, do you know what your options are?

Owners and managers of buildings are responsible for ensuring that the property is safe and structurally sound. If an accident occurs because a building was not safe or was hazardous in some way, this is called a premises liability case. This type of personal injury occurs when someone becomes injured or hurt through no fault of their own due to safety issues in a particular building. For example, if someone falls down an unmarked elevator shaft, trips on a damaged stair, or slips due to a water leak, the property owner could be held liable. While no one wants to consider the possibility that they could become injured in a building, it's important to understand that this can happen. So what should you do if you're injured in a building?

Get medical care

First off, stay calm. Get medical help as soon as possible. If you are seriously injured, it's vital that you are treated promptly by medical professionals. In some cases, you may require emergency treatment, stitches, and in some cases, surgery. Always contact emergency medical services as soon as you can in order to start the healing process and to stabilize your condition. Additionally, visiting your physician or receiving emergency medical treatment will establish a timeline of events. It will provide you with proof that shows when the injury occurred.

Talk with your lawyer

Meet with an attorney as soon as you are able to. Your lawyer will evaluate the case and talk about your options with you. Depending on the type of injury you sustained, as well as its severity, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your medical expenses, as well as lost wages and emotional damages. Note that you will need to provide as much evidence as possible when you meet with your attorney so they can begin building your case. It's important that you give a clear and accurate statement to your attorney, as the outcome of your case can depend greatly on your statement. For example, were you using the property appropriately when you got hurt? Were you trespassing? Were you disregarding posted warning signs? If you were not behaving appropriately when you became injured, this can impact your case and make you ineligible for compensation.

Collect necessary evidence

In order to pursue a personal injury case when you're injured in a building or on a property, you'll need to work with your attorney to prove several things. For example, you'll need to provide evidence that shows how and when you were injured. Common dangerous structures include handrails, staircases, and balconies. If you have pictures of your injury, communication between yourself and the owner or landlord regarding the damaged structure, or pictures of the place the injury occurred, this can help your case. Your lawyer will talk with you about who is responsible in your particular situation. For example, landlords are generally responsible for the exterior of a home, while tenants are responsible for the interior. If you were injured because you failed to tell your landlord about a damaged floorboard, for example, you may not be eligible for compensation. If you have clear evidence that the owner of the property was responsible, however, you may be able to seek damages.

No matter what type of personal injury you're facing, it's important to seek legal care as soon as possible. Meet with your attorney promptly to talk about your options.