Legal Articles

PERSONAL INJURY

Pursuing a Premises Liability Claim with Calhoun Law.

Determining liability when an accident happens due to weather.

Every week our firm issues a new blog post concerning all things legal. We hope you enjoy today’s blog and find it useful as one of our goals here at Calhoun Law is to provide legal information to equip you with the knowledge that we feel everyone should know.

With that said, today we will be discussing the issue of liability when an accident occurs due to poor weather conditions. We aren’t just referring to car accidents but others accidents as well such as slip and falls. More than 420 car accidents occurred from the year 2011 to 2015 during the winter months. Consequently, during the winter months, it is important for business owners to maintain their property so it is safe for clients, customers, patients etc. I think we can agree that it’s safe to say that the wintertime is the most likely time for one to get involved in an accident…any kind of an accident really. Let us be mindful of where we go and how we get there.

If you are a local resident here in NWI then you know the struggle of Indiana’s winters. This year we have been welcomed into 2019 with freezing wind chills and snow advisories. It is definitely advised to be careful when driving in the winter conditions that our great state brings.

The staff at Calhoun Law know how terrible Indiana winters can be and the dangerous hazards it can pose. We have assisted accident victims who have suffered brain injuries, fractures, spinal cord injuries, and other personal injuries caused by reckless drivers this season. If you or someone you know has recently been involved in an accident, call our office today. We offer free consultations, schedule yours today at 219-301-5200!

Now let’s get into it…

Say you are visiting a local business on a wintery day and end up having an accident (say you slip and fell on the property). In pursuing a liability claim, one is always recommended to hire an attorney. The attorney that you retain has a responsibility to conduct an investigation to determine if the owner was negligent in maintaining the property which caused your injuries.

  • When did it begin snowing on the property?
  • When did it stop snowing?
  • When did temperatures go above freezing?
  • How much thawing or melting of ice occurred before the accident?
  • How much time did the property owner have to shovel or plow snow?
  • Was there a clear path to parking spots?
  • Were there downspouts or dripping overhangs near places where people were walking that caused unnatural accumulations of ice?
  • Were there other slip and fall accidents on the property that the owner failed to investigate?
  • Did the property owner inspect the premises before the accident?
  • Did the landlord employ a third party to clear snow or ice from the area where your accident occurred?

During this said investigation, the owner of the property (or their insurance company) will reach out to you in attempts to settle your claim. However, do not speak or engage in conversation with them. It is advised to just give them the contact information of the law firm that is representing you and let them know that you have retained counsel. From that point forward, they are no longer permitted to contact you any longer.

From this point forward, your attorney will take action to see if an agreement can be reached. A bulk of Calhoun Law’s practice is dedicated to personal injury claims. With that said, we will not accept any settlement offers for less compensation than our clients are entitled too. If a suitable settlement is unable to be reached after speaking with the opposing insurance company, we will take your claim to trial to pursue justice. A jury trial is also known as Indiana’s comparative fault rule which is referred to as the 51% rule. Meaning, that the jury will evaluate the percentage of fault of all parties involved and if the jury finds that you are less than 51% at fault, then you will collect compensation. The amount of said compensation you will receive will, however, be reduced by the percentage of fault that is yours in the accident.

Scenerio Example

Amount of compensation awarded: $10,000.00
Percentage you are deemed at fault: 20%
Final compensatory amount awarded: $8,000.00

Be aware of the Statue of Limitations for Indiana: In a personal injury case, you have a limited amount of time to file a premises liability claim. The statute of limitations sets a time limit of two years (from the date of the accident) for personal injury claims *this includes slip and fall accidents*. This time frame is very important because if you do not file a claim before the two-year deadline has expired, you have lost your right to be heard in court.

Be mindful that if your claim is against a city or town, county or state government agency, you have even less time. The Indiana statute for this situation is 180 days from the date of the accident if against a city, town, or county. The deadline for claims against a state governmental agency is 270 days from the date of the accident. So, it is important to understand and be knowledgeable of these deadlines when pursuing a claim.

Finding the right attorney for your personal injury claim is very important. Do your research and take advantage of free consultations to determine who is the best fit for you. Our staff here at Calhoun Law can evaluate your claim to determine exactly how much time you have to pursue a case. Attorney Daniel Calhoun is an experienced and seasoned personal injury attorney who acquires the legal knowledge and skill to determine the worth of your claim and how to achieve the results you deserve.

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