If you’re injured in a public space, such as a shopping center, restaurant or other business, can you sue for damages? If so, against whom do you bring a claim?
The two key elements that make up a valid personal injury claim are losses and negligence. That is, you have to suffer some sort of loss, such as medical expenses, lost pay, or pain and suffering. Furthermore, the losses have to be because of someone’s negligent behavior; someone’s reckless or careless disregard for your safety.
Losses Because of Injuries in Public Places
All but the most minor injuries will cause the victim a financial loss of some kind. Sometimes, other losses, such as a loss of enjoyment of life or a missed event, can be more abstract and difficult to assign a monetary value, but are losses just the same. If you suffer a loss because of someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, you deserve to be compensated.
Compensable losses may include:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy or other rehabilitation
- Nursing care
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Medical equipment, such as crutches
- Home modifications made necessary by temporary or permanent disability
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning potential
These are just some examples. Every case is different, and you may suffer additional losses for which you could collect damages. Your personal injury attorney will help you list and quantify the losses you’ve suffered.
Negligence that Causes Injury
The other element of an injury claim is an identifiable party whose negligence caused your injury. For injuries in a public place, this can be anyone who was careless or showed some lack of regard for your safety. In most cases, this would be:
- Property or business owners whose premises are unsafe
- Individuals whose reckless actions endanger others
- Manufacturer of a dangerous product
Your lawyer can help you to identify the negligent party who caused your injuries, and guide you through the steps of making your claim.