What Options are Available to VictimsIn general, the victims of auto accidents can go after the liable party’s insurance to receive the compensation that they are owned. Likewise, the victims of roof-collapse incidents can go after the liable party’s (usually the owner of the property) for the compensation that they are owed. The incident discussed above is an unusual circumstance, however. Because of this, there are many questions surrounding the legalities. Some of the questions include the following:
- Who is liable for the harm suffered?
- Is only the driver that caused the initial accident liable?
- Can the store be liable in any way?
- Can both the driver and the store share liability?
- Can victims and their families take legal action for the harm that they suffered?
- Could affected parties recover any sort of compensation for the harm that they suffered?
Understanding LiabilityIf you suffered any sort of harm, you will likely have grounds to pursue a claim; however, you will have to establish liability. Without a doubt, the driver that caused the accident could be at fault. All drivers have a duty of care to exercise caution and follow all traffic laws while behind the wheel to ensure that they do not cause any accidents. By driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and speeding, for example, drivers are breaching their duty of care – they could cause accidents that could harm innocent victims. Property owners, such as the owners of the WSS store mentioned in the incident above, also have a duty of care, albeit towards their guests. They have the duty to keep their entire premises free of any hazards that could potentially harm their guests. They must actively inspect their premises to identify any risks; they must also promptly address hazards – even something as simple as placing a warning sign or closing off an area can be enough to ensure that innocent customers are not harmed. Let’s consider the incident above. There is no way that the property owner could have known that a car accident would cause a fire hydrant to geyser and that the force of the water coming down on the property’s roof would cause it to collapse. There is no way to anticipate that something like this could happen. However, all property owners have to ensure that there are no hazards on their premise – issues with a roof could represent a significant hazard.
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.If the investigation determines that the property owner was aware that the roof over the WSS store was hazardous (due to building code violations, poor maintenance, poor construction, or excessive load, for example) but failed to take any action to address the hazard, the property owner could have at least some liability. Specifically, if there weren’t any existing problems with the roof, the force of the water coming down from the geyser might have not made the roof collapse. Although the property owner could not have anticipated something like that to happen, any hazard present in the roof could have contributed to the partial collapse. In many cases, liability is not straightforward – liability can be complicated and difficult to establish. If you would like to learn more about establishing liability for the incident that harmed you or members of your family, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our firm as soon as possible. Our lawyers are ready to provide you with the legal assistance that you need to pursue a claim and fight for your right to recover compensation.
Could You Sue and Receive Compensation?Without a doubt, you could pursue a claim if you were harmed in any way by the negligent actions of a party. If your claim is successful, you could even receive some sort of compensation. Depending on the specific details of your claim, you could be eligible to recover compensation. Although every claim is different, you could be eligible to recover compensation for some of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
What Should You Do?If you suffered any sort of harm in an incident that could have been avoided, you will likely have grounds to pursue a claim. However, there are a number of things that you must do to ensure that you can pursue a claim, which include taking photos of all injuries, taking photos of the scene of the accident, and gathering witness information, for example. By far, one of the most important things that victims should immediately do is to seek medical attention. When victims seek medical attention, they are creating a link between their injuries and the incident in which they were involved. Many injured victims fail to seek immediate medical care; therefore, it is more difficult to prove that the injuries were caused by the specific incident. Besides seeking medical care, it is absolutely essential that claimants seek legal assistance at their earliest convenience. Having a lawyer from the start will ensure that you have the guidance that you need every step of the way.
The Statute of LimitationsAll claims are subject to a statute of limitations – or a deadline to sue. In the state of California, injury claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations, meaning that victims will only have two years to pursue their claims. If claims are not filed within the appropriate length of time, claimants will likely lose their right to sue and lose their right to receive any form of compensation. The statute of limitations determines a strict deadline; however, exceptions could apply. Because claims are time-sensitive and failing to file on time could result in losing the right to sue, it is essential that you discuss the applicable statute of limitations with an experienced attorney.
Get started today by calling (213) 389-3765.