If you experience an injury while in a business, you deserve to be compensated. Businesses have an obligation to create a reasonably safe environment for their customers and employees. When a business breaches their duty of care owed to the customer or employee, causing them to become injured, the injured party can then sue on a negligence claim. Here’s a guide to follow if you’re injured and seeking financial compensation.

File a police report and gather evidence

Immediately after your accident, you should inform the store manager and file an incident report. If an attack occurred, request a copy of the police report. If medical personnel are contacted, request a copy of their reports. These reports serve as proof of your accident and they will be beneficial later on.

In addition, gather a list of names and contact information of any potential witnesses to the accident. Individuals at the business who can describe anything that may have contributed to the injury (such as the building’s condition) should also be noted as potential witnesses. Attempt to talk to as many people as possible who saw the injury happen.

Find a personal injury attorney

After your injury, a representative from the company’s insurance company or an attorney representing the company will likely contact you to ask you to sign a release or ask about your injuries. Before signing anything, it’s important that you enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Start by asking your friends and family for recommendations or referrals for reliable personal injury attorneys. If they’re unable to offer recommendations, a simple Google search of attorneys in your area (for instance, “personal injury attorney in Irvine”), will lead to you a multitude of results. Additionally, there are a number of lawyer directories online that may help you.

Once you’ve made a list of potential attorneys, read the reviews listed on their websites. Make sure to review their experience with cases similar to yours and ensure they are compatible. After narrowing down your list, meet with each attorney to discuss your case. Come prepared to each meeting with the relevant paperwork and questions regarding your case. It’s also important to determine whether attorneys charge a fee for an initial meeting to discuss the case. All in all, pick an attorney who understands your needs and who you feel comfortable moving forward with.

Assess your damages

The two basic categories of damages awarded in a personal injury case are punitive and compensatory. Punitive damages seek to punish the wrongdoer and deter from further misconduct, while compensatory damages seek to compensate an injured party for harm suffered.

If you’re injured in someone’s business and prevail on a negligence claim, you are entitled to special compensatory damages. These damages compensate you financially for expenses resulting from your injury. In order to determine what kind of damages you’re entitled to, talk to your attorney. Remember to bring all relevant paperwork to prove your injuries — examples include loss of earnings, medical bills, and costs of future medical care.

General compensatory damages are slightly more difficult to prove, as they address harm generally sustained in an injury. General damages include pain and suffering and mental anguish. In most cases, damages with an accompanying physical injury are recoverable.

Finding the right personal injury lawyer will increase your chances of prevailing on a negligence claim against the business you were injured in. Ensure that you keep all relevant paperwork, including witness contact information, reports of the accident, and medical documents. Although cases can be timely and costly, receiving adequate financial compensation for your injury is crucial.

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