Getting injured on another person’s property can be a distressing experience, but understanding your rights and the legal nuances involved can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. In this blog post, we’ll explore key aspects of personal injury cases related to injuries that occur on someone else’s property, and how you can maximize your recovery.Types of Visitors and Standard of Care:
When it comes to injuries on another person’s property, the legal standard of care owed to you depends on your classification as a visitor. There are three main categories:
- Trespasser: If you were injured while trespassing on someone’s property, the property owner may still be liable if they caused the danger that led to your injury.
- Licensee: Licensees are typically individuals who are on the property with permission but for their own purposes. For example, if you are injured in your own apartment, you would be considered a licensee. In this case, the property owner is responsible if they knew about the dangers on the property.
- Invitee: Invitees are individuals who are invited onto the property for the benefit of the property owner. For instance, when you visit a store, you are considered an invitee. Property owners owe invitees the highest standard of care, including the obligation to ensure the property is safe, and they should know or should have known about potential dangers.
If your injury occurred on property owned by the government, such as a public sidewalk, you must provide special notice, typically within 182 days. This notice should describe the incident and is often referred to as a GIA (Government Immunity Act) notice. Failing to provide this notice within the required timeframe can impact your ability to seek compensation.Paying for Medical Bills:
One of the most pressing concerns after an injury is who will pay for your medical bills. In personal injury cases, the liable party, usually the property owner, is responsible for covering your medical expenses. However, it’s essential to navigate this process carefully:
- Use Your Health Insurance: Instead of sending medical bills directly to the liable party, it’s generally advisable to use your health insurance first. Health insurance often provides discounts on medical treatment that you wouldn’t receive with other forms of payment.
- Request Med Pay: After using your health insurance, you can request med pay from the liable party to cover deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
Subrogation is a critical concept in personal injury cases, especially when dealing with health insurance. Essentially, it means that you may have to pay back what your health insurance has paid out for your medical bills. However, you are only required to pay back the actual amount they paid. For example, if your health insurance is billed $29,000.00 from a hospital, but your health insurance reduces that billing to $8,500 through a group rate plan, you would only need to reimburse the $8,500 to your health insurance through subrogation. When you present this billing to the other side’s insurance you would only show the billing of the $29,000.00. This is because of Colorado’s Collateral Source Doctrine. This law says if your health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare reduces a bill the other side does not get to see the reduced amount. In this one billing, you could get paid from the other side’s insurance $29,000 and pay back your health insurance $8,5000 and make $21,000.00 on this one billing alone. You still get to get compensation for other billings, pain and suffering, lost time from work and the like.
It’s important to note that you can often negotiate with your health insurance provider to reduce or even eliminate this amount, depending on the circumstances.Conclusion:
While the legal aspects of personal injury cases can be complex, understanding your rights and options is crucial for maximizing your recovery after an injury on someone else’s property. Seeking professional advice and representation is highly recommended to navigate these matters effectively. If you have any questions or need further clarification, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for an obligation-free consultation at 303-762-9500 or 1-800-878-7888.