In many personal injury cases the parties are scared to admit any fault whatsoever. This kind of approach can seriously undermine credibility especially if it is obvious that a party did contribute to an incident through their acts or omissions.
In a hotel injury case our client did not see a warning sign and proceeded to use a facility which resulted in serious injury and hospitalization. The hotel attempted to evade all responsibility by simply stating there was a sign near to the facility. This approach will not work when further safety precautions should and could have been in place. The facility was not cordoned off, there was only one sign which easily could have been missed depending on which direction an approach to the facility was being made.
On that basis, it was acceptable for our client to admit that there was a sign present, but that she didn’t see the sign and also assert that the life and safety precautions were inadequate in any event.
In addition to this type of issue, there is also a moral obligation to assist and try to make good an injury which occurs on a controlled premises. The behaviour of a party can shed a positive or negative light on the case if the case proceeds to trial, depending on whether any sincere efforts to assist beyond calling medical assistance has been made.
We worked through the analysis of the facts very carefully with our client before approaching the hotel and proposing a settlement. Our approach is not always to be ultra aggressive in personal injury claims. We certainly want to see clients obtain compensation they deserve, but we are also open to giving other parties to offer a reasonable and sincere settlement.
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