Gary Bruce answers questions by viewers regarding different legal issues. One viewer inquired about her rights if she falls and hurts herself at a football stadium. Gary discusses the questions that need to be addressed, including why the fall occurred and who owns the property. Also, issues can arise regarding the owner of the property. For example, if the stadium is owned by the state there are certain requirements for providing notice – you might only have 6 months to provide notice of your claim. In those situations, you should seek the assistance of an attorney to fulfill the complex notice requirements.
Another viewer would like to know what to do if you currently have an attorney but you want to hire a different attorney. Gary advises that if you’re in a relationship you aren’t comfortable with, that you first meet with your current lawyer and try to discuss the problems you are having. If that is not successful or if the current attorney won’t meet with you, you’re entitled to meet with a new lawyer and get his or her opinion on whether your current lawyer is acting appropriately.
Narrator: This is Legal Break on WTVM with attorney, Gary Bruce answering your questions about the law.
Question One: Hi Gary, what if I fall down at a football stadium and I break my ankle, do I have any legal rights?
Gary: Good question what if you fall at a football stadium and get hurt. Well, the first question would be, why did you fall? Do you have legal rights – you do if there was a foreign substance maybe, or a defect or some situation that was known to the owner of the property that they didn’t fix, repair, or warn you about. So that’s when we find liability for falls. When there is a known problem that knew or should have been known about that isn’t fixed.
So that’s the first part of your question, if you just stumble because you’re clumsy then it doesn’t rise to a case. The second question then is, who owns the property? If it’s owned by a local school district, if it’s owned by the state, if it’s owned by a private individual, all of those situations create different burdens on the person who’s been injured. So there are different duties owed by each. If it was owned by the state, then you’ll have a certain requirement for providing notice that would be less than usually what we consider to be the statute of limitations. So you would, you might have as little as six months to provide written notice to the government entity that you have a claim to make. So anyway, that situation arises number one: is there liability? If there is, there may not- even though there is liability there may not be responsibility. Talk to a lawyer, we’ll be happy to talk to you about it.
Question Two: Hey Gary. I was wondering, what do I need to do to switch over to you if I wasn’t liking the attorney I was dealing with now?
Gary: What do you have to do to change lawyers? If you are in a relationship you’re not comfortable with then I would encourage you first to set a meeting with the lawyer you already have. Sit down and talk about it, try and work the situation out. But if you still don’t feel right about it whether it’s because you can’t sit down with them, we see that a lot, or because they won’t, or won’t respond to you, then the law says you’re entitled to a second opinion.
You’re entitled to talk to someone else about it. The lawyer may say look they’re doing everything they can, or you’re being well represented. But at least you’ll know, you know. So if you have a gut feeling about “I’m not getting what I thought I was,” or “what I need in this attorney-client relationship,” then don’t hesitate to call somebody, we’re happy to talk to you. If it’s something we can help with we’ll be happy to do so. Great question. this is the way we’d like to start 2018 by asking for your questions and we’ll try and give you quick answers and look forward to continuing this throughout the year. Thank you.
Narrator: For more legal tips and insights go to WTVM.com and click on Legal Break.