Slip-and-fall injuries are very common and can range from mild (such as bruises and sprains) to severe (such as a concussion or broken bones). Many slip-and-fall injuries are preventable, and it is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain an environment that is safe, well-lit, and free of hazards such as uneven flooring, wet or slick spots, and any debris that may cause someone to slip or trip and get injured. Learn what you should do to hold a property owner liable for your slip-and-fall injuries and the steps to take to recover fair compensation.
What Should I Do After Being Hurt in a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
The first thing you should do is to get medical attention right away. However, if your injuries do not require emergency medical attention, your first step is to report the accident to the property owner. If the owner is not present, try to speak to a manager or highest-ranking employee available. This can not only help you build your case, but also help prevent someone else from being injured.
If you are able to, capture as much evidence about the scene of the accident as possible, including video footage, pictures of the hazardous area, pictures of your injuries, and contact information of any witnesses. It is not unusual for property owners to quickly try and alter the scene of the accident and remove hazards that may have caused your accident. By documenting everything with photos, videos, and witness accounts, you will be gathering strong evidence to support your claim.
It is also important to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible – even if you don’t feel hurt or don’t believe your injuries are serious. Some injuries can take days, even weeks to show any symptoms, and by getting examined, you will have important documentation such as x-rays, MRIs, and medical reports linking your injuries to the accident.
What Is the Process for Filing a Slip-and-Fall Injury Claim?
After gathering as much evidence as you can, it is recommended you seek the help of a premises liability attorney. Your attorney will help determine if you have a case and can advise you on the steps needed to initiate a claim. If the owner of the property where you were injured carries any type of business liability insurance, your attorney may be able to initiate an insurance claim on your behalf, help you seek proper treatments, and negotiate a fair settlement. In some cases, you may need to take your case to trial, and file a premises liability personal injury claim.
Either way, it is extremely important to observe the statute of limitations for filing a claim, as each state has a different deadline for filing personal injury cases. In California, you have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Failing to file within the two-year period will most likely result in your claim being dismissed. Check the statute of limitations of your state, and try to initiate your claim sooner than later in order to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.
How Much Money May I Be Entitled to Receive For My Slip-and-Fall Injury?
When you have been injured after a slip-and-fall accident, you may be concerned about how much money you may be able to receive to help you cover medical bills and other losses related to your injury. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way of providing an exact dollar amount for your case without analyzing it carefully. While there are many free tools available online that you can use to calculate how much your slip-and-fall case is worth, the results generated by those tools are often inaccurate and underestimate (or overestimate) how much money you may receive.
As a general rule, the more serious your injury, the more money you may be eligible to receive. You may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages (if your injury caused you to be temporarily unable to work), physical rehab expenses, and other economic damages. You may also seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, and emotional or psychological distress caused by the accident.
Do I Need an Attorney When Filing a Slip-and-Fall Claim?
While you are not required to have an attorney representing you when filing a slip-and-fall claim, this type of claim is no walk in the park. Not only will you be dealing with a reasonable workload (such as filing forms, paying fees, handling insurance paperwork), but also representing yourself against a defendant who will likely have an attorney on their side. The burden of proof also lies on you – it is up to you to produce enough evidence to support your case. If you are successful, you may be offered a settlement amount, but it may be hard to know if the amount you were offered is fair and you should accept it, or if you are leaving money on the table – not to mention the fact that you will still be recovering from your injuries.
By hiring an attorney, you will have the best chances to get a positive outcome, receive a fair settlement amount, and not waste any time trying to negotiate with insurance adjusters who are never keen on paying out generous amounts for claims such as yours. At The Accident Network Law Group, we take care of every aspect of your slip-and-fall case without any upfront fees. Contact us for a no-obligation case evaluation to learn your options.