Guide to Slip and Fall Lawsuits
Most people don’t think about slip and fall accidents until it affects them or a close family member. These types of accidents are among the most common causes of injuries in the United States. According to the CDC, more than 1 million people receive emergency treatment related to slip and falls every year. If you have been in a slip and fall accident and have no idea what course of action to take, read on to get the legal information necessary to help get compensated.
What is a Premises Liability?
Slip and fall lawsuits are filed under Premises Liability law. This type of case holds the owner of the property accountable for any damages resulting in their property. As such, the owner bears the responsibility to ensure that the environment is reasonably safe for visitors.
What Constitutes Slip and Fall Accidents?
An accident is considered Slip and Fall if you fall and injure yourself on government, commercial or private property. The common causes of these accidents include, but are not limited to, slippery surfaces, uneven walkways, or any other condition that is considered dangerous. These types of accidents can be taken to court by injury attorneys.
What types of compensation Might I Receive?
Some slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries that can be devastating and life-changing and therefore need compensation. The types of compensation that you can claim for in the slip and fall cases include:
· Lost wages
· Medical Bills
· Out-of-Pocket expenses
· Pain and Suffering
Determining Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
In this type of case, the property owner of which the accident happened usually presumes the liability. The plaintiff must show sufficient proof that the property owner exhibited negligence, and otherwise, the accident could have easily been avoided.
Evidence In a Slip and Fall lawsuit
Evidence in this type of case varies depending on the severity of injuries, type of property and the slip and fall incident. Regardless, the main pieces of evidence to ensure you collect include but are not limited to:
- Witness statements
- Pictures that capture your injuries
- Any surveillance footage, if available
- Accident report
- Medical records detailing your treatment schedule
You don’t need every one of these pieces of evidence, but the more you have, the stronger your case will be.
In some states, comparative negligence is utilized in personal injury lawsuits to help establish the extent of fault that both the plaintiff and the defendant bear in this particular accident. The way it works is that the plaintiff is awarded damages minus the percentage of their involvement in the accident.
How long do I have to file my claim after the accident?
Every state has a “Statute of Limitations” that stipulates the amount of time one has to file a claim after an accident. For instance, in California, the allotted time for filing a claim arising from a slip and fall accident is generally two years. Failure to do so would render a victim ineligible for compensation. However, there are exceptions, so contact a lawyer before giving up.
Steps to take after a Slip and Fall Accident
A slip and fall accident can cause devastating injuries to the victim. If this happens to you, there is a course of action you have to take. The priority is to recover physically and, after that, follow through to make sure the party at fault is held responsible.
1. Get Medical Attention – As the saying goes, “Safety first.” As such, medical attention should be your priority. Additionally, the medical report would detail the severity of injuries sustained.
2. Determine the cause of your slip and fall – Make a quick inspection at the scene to establish the exact cause of your fall. Doing so would tie the property owner to their gross negligence.
3. Fill out the accident report – Notify the owner and take steps to fill out the accident report. It is essential in protecting your claim.
4. Speak to witnesses – Strengthen your case by asking for witnesses for their contact information to give statements down the line.
5. Take photos and videos – Take pictures and videos of your injuries as well as the scene of the accident.
6. Contact an attorney – Reach out to your injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected and that you are ultimately compensated.
What if I slipped or fell at work?
Suppose an employee sustains an injury while at work. This falls into the category of Workers Compensation. Workers’ comp covers lost wages, medical bills and other expenses incurred.
Preparing for a slip and fall lawsuit
Initiating a slip and fall case has no guarantees of damage payments because there are several sides to it. Additionally, every state has its specific laws and limitations with regards to the premises liability law. Many states apply the principle of comparative fault in this type of case. This indicates that any victim who is partially or fully responsible for the accident cannot be awarded damage payments. Make sure to contact a slip and fall attorney to learn more about the specifics of your state and how to proceed with your premises liability claim.