A slip and fall accident can occur virtually anywhere, from a neighbor’s walkway to a busy restaurant. If the cause of your fall displays a breach of the duty of care owed to you by the property owner, you could pursue a claim for your losses. With the help of a slip and fall lawyer, you will likely receive a better settlement. The best way to find a slip and fall accident lawyer is to search for one in your area with proven experience and success. You want a legal team that can secure the compensation that accurately reflects your losses.
What Does a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Do?
Slip and fall lawyers practice personal injury law, also known as tort law. They help victims of personal injury recover their losses from incidents caused by another party. Some essential tasks they handle as your legal representation include:
- Using their legal knowledge to investigate your accident and collect evidence of negligence
- Identifying your losses and calculating the value of your claim
- Communicating with the insurance company, allowing you to avoid the pushback often seen in personal injury cases
- Representing you in negotiations and court
- Gathering all the documentation necessary to support your specific damages
- Accessing experts in relative fields to give testimony or evaluate your case when necessary
Most importantly, a slip and fall lawyer can offer compassion and understanding during a difficult time. They work on cases similar to yours and understand the legal process, so you have a professional protecting your rights as you focus on recovering your injuries.
What Are Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall cases are versatile accidents. They can result in anything from minor bruises to life-threatening injuries. Some demographics, such as the elderly or young children, are more vulnerable and could suffer more severe injuries. Some common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet surfaces, such as spills or leaks
- Uneven surfaces, such as cracks in tiles or hidden steps
- Parking lot potholes and broken pavement
- Snow, rain, and ice accumulation
- Worn, torn, or bulging carpet
- Not placing wet floor signage around a leak or spill
- Loose floor mats
- Splashed grease or oil
Several factors can affect the severity of injuries. For example, if you had a preexisting condition, such as previously torn ligaments or broken bones, the accident could cause more damage. The first step in recovering damages is determining who is liable for your fall.
Who Is Liable for Damages in a Slip and Fall Accident?
As the plaintiff, your responsibility is to present evidence showing that the property owner is responsible for your accident and the resulting injuries. A slip and fall case follows the concept of premises liability, which states that a business or residence owner is responsible for the safety of any lawful visitors on their property. A legal visitor would be anyone with permission, either through direct or implied invitation, to be on the property. For example, if you slipped and fell in a restaurant or supermarket, your presence is lawful as long as you were there during operating hours and not trespassing after closing.
To prove liability in a slip and fall case, you must show one of the following:
- The property owner or someone under their employment was aware of the hazard that caused your accident and chose not to correct it.
- The property owner or employee caused the hazard and did nothing to correct it.
- Any reasonable person would notice the hazard and fix it. Therefore, the property owner or employee must have known it was there.
The most common argument is the “reasonable person” argument. Unless there is video evidence of the property owner noticing the hazard and ignoring it, these cases fall under a basic common sense understanding.
Possible Defenses for Slip and Fall Claims
Because liability is somewhat precarious in a slip and fall case, you should expect the defense to respond with an argument denying their responsibility and shifting the blame to you. Some potential claims they may use include:
- A distraction, such as your phone or talking to someone, stopped you from seeing the apparent hazard.
- The area where the accident occurred was no available to you.
- Your footwear was not appropriate for the location.
- A sign or barrier marked the location to warn people of the hazard.
Your lawyer will search for evidence to debunk these common claims. However, if you did contribute to the accident in any way, the court will implement the comparative negligence rule. Fortunately, that does not necessarily mean you cannot recover compensation. Again, a slip and fall lawyer can help you understand the possible repercussions.
What Are the Recoverable Damages From a Slip and Fall Accident?
The damages you can recover in a slip and fall accident case depend on the type and severity of your injuries. Tort law refers to your losses as compensatory damages, which include economic and non-economic losses. Examples of both include:
- The cost of your medical treatment for injuries, including 911 services, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, doctor visits. medical devices, future medical care, and rehabilitative care
- The wages you lost if your injuries inhibited your ability to work either temporarily or permanently
- The cost of any property damaged during the accident
- Pain and suffering you endured because of the physical injuries
- The psychological suffering that came after the accident, including emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of the ability to enjoy your life again
One advantage of hiring a slip and fall lawyer is their understanding of non-economic damages and how to value your psychological losses. For example, your attorney may interview your closest friends, colleagues, and family to collect statements concerning changes they saw in you post-accident. They will also use various techniques to calculate the monetary value based on the severity of your injuries, precedented cases, and the financial costs of economic damages. Adequately valuing your claim ensures a better settlement or award.
When Should You Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer?
If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, suffering an injury, you should contact a slip and fall lawyer right away. If the property owner breached their duty of care, leading to your accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses through your local civil court system. A slip and fall lawyer can help you build a case by investigating an accident, collecting the evidence to support your case, and proving the property owner’s negligence. Slip and fall lawyers have the experience you need in personal injury law to ensure the protection of your rights throughout the legal process and to make sure you have everything you need to get your life back.
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, we understand the pain and frustration that comes with suffering a devastating injury as the result of someone else’s carelessness. We also know these injuries can cause significant financial damage. To help alleviate some of the financial burden caused by a slip and fall case, we offer our services at no upfront cost. The first element of the Stone Cold Guarantee states that our payment is contingent on whether we secure payment for you, meaning we get paid when you get paid. So contact Jason Stone Injury Lawyers today for your free case evaluation. There’s No Obligation, Just Information.