Each year, millions of Americans are injured as a result of someone else’s negligent actions. A large percentage of these claims fall under the “premises liability” heading. This includes slip and fall accidents.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall case, it’s imperative that you don’t sit back and operate under the assumption that the responsible party will do the right thing. The only way to ensure the appropriate parties are held responsible is to pursue a claim.
What is a Slip and Fall Case?
As the name suggests, a slip and fall case occurs when someone is exposed to dangerous conditions, such as icy steps, torn carpeting, changes in flooring, narrow stairs, poor lighting, or wet floors and slips, trips, or falls – resulting in an injury. Common slip and fall injuries include broken bones, fractures, concussions, neck injuries, and back injuries.
According to industry research, slip and fall accidents are responsible for more than 1 million emergency room visits in the U.S. annually. They also happen to be the leading cause of workers’ comp claims (not to mention the number one factor in occupational injuries for salaried employees over 55).
4 Tips for Winning Your Case
If you’re injured in a slip and fall incident, you have a legal right to file a claim against the responsible party. This could be a business, a business owner, a property owner, or even the government. But regardless of who is to blame, you’ll need to buckle up and prepare for a fight. Here are some tips to help you win your case:
The first step is arguably the easiest. You have to prove that you have injuries from the slip and fall incident. This is typically as simple as seeing a doctor and having your injuries documented in the appropriate fashion. These medical records can then be used to substantiate your claims that you’ve been injured.
Prove Correlation Between Conditions and Injury
The next step is to prove a correlation between the conditions of the premises and your injuries. In other words, you have to show that your injuries were the direct result of the slip and fall. (If you already had a back injury prior to the fall, you’d have to prove that the fall exacerbated the back injury. Otherwise, there’s no case to be made.)
Once you’ve proven that you’re hurt and that the injuries were caused by the conditions of the premises, your final task is to show that the owner was culpable.
“An example of this would be if a store knows – or should have known – about a slipping hazard but does nothing to clean it up,” explains Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, PA. “They knew about a dangerous condition, and they did nothing to remedy it. When an individual or an organization creates or allows dangerous conditions, they may have breached their duty to you.”
Hire a Lawyer
Don’t attempt to self-represent and/or negotiate with insurance companies on your own. Slip and fall cases are cutthroat and you’ll end up settling for far less than your case is worth. You need to hire a lawyer.
A good slip and fall injury lawyer will help you gather evidence, determine your case’s worth, facilitate negotiations, and ultimately win your case. You need someone who is:
- You don’t want a rookie who just passed the bar exam. You want a lawyer with years of experience and a track record of successful negotiations and verdicts.
- Be wary of working with an attorney who practices dozens of types of law. It’s best to focus on lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases.
- Does your lawyer seem engaged? Or are they going to pass your case off to a paralegal? You want someone you can trust – and this means someone you can contact directly at any time of day with questions or concerns.
If you find an experienced, specialized and engaged lawyer, hire them on the spot! They have the tools needed to help you obtain a favorable outcome.
Be Proactive and Engaged
In an ideal world, people would assume responsibility for their actions and do the right thing. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a utopian society where people own up to mistakes and embrace the consequences of their actions. We do, however, have certain legal processes that allow injured victims to pursue compensation for their injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.
Don’t sit back and expect something to be handed to you. Hire a lawyer, develop a plan, and go win your claim. The more proactive you are, the more likely that you’ll obtain a successful outcome.