Smart Guide to Winning your Slip and Fall Case
Every day, dozens of people get injured in freak accidents that occur on someone else’s property. One of the most common types of accidents that occur this way is slip and fall.
If you are injured in such an accident, you will likely require emergency treatment, and maybe a short stay in the hospital, and this will cost you money that could have been channelled to more profitable ventures. Under the right conditions, accidents like these can lead to legal actions known as slip and fall cases, where the manager or owners of the property are held liable and made to compensate you for your injury and financial loss.
Not every slip and fall case go to trial, as the parties involved can reach a settlement agreement through their lawyers or insurance company. However, whether a slip and fall case goes to court or not, you will need all the help you can get in order to the compensation you deserve for your injuries and loss of income.
This article contains the essential information you need to win a slip and fall case, should you or someone you know be involved in one.
Who is liable in a slip and fall case?
In a slip and fall case, the owners or managers of the property where the accident occurred is usually liable. It doesn’t matter if it is private property, commercial property or a government-owned facility. As long as it is owned or managed by someone or people, the liability rests with them.
However, the onus is on you to prove that the owners or managers of the property were negligent and that the accident could have been avoided if proper measures were in place.
Proving fault in slip and fall case can be an uphill task, which is why the moment you are involved in such an accident, you immediately seek legal advice to know your options.
What evidence do you need in a slip and fall case?
Because no two incidents are the same, the evidence you will need to prove your case will depend on the nature of the accident and the of injuries sustained. Nevertheless, there are certainly important pieces of evidence that cuts across all forms of premises liability.
Some of these important pieces of evidence are:
Surveillance footage of the incident
Pictures of your injury
Damaged clothing and shoes
Pictures of what caused the slip and fall injury
Unfortunately, getting some of these shreds of evidence may prove difficult. For example, the owners of the property may refuse you access to the surveillance footage or witnesses, and this can affect the chances of your case. To prevent something like this from happening, it is important you engage the services of a law firm that specializes in premises liability. They would help you get the evidence you need to prove your case in or outside the court.
What should you do after a slip and fall accident?
A slip and fall accident can leave you with serious injuries that will cost you lots of money in medical bills. It can also affect your ability to work for some time, meaning that you will lose income. When incidents like these happen, a lot of things will be running through your mind; however, it is always important to do the right things first. This means seeing to your health and making sure the at-fault party is held responsible for your injuries.
Below is a list of things you should do immediately you are involved in a slip and fall accident.
Seek medical attention - The first thing you should do when you are involved in an accident is to seek medical help immediately. This is as important for your health as it is for your legal rights because the medical report will show the injuries you sustained, how they were sustained, and the emergency actions are taken to stabilize you. This information can be used to make your compensation case.
Find out what caused the accident - If you are able to, the next thing on your agenda is to study your surroundings to determine what caused the slip and fall accident, and to determine if the accident could have been avoided were proper safety measures in place.
At this stage, you should take pictures of the accident scene as it is, as well as pictures of your injury. This will serve as corroborating evidence in your slip and fall case.
Look for witnesses - There are almost always witnesses to an accident and a slip and fall is no exception. The people who came to your help and those who were around the location are potential witnesses that can help your case. Make steps to speak to them and if possible, have them make signed statements as to what exactly happened.
File an accident report - At the point, you are ready to file an accident report, or notify the owners of the property about the accident. This process is vital to protecting your claim as an official report will go a long way in sealing your case. It is important, however, that you are accurate in your claims so that your legal rights are protected.
Contact a personal injury lawyer - Contacting a personal injury lawyer when you are injured in a slip and fall is a bright move. The owners of the property may be reluctant to compensate you for your injuries and financial loss, and without proper representation, you may lose out at the end.
A personal injury lawyer will help you make your case, look out for your interest, and make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
How long can you wait before filing a claim?
When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, it is understandable that making a claim for compensation will be one of the last things on your mind, but this is not something you can put off for too long. In the US, every state has a time limit on how long you can put off making a claim after an accident; this is called a Stature of Limitations. In Utah, the stature of limitations in a personal injury case is four years. In Texas, it is for two years.
If you fail to make a claim within this period, it is assumed that you are not interested in getting a settlement, and your case will not be eligible for compensation.
Hopefully, this article has provided valuable insights into slip and fall accidents and how you can get properly compensated.
The most important factor in winning a personal injury case is getting the right lawyer on time. As long as you intend to file a claim, make sure you have proper representation from the get-go.