Slip and fall accidents often take people by surprise by the level of injuries and suffering they can cause to an unsuspecting victim. Such accidents are dangerous and care must be taken to avoid situations that could cause people to slip or topple over objects both indoors and outdoors.
Slip and fall injuries can range from a simple twisted ankle to more serious injuries such as a torn ligament, broken bone, or a dreaded spinal or brain injury. Victims also suffer psychological pain and suffering because of the disruption in their personal and professional life.
Slip and fall cases can result in massive medical bills aside from loss of work, and the sufferer can claim their due compensation by filing a lawsuit for the same. Here are five key facts that will help you familiarize with your legal rights in case of a slip and fall accident.
What should a person do after a slip and fall accident?
The first thing you should do is to seek medical treatment at the earliest. See a doctor even if you haven’t suffered any visible injury or don’t feel any pain. Many times an injury can surface several days after a fall, and not seeing a doctor could jeopardize your claim for compensation.
In addition, gather all possible evidence to support your case. Take photos of the site immediately after the accident to avoid tampering of evidence (or have someone do it for you if you’re badly injured); talk to any witnesses and get their names and contact details; and contact a good personal injury attorney.
If the accident occurred at a public space, inform the local supervisor or administrator.
What circumstances usually lead to slip and fall injuries?
You can file a personal injury claim when you sustained an injury because of someone else’s negligence. In slip and fall cases, injuries are often caused in the following situations:
Wet or broken floor, water leakage due to a plumbing problem, poor lighting, icy road, flooding due to leakage, leaking fluid, slippery surface from wear and tear, and missing, torn or loose carpet or mat.
There can be other situations that might cause a person to slip and fall. Contact an injury attorney who can help you determine if you have a valid claim, what your claim is worth, and how to maximize compensation for your distress.
Who pays for damages in a slip and fall injury lawsuit?
Claims for slip and fall injuries are processed under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, which states that the occupier of a land has the duty to provide reasonable care to persons who enter their premises. This means that the owner or occupier of the property must take proper measures to ensure that it’s safe and free from hazards that can cause accidents.
Therefore, the insurance provider for the property (home or business) where you sustained the injury will pay the compensation, either as an out-of-court settlement or as an award if the case goes to trial. Whether you were injured on a private property or public space, you have the right to file a claim with the other party’s insurer.
How can a lawyer help my personal injury claim?
If you or a loved one sustained a slip and fall injury, contact a personal injury attorney at the earliest. This is important to protect your rights and to ensure all necessary evidence is secured in time. The lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, interview witnesses and prepare a strong case on your behalf. They will talk with your doctors to ascertain the extent of your injuries and how they have impacted your personal and professional life.
In addition, a seasoned injury lawyer will help determine the right value of your case and will know how to deal with an insurance company trying to minimize or discredit your claim. And you need not worry about legal fees. Find a good personal injury lawyer who works on contingency basis, which means they will bill you only if you get paid.
What if my injury was caused at a friend’s, neighbor’s or relative’s premises?
You can still (and should) file for compensation as you’ll need to pay your medical bills and secure financial assistance for loss of present and future work. The other party’s insurance provider will cover the damages, so you need not worry about causing your friend or family member financial distress.
Having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side can help take the awkwardness out of such situations.