In the United States, slip and fall incidents caused by wet floors are a common occurrence. Each year, these hazards result in over a million trips to the emergency room. Slip and fall injuries are also the main reason for worker’s compensation claims and missed workdays.
Wet floors aren’t restricted to the workplace. Laws relating to slip and falls tend to protect property owners more often than not, but they may still provide you with a fair resolution to your injury claim. Hiring a competent personal injury attorney can increase your chances of recovering damages to cover expenses like medical care and lost earnings.
The Basics of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There is a good chance that you will have to file a personal injury lawsuit to get the money you need to pay for your medical bills and other losses. Two primary pieces of information are necessary for filing a successful personal injury claim: Who to file a lawsuit against, and how to make a strong case that they should be held responsible.
Who is Liable for Your Fall?
Legally, if the property owner or manager knew or should have known about the hazardous situation that caused your accident, they could be held liable for any damages you suffered as a result. Wet floors are a potential hazard practically anywhere. Common locations include shops, other business buildings, parking lots, roadways, and homes. Additionally, the responsibility for a property’s security might fall on a wide variety of individuals and organizations. This includes business property owners, commercial tenants, retail shop proprietors, home property owners, government agencies, and property management firms.
When Is Someone Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?
“Premises liability” is the legal principle that applies when someone slips and falls on a wet floor. It refers to the obligation that property owners or other people in charge of a property have to visitors. They have a responsibility to ensure the premises are secure, lest they be held liable for any injuries sustained there. You need to prove the following four things to hold the property owner responsible for your accident:
- You were legally on the property.
- You were hurt as a result of the property’s hazardous condition.
- The landowner caused either the unsafe situation, or they were aware of it.
- Despite being given a “reasonable” amount of time, the landowner did not fix the hazardous situation.
Property owners are typically held liable for failing to remedy evident dangers on their land, but there is an important exemption to this rule when the injured party should have or could have reasonably been expected to identify the hazard themselves. This is a common argument used by landowners to escape financial responsibility in the event of an accident.
Is a Lawsuit Necessary to Receive Compensation?
If the person or organization in charge of maintaining order on the premises where you fell has liability insurance that extends to incidents that take place there, you may file a claim for damages.
Most people try this route first before resorting to a legal lawsuit to get their money back. If a claim is rejected or an insufficient settlement is given, the aggrieved party will often turn to the courts for redress.
How to Reach a Settlement
In most cases of personal injury, the issue is resolved through a settlement. Although the vast majority of personal injury cases end in a settlement, this does not indicate that you will automatically receive compensation.
Only when the at-fault party (or their insurer) is convinced they have no chance of winning in court will they agree to a settlement. But if the party at responsibility or their insurance company believes they will likely win in court, they are less likely to settle out of court.
Is it Better to Negotiate a Settlement?
It’s always worthwhile to settle. To begin, when you settle, you are assured financial compensation. Second, instead of waiting years for your case to finally be resolved in court, you can get your money considerably more quickly if you settle.
There is no hard and fast rule about how much someone may earn in a settlement, but the amount is usually based on what similar cases and injuries have settled for or what the award amount was after trial. An expert lawyer will guarantee that you receive a reasonable settlement amount by using their negotiation skills and knowledge of what these cases often settle for.
When You Slip and Fall: What to Do Right Away
When you’re seriously hurt in an accident like this, it’s understandable that you’d be traumatized by the experience. Nonetheless, you need to:
Gather Photographic Evidence
Take pictures of the accident scene from different angles with your phone as soon as possible after the accident if you can; this will help establish a paper trail for accident purposes. In a lawsuit involving a personal injury, photographs can be crucial pieces of evidence. If an accident occurs in a public place like a supermarket or company, employees will usually try to clean it up as soon as possible. If you slip and fall on wet pavement and want to prove negligence, you’ll need evidence of the negligent state. Simultaneously, photograph the street, the next cross street, and the surrounding neighborhood.
Seek Medical Attention If You Suffer a Fall
Call emergency services if you can’t document the slip and fall accident scene. If you cannot access a telephone, have a friend or family member make the call for you. If you need assistance assessing your health, consult a qualified medical professional. Doctors may find that your wounds are more severe than initially suspected.
Keep Records of Your Injury-Related Medical Care and Other Activities
Proof of injuries sustained is essential in winning a personal injury lawsuit. Defendants in a personal injury lawsuit will almost certainly dispute your account of events if you decide to pursue legal options. They can dispute your injury claims or say you aren’t hurt as badly as you say you are. You can prove that your injuries were caused by the slip and fall by showing proof that you sought medical attention after the accident. You can confirm the diagnosis your doctors gave you for your slip and fall injuries if you keep track of them.
Get in Touch with a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney
If you decide to pursue legal action after slipping and falling on a wet floor, the defense will be looking at your case very closely.
Your opponent’s legal team will exhaust all possible avenues to get the court to rule against you and prevent you from recovering damages for your injuries. Your slip and fall accident lawyer will advise you on how to refrain from doing anything that could jeopardize your case.
Avoid behaviors that could show you had a pre-existing condition and were not injured in a slip and fall lawsuit. Be as prompt as possible in giving your attorney any information they may need.