According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip-and-fall accidents account for one million hospital emergency room visits, comprising 12 percent of total falls. The most common causes of these accidents include bad weather conditions, uneven surfaces, defective footwear, and inadequate safety training. The consequences of these accidents may vary, ranging from non-fatal bruises to serious injuries. In fact, slip-and-fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries if you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident. These seven slip-and-fall accidents FAQs will help you understand how to prepare for a claim.
1. What Should I Do If I Was in a Slip-and-fall Accident?
Naturally, your health is top priority, so seek medical attention immediately. Whether the accident occurred on your neighbor’s property or in a supermarket, you should immediately report the incident and your injuries to the owner or the manager. Make sure to obtain a copy of the report before you leave.
You can compile a record of the incident by yourself if a report is not generated. You should document the exact location and the circumstances leading up to your fall, including the condition of the floor and the presence of any objects. You should also collect phone numbers and addresses of the property owner or manager and the witnesses. Try to obtain the name, address, and policy number for all insurance companies insuring the property. If possible, take photos of the area where you fell.
2. Who Can Be Held Liable in a Slip-and-fall Case?
Several organizations or individuals may be held liable for the accident in a slip-and-fall lawsuit. For example, you can name both the neighbor and the property owner as defendants in your slip-and-fall claim, if your neighbor lives in a rental property.
The premises liability concept states that a property owner may be held responsible for injuries that take place on his/her property. In this instance, your neighbor may be responsible for maintaining the safety of the premises; or, the property owner may be responsible, depending on the lease agreement.
Should I Give a Statement to the Owner’s Insurance Company?
No, you should not give a statement to the owner’s insurance company. However, you should collect the contact information, address, and the policy number of the insurance company. Most importantly, do not sign any paperwork submitted to you by the owner’s insurer. You should immediately hire a competent personal injury lawyer, who will deal with the insurer and the owner.
4. How Much Is My Slip-and-fall Claim Worth?
The value of your slip-and-fall claim depends on several factors, including the strength of your case, the total amount of insurance coverage, the seriousness of your injuries, and the attitude of the defendant. In most cases, a valid slip-and-fall claim is usually at least worth the value of your medical bills. However, you can also get monetary compensation for lost wages, temporary and permanent disability, pain, suffering, anxiety related to the accident, loss of earning capacity, and incidental expenses stemming from the injury.
5. Is It Possible to Sue My Employer for a Slip-and-fall Accident?
Usually, you can’t sue your employer over the injuries sustained on the job. However, mostly the state workers’ compensation program covers injuries suffered on the job. A valid worker’s compensation claim can pay for medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation.
6. What Is Comparative Negligence? Does It Affect a Slip-and-fall Lawsuit?
Comparative negligence is a tort rule for allocating damages when both parties are at least somewhat at fault. In a slip-and-fall case where both the plaintiff and the defendant were negligent, the jury usually allocates damages as a percentage. However, different states follow different comparative negligence models when the plaintiff is partially at-fault.
7. How Long Will My Case Take to Resolve?
It can take anywhere from a few months to several years to resolve a slip-and-fall case. A slip-and-fall claim involving simple injuries may be settled in a few months. However, if your case goes to trial, the process can take years. A slip-and-fall lawsuit is driven by a variety of actors, making it difficult to predict the exact timeline of a given case. In most cases, settlements are less expensive compared to the lengthy litigation process. Therefore, most cases involving injuries sustained on the private property will settle out of court. Hiring a competent personal injury lawyer specializing in slip-and-fall claims is a wise thing to do, even if your case is likely to settle.
Slip-and-fall accidents occur fairly often. A slip-and-fall case may arise when you slip, trip, or fall on someone else’s property. Although each slip-and-fall lawsuit is different, there are common legal points to note in every case. We have enlisted here seven slip-and-fall accidents FAQs that will help you to prepare your case correctly.
Rachel Oliver is a freelance writer from Florida, who loves to write about topics like personal injury law, automobile accidents law, and medical negligence law. Currently, she is writing on behalf of a civil trial attorney, Christopher Jayson, Founder at JFSW Law. He has tremendous trial experience in cases involving automobile, truck and motorcycle accidents, inadequate security and premise liability, products liability, medical malpractice, and commercial litigation.