How does a slip and fall case work?

Categories: Slip and Fall

If you fall on someone else’s property and sustain an injury, you might wonder if you have a slip and fall case. The truth is, the other party may be liable for your injuries. However, if you want compensation, you better be prepared to prove it was the other party’s fault.

Slip and fall cases often occur when a property owner’s neglect leads to a fall that causes an injury to the victim. These incidents are not as uncommon as you might think. In fact, every year, there is an average of two million unintentional emergency room visits in the United States. And some of those are possible slip and fall cases. 

That said, simply falling on someone else’s property does not necessarily mean you have a slip and fall case. That is why you need an attorney who specializes in these types of cases to represent you. Before deciding whether you have a suit, let us look at the types of slip and fall cases.

What Type of Accidents Are Covered in Slip and Fall Cases?

The term “slip and fall” is a bit misleading. These types of cases cover more than only slipping and falling. Slip and fall might make you think of losing your footing on a freshly mopped floor or ice on the sidewalk outside of the grocery store. However, that is not the only type of fall covered in a slip and fall case.

Another type of slip and fall case includes trips and falls. For example, maybe one trips over a raised crack in the sidewalk in front of a business. Perhaps an object is lying in your path that you do not see. If those cause you to trip and fall, you might have a case.

When thinking of slip and fall types, step and fall cases also fit into that category. Examples of these types could include a pothole in your path or a missing step on a set of stairs.

The similar theme among all these cases is that someone has fallen and the property owner might be responsible. Please remember this is a simplification. Slip and fall cases are complicated, and the best thing you can do is consult a qualified attorney as soon as possible.

Prerequisites for Slip and Fall Injury Cases 

“Who owns the property?” is one of the biggest questions to ask while building a slip and fall case. To bring your case against the right people or organization, you need to note exactly where you fell and fault needs to be determined.

There are three types of property categories to choose from:

Individual property 

Individual property is more commonly referred to as residential property. This category includes owner-occupied properties as well as rental properties. 

Here are a few things a tenant or guest must highlight in cases regarding individual property:

  • The owner or landlord controls the condition that caused the fall
  • The repair of the cause was not unreasonably difficult or expensive
  • It was reasonable to predict such an injury would occur
  • The owner or landlord’s failure to act was to blame for your fall

Commercial property

If you fall inside or in front of a business, commercial property rules may apply. 

In this case, your documentation must show the following:

  • The business caused the condition that led to the fall
  • The business was negligent in not cleaning up or clearing the known danger
  • The business should have known about the danger as part of general maintenance of their property

Government property 

Falling on government property, whether that be local, state, or federal, follows its own set of slip and fall rules. Government agencies have laws in place to protect them from lawsuits. 

So, if you have been in a slip and fall accident on government property, consult our attorneys for specifics on your case.

We have experience in all levels of slip and fall cases and are familiar with the laws surrounding such claims.

What Compensations You Can Claim in Slip and Fall Injury Case

Noting where you fell through documentation and pictures is vital when bringing your lawsuit to court. The total compensation you receive will depend on the extent of your injuries and the location of your fall.

Every incident is different, and there are several items to consider when we seek compensation on your behalf. The sources of compensation could include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pay for lost time at work
  • Pain and suffering

Again, your individual case may vary, so it is important to contact our offices and let us help you.

Immediate Steps to Take If You Get into a Slip and Fall Accident

If you have a slip and fall accident, of course you want representation. That said, you need to take a few key steps before picking up the phone. Since your reaction may impact your future case, be sure to take note of these steps.

1.  Getting medical help

Your first task after a slip and fall incident is to seek medical attention. You want to make sure that your injuries are not only properly tended to, but you also need a record of the treatment you receive. If you decide to file a case, your medical records will serve as evidence in your favor.

2.  Recording and preserving evidence 

Another critical thing to do is to document everything. Where exactly were you when you fell? What caused your fall? Take pictures of the area and make a note of the circumstances surrounding your accident. 

While your memory is fresh, write down everything that you remember about the incident. Take your clothes and shoes off and place them in storage. You want to keep all the evidence from the day in a safe place so that you have these items if you need them.

3. Informing the authorities

Having your say about an incident is not necessarily enough to make your case. If you slip and fall, inform the property owner and authorities right away. You will need a written record from a third party as part of your evidence package.

The more detailed your evidence, the stronger your case should be.

4. Collecting information for your case

On that same vein, collect all the information you can surrounding your accident. If anyone witnessed your fall, gather all their contact information and statements regarding what they saw.

It may surprise you how valuable this information can be to your case. Remember, it is your responsibility to prove what happened. If you decide to sue, you want to be prepared to furnish your attorney with everything they need to help you.

5. Not disclosing details to the public on any platform 

It might be tempting to turn to social media and the public and tell your story – do not do this. Anything you say or post that is different from your official case will work against you. Stay calm, do not discuss blame, and do not give a statement or tell your story to anyone. Speak with an experienced attorney first.

The same goes for speaking with the property owner and the insurance company. The only communication you have with the property owner should be to tell them you were hurt and get their statement.

6. Contacting a competent lawyer

Above all, you want a knowledgeable attorney on your side. Slip and falls, like most other legal cases, are detailed and complex and are best handled by experienced professionals. They know the ins and outs of slip and fall cases, what to do, and what not to do.

Your attorney will guide you through the slip and fall case process to bring you the best result possible. While there are no guarantees of compensation, you can do yourself a favor and give yourself the best chance to prevail by hiring a legal team with experience in slip and fall cases.

How Much Time Does It Take for a Case Settlement?

The legal process can be slow. It is the nature of our judicial system. Luckily, an experienced slip and fall attorney knows the quickest route to getting your voice heard.

That is not to say filing your suit and receiving a judgment will be quick. There are many factors to consider, such as:

  • Determining responsibility
  • The clarity of your case
  • The number of people involved
  • Your evidence

With these items in mind, it is important to have all the elements of your case organized and complete. An attorney can show you how to navigate slip and fall lawsuit process.

How to Win a Slip and Fall Case?

If you have been injured in a Palm Beach County slip and fall, I encourage you to contact me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call (561) 983-4395 now.

Disclaimer

You should not take any information in this blog as legal advice in any situation. If you need expertise for a specific issue of yours, contact a qualified Personal Injury attorney.