Tips for Winning Your Slip and Fall CaseApril 07, 2017
Although slip and fall injuries often seem minor at first, they can develop over time into chronic or even major injuries. This is why it’s essential to know the steps to take after a slip or fall that will help you win your case and get the compensation you deserve.
Below, you’ll find out how to work with your Slip and Fall Lawyer to win your slip and fall settlement.
Step 1: Document the Scene
Taking notes and documenting the scene as soon as possible after your slip or fall is essential. By taking these steps right away, the property owner won’t have time to fix the hazard that caused your slip or fall before you gather documentation.
Write down all details of the accident in vivid detail, noting any hazards that could have led to your accident including problems with stairs, sidewalks, lighting, flooring, railings, or other aspects. If weather conditions were related to your slip or fall, make note of this.
Take witness statements about what happened and gather contact information so your lawyer can contact witnesses if necessary. Also take photos of your injuries, damaged or blood-stained clothing, and the location where you slipped or fell. If your injuries prevent you from taking photos, ask a friend or family member to do it right away.
You should also note the property owner’s response to your accident, especially if they offered to pay your medical expenses or apologized for your injuries, as these can be submitted as evidence that they admitted fault.
After you leave the accident site, visit a doctor right away and make sure to mention all of your injuries and locations where you feel pain. Your doctor will also be able to identify potential areas of injury that have not yet appeared and document your injuries so you can use them as evidence. Keep track of any treatments you undergo.
Step 2: Consider Whether to Consult With a Lawyer
Slip and fall cases are complicated, so it can be hard to know on your own whether or not you have a strong case. Before going to court, working with a personal injury lawyer is key.
Before visiting your lawyer, understanding how courts determine whether a property owner is at fault can be helpful. If the property owner was responsible for the hazard that caused your injuries or did not take proper steps (such as making repairs) to prevent your slip or fall from occurring, they may be responsible.
If the owner was not aware of the hazard, it will be difficult to prove your case. If they were aware that the conditions were dangerous, you’ll have a stronger case. If a reasonable person would have noticed the hazard and taken steps to fix it, but the property owner did not do so within a reasonable amount of time, the owner may be held responsible by the court.
It’s important to remember that if you were at fault for your injuries in any way, this will work against you. If a reasonable person would have seen and avoided the hazard but you did not, you may be held partially responsible.
Step 3: Contact a Lawyer
To win a slip and fall case, it’s essential to talk to a lawyer. They will help you understand your legal rights and improve your chances of getting the maximum compensation by helping you build a strong case.
Get referrals from friends and family and do online research to find a few good lawyers. Then schedule free consultations. Take any evidence with you so you can describe what happened in detail. Most likely your lawyer will work on a contingency basis where they will not be paid unless you win your case. Set up the fee agreement in writing before you hire anyone.
Step 4: Work With Your Lawyer
Once you’ve hired a lawyer, you’ll need to provide them with as much evidence as possible including photos, witness statements, medical records and notes. Be honest about everything that happened, including anything that reflects negatively on your actions. This will help your lawyer better respond to the defense.
Throughout the process, it’s important to remember that your lawyer is an expert and you should take their advice. Follow their tips for how to act in court and what to wear, even if their ideas seem unimportant to you. During negotiations, act professionally. All of these things can increase your settlement.
If you receive a settlement offer, discuss it with your lawyer. If they tell you a settlement is probably as much as you can hope to be compensated, it’s your choice whether to agree or disagree. If you or your lawyer feels that a settlement is unfair, your lawyer can negotiate a higher number.
Now that you know how to win your slip and fall case, find out more by downloading our free personal injury recovery kit or book a free consultation with a slip and fall lawyer.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.