Slip and fall accidents have become synonymous with suing property owners. The media sometimes portrays this type of accident as a joke and a way for scammers to unrightfully seek compensation from innocent parties. However, many people do not realize that a slip and fall accident could happen to anyone at any place and time. Given the right circumstances, this type of accident could cause serious injury, especially for a senior or someone with serious health conditions. Precautionary information given here can help prepare individuals with steps to follow if such an accident occurs.
Property owners are obligated to maintain buildings, walkways and parking lots in a manner that keeps these surfaces and structures safe for travel. The legal term for this responsibility is premises liability. When individuals are injured by slipping, falling or tripping on someone else’s property because of the owner’s negligence, the injured parties could be entitled to compensation for damages. Such damages include loss of wages from time away from work, medical costs, plus pain and suffering.
Of course, the victims are required to show that the property owner did know or should have known that the areas were dangerous, but did not properly maintain the area. With the assistance of a skilled slip and fall attorney, victims can file a legal claim for the damages suffered.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Among the most common causes of this kind of accident are:
- Poor lighting
- Wet floor surfaces, often with no signs designating a wet floor
- Lack of handrails or other precautionary safety devices
- Poorly maintained walking areas (potholes)
- Malfunctioning elevators or escalators
Where Do Most Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Premises liability claims usually result from accidents that happen in the following locations:
- Office buildings
- Parking lots
- Shopping malls
- Hardware stores
- Department stores
- A home owned by another person
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
These five steps should be followed after a slip and fall accident:
- Seek medical care – Health is the number one priority after an accident. The medical records from a properly documented injury can prove to be invaluable as evidence in a legal case.
- Report the accident – Report the incident to the owner, landlord or manager, and ask for a written report from the individual before leaving.
- Document everything – Get contact information from all potential witnesses. Take pictures, and write out the full recollection of the accident.
- Don’t give any statements – Stay calm, and do not discuss the accident in a detailed manner with the manager. Just give basic facts. Don’t post about the accident on social media. Don’t verbally accept blame or place blame.
- Consult an attorney – These cases can become quite complex, and an experienced, knowledgeable attorney can serve the victim’s interests best.
Should you or a loved one suffer an injury because of a property owner’s negligence, take immediate steps following the slip and fall accident to help ensure you have the strongest foundation for a lawsuit. As soon as possible, write out the details of what happened. Make sure you answer the following questions as well:
- Date and time the accident occurred?
- Existing conditions at the time of the accident?
- Any witnesses? If yes, what’s their contact information?
- Clothes and footwear of the victim at the time?
- Facility where the accident occurred? Inside or outside?
- What flooring or pavement existed? Was it wet or dry?
- Did an obstruction cause the accident?
- Were any store or corporate personnel involved?
Sadly, it is not unheard of for unscrupulous people to try to swindle mom and pop shops by bringing fraudulent claims of being hurt in a slip and fall accident. Due to this type of behavior, it is necessary for true victims to have highly skilled, ethical legal assistance in order to bring and win a legitimate lawsuit.
Settlement in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
Several factors, like liability and negligence, are involved when a slip and fall settlement is being considered. The compensation amount will hinge on various categories such as the intensity of the injury and duration of rehabilitation, medical costs, lost wages, lawyer fees, and pain and suffering.
Three specific issues will help determine the final outcome in such cases:
- Which party or parties are ultimately responsible for the accident?
- Was the responsible party negligent or contributory to the accident?
- Did the victim in any way cause or contribute to his or her own accident?
In order to compensate a victim for damages that are classified as non-monetary, “general compensatory damages” will likely be awarded. This will include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and mental anxiety.
The term “special compensatory damages” is used to describe expenses that the injured party incurred because of the injury. These are awarded in an attempt to restore the victim’s financial state back to the condition it was in before the slip and fall accident. They include:
- Medical expenses
- Lawyer fees
- Future medical costs
- Household expenses and necessities
It should be clear from all of the above information that there are quite a number of issues being considered in settlements for slip and fall accident cases. During the lengthy legal process of these cases, an injured person often loses massive amounts of pay from being unable to work, while medical bills from the accident continue to increase. Plaintiffs who are struggling financially in this manner can seek assistance through The Legal Funding Group by way of a pre-settlement loan.
How Does Pre-Settlement Funding Work?
Plaintiffs who need financial help to cover medical costs and living expenses can look to legal funding as a way to stay afloat financially. Several factors come into play when determining the amount for which the claimant qualifies. If the liability issue is very clear, the plaintiff will likely be pre-approved right away. The following factors help determine the amount:
- How permanent the injuries are
- Extent of treatment and damages
- Medical costs
- Estimated comparative liability
- Status of the case
- Defendant’s insurance policy
After these factors are determined and established, the case value is estimated, and the plaintiff is then notified of the qualified amount.
To Apply for Lawsuit Funding
The Legal Funding Group makes it very easy to apply for slip and fall pre-settlement funding. A simple phone call or completion of our brief online application is all it takes. No credit checks are required.