Slip and fall cases are some of the most common personal injury cases across the country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that over one million Americans have a slip and fall accident per year. Additionally, around 17,000 people die due to a slip and fall accident every year. These accidents occur far too often and could be the cause of a property manager’s negligence.
What Constitutes a Slip and Fall Accident?
“Slip and fall” is a phrase coined to describe a personal injury that occurs on public or private property due to a trip or a slip. These types of personal injury cases are usually caused by negligence, for example, mopping the floor and not placing a sign to notify people, leading to a person slipping, falling, and breaking a bone. However, these kinds of accidents are not limited to slipping, per se. A floor or carpet could be placed unevenly and cause someone to trip over it and fall.
Any dangerous surroundings on the property that could cause someone to injure themselves where they normally wouldn’t constitute a slip and fall case. A few examples of these could include:
- Bad lighting
- Torn carpeting
- Steep staircases
- Cracks in the pavement or uneven pavement
- Inclement weather
A slip and fall accident could occur under any of these conditions and could lead to serious medical consequences for the victim.
What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident
After you have experienced a slip and fall accident, there are a few important steps that you will need to take.
- Seek medical attention- Do not let your injuries go unattended. If you do not seek medical attention immediately, there is a chance that you are not catching and treating an important injury.
- Take photos- Taking pictures of your injuries can be useful if you choose to move forward with your case. It can be additionally helpful to take photos of the accident site immediately after the accident happens, if possible.
- File an accident report- Whether your accident happened on public or private property, filing an accident report can alert the appropriate parties to potential liability.
- Keep documentation- If you choose to move forward with your case, be sure to document any medical records, accident reports, and photographic evidence pertaining to your injuries.
- Contact an attorney- Hiring a reputable attorney and providing them with the necessary documentation can help make sure that they push for a settlement representing the damages you have sustained.
Contacting an Attorney
Hiring an attorney to handle your case is the best way to ensure that you will not be taken advantage of. They will also help you avoid common mistakes that many people without representation make.
After initial contact with your attorney, they will go over your case and make sure that it is within the statute of limitations, appropriate documentation of your injuries, and that your case is substantial enough to move forward with. Some evidence or documentation needed to prove a slip and fall case include:
- Medical records/ medical bills associated with the accident
- Accident report
- Witness statements (if applicable)
- Pictures of the scene and your injuries
- Security camera footage (if applicable)
Once all of those requirements are satisfied, and all documentation is turned over to your attorney, they will seek to point out any liable party or parties. Depending on where the accident occurred, many people and companies could be held liable. Liability can be difficult to prove, but it typically falls on the property owner. Of course, there are many instances in which the property owner could not have prevented an accident from occurring. For example, if there was a big snowstorm and ice covered the majority of hard surfaces in your area, slipping and falling on it is not the property owner’s fault. However, if the accident occurs as a direct result of negligence on the property owner’s part, it is easier to hold them liable.
Your case can go in a few different directions. If the liable party outlined by your attorney chooses to go forth with settling the case outside of court, the two of you, along with your respective representation, will exchange correspondence and decide on a settlement amount. In this case, you will still need adequate evidence to back up the amount you are asking for.
Typically, plaintiffs in slip and fall settlements receive anywhere from $15,000 to $45,000. Every case is different, and while that is the normal compensation range, outliers can occur.
If you do not wish to settle your case or the liable party refuses to settle, you may file a lawsuit against them. Your attorney will provide all the evidence you have given to them and seek appropriate compensation for the financial and personal damages you have sustained because of the injury. Some of these damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Future costs relating to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
All of these examples are reasons to pursue. There is also the option of having loved ones speak on the pain and suffering caused by your accident.
One woman sued Target for her slip and fall in 2015 that caused her so much damage that she will continue to need regular steroid injections. Her medical bills surpassed $63,000, and she was seeking $75,000 from Target to cover her medical expenses. Because it was so difficult to prove Target’s liability, no official settlement was reached. In 2018, the plaintiff demanded that her case be remanded, and her motion was denied. Target has offered her around $24,000 for her medical expenses; however, this is not enough to cover her past medical bills associated with her injuries, let alone her future medical issues and steroid injections.
Due to the fact that proving liability in slip and fall cases is so difficult, if you are taking your case to court, it is very important that you have a lawyer who is well-versed in cases similar to yours and that you have convincing evidence to support your case.
While you’re waiting to win or settle your case, money may be a constant daily strain on you and your loved ones. If you need help funding your case, contact The Legal Funding Group to help ease any financial stress you may have while your case remains open.