If you have slipped and fallen at a local store and have suffered injuries, you might wonder whether you should hire an attorney or try to negotiate with the store on your own. Many people are injured in slip-and-fall accidents each year because of the negligence of others. When you are in this type of situation, you should understand the factors and key issues of slip-and-fall cases to help you to determine whether you need to hire a personal injury attorney. DiCindio Law represents people who have suffered injuries in slip-and-fall accidents and will work hard to recover full compensation for your losses.
What qualifies as a slip-and-fall case?
Many people slip, trip, and fall each year in their homes, in public, at other people’s homes, at work, and in businesses. However, not every accident will qualify as a slip-and-fall claim. Some falls result solely from the victims’ carelessness and are not caused by the actions of others.
Within personal injury law, slip-and-fall claims involve another party’s negligence. The property owner or possessor must have negligently failed to meet the standard of care to maintain his or her premises in a reasonably safe condition, to promptly fix hazardous conditions, or to avoid causing dangerous conditions without proper signage and other safety measures.
Common causes of slip-and-fall accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents are very common and can happen almost anywhere. These types of accidents are especially dangerous to the elderly. Older adults are more fragile and have balance and mobility issues that place them at higher risks of serious injuries in falls. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of $50 billion is spent on the nonfatal falls of older adults each year, and an additional $754 million is spent on fatal falls of the elderly.
While falls can be caused by many things, there are some common causes of slip-and-fall accidents. Some of the most common causes include the following:
- Uneven surfaces
- Missing or loose handrails
- Inadequate lighting
- Broken steps
- Broken floor tiles
- Torn or bunched carpets
- Slippery floors
- Broken sidewalks
- Accumulated ice or snow
- Holes in parking lots
When a fall is caused by one of these types of issues, an experienced attorney will know how to investigate the claim to identify the potentially liable parties.
Common injuries in slip-and-fall accidents
People can suffer from many different injuries when they fall. Falling can result in broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and head injuries. Some of the types of injuries that are especially prevalent among the elderly are hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Falling can also cause people to suffer psychological injuries. People may develop a fear of falling or of heights that affects their private lives.
What are the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer?
Businesses and insurance companies engage in numerous tactics to try to avoid liability in slip-and-fall claims. Even if you think that the property owner’s liability is clear, these types of cases can require extensive investigation and the help of experts. It can be difficult to prove legal fault. Experienced personal injury lawyers who regularly handle slip-and-fall cases understand what is required to establish the property owners’ negligence. If you try to settle your claim on your own, the insurance company will do everything that it can to take advantage of you.
Insurance companies and businesses often have teams of defense attorneys who are ready to vigorously defend against premises liability claims. An experienced attorney understands the various tactics that defense attorneys and insurance companies frequently use. This allows a plaintiff’s attorney to gather the evidence that is needed to support a finding of the property owner’s liability.
Once you have retained a lawyer, one of the first steps that he or she will take is to establish a line of communication with the relevant insurance company. Your lawyer will handle all of the investigation and communication for you so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Some of the things that your attorney might do for you include the following:
- Investigating and photographing the accident site
- Filing reports with the appropriate authorities
- Filing motions for discovery and the preservation of evidence
- Determining what caused your fall to happen
- Gathering medical records that show a causal link between your fall and your accident
- Demonstrating the extent and severity of your resulting injuries through evidence
- Working with experts to show the extent of your losses and the liability of the defendant
- Gathering evidence to dispute any claims that you caused your accident and injuries
When you work with a lawyer, he or she can help you to determine the value of your claim so that you understand whether a settlement offer is reasonable or unfair.
Personal injury lawyers also help their clients to prove the defendants’ liability for accidents and injuries. This involves an analysis of what happened, the risk factors that were involved, and a determination of fault. If a lawyer determines that your fault was caused by your carelessness, he or she will explain that to you. For example, if you tripped because you left your shoelaces untied, that will not be grounds to file a lawsuit against a business. By contrast, if you tripped and fell because of a loose handrail or uneven stairs, a lawyer may be able to recover damages for you.
Securing compensation for slip-and-fall injuries
In some cases, insurance companies will send quick settlement offers to the victims of slip-and-fall accidents. These offers are frequently low-ball offers that are extended by the companies because they want to minimize the amounts that they might otherwise have to pay. A lawyer can properly value your claim so that you can understand whether an offer is unreasonably low. He or she can also negotiate with the insurance company to secure compensation in an amount that fairly compensates you for all of your losses.
Get help from DiCindio Law
Slip-and-fall accidents can leave people suffering from serious injuries. In some cases, they may result in deaths. If you have suffered serious injuries or have lost a loved one in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, you should talk to an attorney with DiCindio Law. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling our law firm at 610.430.3535 or by filling out our contact form online.
The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes to the law that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments or the most complete legal issues for all cases These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended solely for informational purposes.