Is It Hard to Win a Slip and Fall Case?

May 31, 2023 | David Abels
Is It Hard to Win a Slip and Fall Case?

Slip and fall accidents often occur when property owners fail to maintain their premises carefully and safely. When a property visitor suffers injuries in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, they can file a legal claim against the property owner directly—or against their insurance company. If the insurance company accepts fault for the accident, they may pay the accident victim various monetary damages, depending on the nature and extent of their injuries.

You have legal rights and options if you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s premises. A knowledgeable slip and fall attorney in your area can help you file the necessary legal claim and pursue the monetary compensation and damages you deserve.

If the property owner’s insurance company refuses to offer you sufficient monetary damages, your attorney can take action by promptly filing a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf. Your lawyer can then work to resolve your slip and fall case efficiently.

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Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Frequently Happen?

Slip and fall accidents may occur just about anywhere, on both private and public premises. Slip and falls on private premises usually happen in kitchens and bathrooms, on staircases, or on sidewalks outside the property.

In public places, slip and fall accidents may occur on sidewalks surrounding the business premises or in parking lots or garages. Indoor slip and fall accidents on business premises are prevalent at bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping centers, where patrons may spill food or liquid onto the ground, creating a fall hazard for other visitors.

If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall occurrence in one of these locations, a skilled personal injury attorney can help. Your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your slip and fall accident and determine if the property owner acted unreasonably. If you can file a personal injury claim for damages, your lawyer can maximize your total monetary recovery.

Common Injuries in Slip and Falls

Slip and fall accidents frequently happen entirely out of the blue and when property visitors least expect them. As a result, when someone suddenly falls, they may not have advance notice to brace themselves. The injuries that an accident victim suffers in a slip and fall occurrence typically depend on how much force they hit the ground and how they fall to the ground.

Some of the most common injuries that slip and fall accident victims suffer include traumatic head injuries, soft tissue contusions, road rash injuries, bruises, bone fractures, rib fractures, paralysis injuries, and spinal cord damage.

If you suffered any of these injuries in a recent slip and fall on someone else’s premises, you should immediately seek the medical care you need. For example, the responding medical provider can order imaging studies (like brain scans or X-rays), physically examine you, and render a complete medical diagnosis at an urgent care facility or hospital emergency room.

The doctor may also prescribe additional medical treatment and medications for you. Your attorney can help you file the appropriate claim or lawsuit once you complete your treatment.

Following a slip and fall accident, the injured individual has the legal burden of proof in any personal injury case they file. Specifically, the property visitor must establish various legal elements to recover monetary damages for their injuries.

The first element of proof in a slip and fall case is the duty element. In other words, the injured property visitor must establish that the property owner owed them a legal duty of care. The duty of care that a property owner must show a property visitor depends on whether they are a business invitee, licensee, or trespasser.

A business invitee is someone who enters the property to benefit the owner. Common examples of business invitees include shoppers at a grocery store or patrons at a local bar or restaurant.

A property owner must thoroughly inspect their premises for the benefit of business invitees. If they come across a dangerous condition or defect during their inspection, they must take reasonable steps to promptly repair the defective condition—or at least warn visitors about it.

Moreover, if the premises owner is aware of a pre-existing defective condition on the property, they have a duty to remedy that condition or warn about it within a reasonable amount of time.

Property owners owe licensees—or social guests—a similar legal duty of care. A social guest is on another person’s premises for reasons other than the owner’s benefit. A property owner owes a social guest a similar duty of care to a business invitee. Specifically, the property owner must warn about or correct known hazardous conditions within a sufficient amount of time.

Finally, trespassers, unlike licensees and business invitees, are individuals who go onto someone else’s premises without the owner’s verbal or written permission. In most cases, a property owner does not owe a legal duty of care to a trespasser. However, if the trespasser is a known trespasser, such as a child who frequents the premises, the property owner may owe them some legal duty of reasonable care under the circumstances.

In addition, a property visitor’s legal status on the property may shift while on the premises. For example, if an individual enters a store or other public space during regular business hours, they are a business invitee. However, if they choose to remain on the premises after-hours, they are likely a trespasser. In the latter instance, the property owner probably does not owe them a legal duty of care while trespassing.

In addition to establishing that a property owner owes them a legal duty of care, an injured property visitor must show that the property owner breached (or violated) their legal duty. For example, a property owner might have failed to clean up a food spill on the property within a reasonable amount of time, causing the slip and fall accident to occur.

Next, the injured property visitor must establish that as a direct result of the owner’s breach, their slip and fall accident occurred. Finally, property visitors must prove that they suffered one or more physical injuries due to the property owner’s duty-of-care violation.

Establishing the elements of proof in a slip and fall case is often highly burdensome. This is because property owners and their insurance companies will not do anything to assist you.

In fact, they are your direct adversary in any personal injury claim or lawsuit that you file. Therefore, you should have skilled legal representation in your corner at every stage of your slip and fall case.

Your lawyer can help you introduce the appropriate evidence to establish your legal burden in a slip and fall case. They can also retain a medical expert who can causally relate your injuries directly to your slip and fall accident.

The first step to recovering the monetary damages you need after a slip and fall is to file a claim—usually with the negligent property owner’s insurance company.

When you file a legal claim, your lawyer will need to introduce various documents, including:

  • Copies of any police reports or investigation reports about your slip and fall accident
  • Witness statements regarding your slip and fall
  • Medical records that describe the treatment that you underwent after your accident
  • Copies of your medical bills
  • Lost income documents
  • Photographs of visible injuries
  • Pictures of the incident scene

Once the insurance company adjuster handling your slip and fall claim reviews these documents, they will decide if the insurance company will admit fault for the accident. Sometimes, insurance companies raise challenges to slip and fall accidents, claiming that the hazard was open and obvious and that the property visitor should have noticed the danger before they fell. Sometimes, your lawyer can present expert testimony, such as from an accident reconstructionist, to counter the insurance company’s claims.

If the insurance company adjuster does accept fault for your accident, they may make an offer to resolve your case via settlement. However, most first-time settlement offers are meager and do not adequately compensate slip and fall victims for their injuries and ongoing losses. Therefore, your attorney will likely need to negotiate with the insurance company multiple times to obtain an increased settlement offer.

If that does not happen, your lawyer can threaten the insurance company with litigation and, if necessary, resolve your case at a civil jury trial, mediation hearing, or binding arbitration proceeding. Regardless of your decision, your attorney will advocate for you every step of the way and help you maximize the total monetary award you receive for your slip and fall injuries.

Monetary Damages for Slip and Fall Injuries

Many slip and fall accidents lead to permanent injuries that affect accident victims for the remainder of their life. Some accident victims need to undergo medical treatment or physical therapy well into the future. They may also experience ongoing pain and other symptoms—or have to rely on pain medication or pain management after their accident.

Fortunately, when negligent property owners cause slip and fall accidents, accident victims may be entitled to recover various types and amounts of monetary damages. The economic damages an accident victim recovers frequently depend on multiple factors, including the specific injuries they suffered in their accident and the cost of their medical treatment. Other potential factors include the circumstances surrounding the accident and how the accident victim falls to the ground.

First, slip and fall victims can recover monetary damages for their related medical expenses, including the anticipated medical costs that a qualified medical provider determines are accurate. If an accident victim had to miss time from work, they might be eligible to receive monetary damages for their lost income or loss of earning capacity.

Next, slip and fall accident victims may receive monetary damages for their inconvenience, mental distress, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, loss of spousal companionship, and loss of the ability to use an injured body part (such as from a spinal cord injury and paralysis).

They can also receive monetary damages for permanent disability or disfigurement and lifetime care costs if they must reside at a nursing facility or assisted living center permanently. Finally, if a slip and fall victim suffers visible scarring, they may be eligible to bring a claim for embarrassment or humiliation.

An experienced slip and fall attorney can help you maximize your damages via claims filing or litigation processes.

Contact a Skilled Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today for More Information

Gary Annes Attorney for Car Accident Cases near Chicago
Gary Annes Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer

Many accident victims are unsure what to do or where to turn following a slip and fall. Consequently, accident victims must have prompt legal representation in their personal injury matters, increasing their chances of obtaining a successful result.

Moreover, accident victims only have two years from their slip and fall accident date to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit seeking monetary damages. Failing to file a timely lawsuit will likely result in a complete dismissal of your case. Therefore, you should immediately retain a skilled lawyer to handle your claim.

Even if your case is straightforward, it is best to have the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are often large organizations with vast resources and deep pockets. You can bet they have lawyers working for them, looking for any reason not to give you the compensation you deserve. Retaining the help of an attorney can ensure that you receive that compensation.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can help you investigate your accident circumstances, file a claim with the property owner or their insurance company, and negotiate a fair settlement offer. If litigation becomes a necessary step in your case, your attorney can represent you at your court hearing or arbitration proceeding, introduce favorable evidence, and advocate for the best possible result on your behalf.

Abels & Annes, P.C.

Address: 100 N LaSalle St #1710,
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (855) 529-2442

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