When people think of the phrase “head over heels” it’s usually used in reference to someone who has fallen in love. But long before it was associated with this joyful condition, to fall head over heels simply meant that someone had fallen over and was temporarily wrong side up, most frequently caused by a slip & fall accident. While it might be easy to say “well, just dust yourself off and get back up,” the truth is that even a little tumble can cause injuries that don’t allow the victim to get back up.
Is It Really Possible To File A Slip & Fall Lawsuit?
Yes, in many cases, if negligence caused the slip and fall to occur, then it is possible for the victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. In the eyes of the law, negligence occurs if someone fails to do what is reasonable to prevent another person from coming to harm. When applying this to premises law, it means that anyone who owns or manages a property must keep it free from hazards, or if a hazard can’t immediately be remedied, place warning signs around the area to prevent a visitor from coming upon it. For example, if a drink is spilled in a restaurant and no one cleans it up, then a patron steps in the liquid and falls, the owner of the restaurant may be held liable for any injuries sustained by that patron.
The most common causes of this type of accident include:
- ice and snow
- spilled Liquids
- unrestrained cords
- loose carpeting or tiles
- unstable or broken steps
- broken handrails
- uneven sidewalks
In each case, the person in charge of the property is expected to discover the issue within a reasonable amount of time and correct it.
What Is Considered Reasonable?
There is no exact standard for what is considered reasonable simply because no two properties are exactly alike. However, to give you an example, it would be reasonable to expect that the owner of a small ice cream shop would discover with an hour that someone had left ice cream to melt on the floor, creating a slippery spot that anyone may step on. It is not reasonable for the owner of a thousand-acre farm would discover a newly formed crack in the pavement of one of ten barns within an hour.
What Is A Slip & Fall Lawsuit Worth?
The amount of money that may be obtained by a plaintiff depends on the losses that they have sustained. Losses may include the money needed for past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and even non-monetary losses such as physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
The most common injuries sustained by the plaintiffs in these cases are also some of the most expensive to treat. Take the following into consideration:
Traumatic Brain Injury
Did you know that if a TBI results in permanent changes to a plaintiff’s vision, movement, hearing, or even personality, that they may require more than $3 million in medical care over the remainder of their lives? There aren’t many people who can afford that kind of care.
Although a very common injury, the cost of care for just one broken bone with no complications can cost a patient tens of thousands of dollars. If complications do arise, that amount can easily skyrocket.
Just like a TBI, the damage done to the spine or spinal cord can be irreversible and can impact how the patient lives their everyday lives. The treatments needed may include physical therapy, surgery, or at home nursing and can easily create medical bills that reach more than a $1 million.
Outside of medical expenses, if the plaintiff is unable to return to work, they will sustain the loss of the income they would have expected to make in addition to any bonuses or paid time off.
How Can An Attorney Help Me?
Attorneys don’t just file paperwork. Together with a client, an attorney can:
Reviews The Facts
Every detail of the accident will be reviewed, including medical records, video surveillance, photographs of the scene or injuries, and any reports made about the incident.
Speak With The Insurance Company
In many cases, the property owner will file a claim with the insurance company providing coverage of their premises. But the insurance company isn’t on the side of the victim – in fact, many times adjusters are trained to find ways to deny or reduce a claim.
Collect Witness Statements
A witness statement can help to support a plaintiff’s claim and can make all the difference if the case does go to trial.
It’s common for the defendants in a case to approach the plaintiffs with an offer to settle. It’s equally common for that offer to be subpar. This offer can always be negotiated higher and almost always are with the help of an attorney.
Prepare The Case For Trial
In the event that a settlement can’t be reached, the case will go to trial where it will be presented for a judge and jury. Preparing evidence and arguments for this is a long process and plaintiffs are much more likely to obtain a favorable outcome if they work with an attorney.
Have You Represented Slip & Fall Clients Before?
In the past we have won large verdicts for slip and fall clients. For example, our team obtained a $10 million dollar verdict for a woman who slipped and fell on train tracks and as a result, was hit by an oncoming train. You can see additional results here.