No, you do not need an attorney for a slip and fall accident. You can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit by yourself, negotiate a settlement, and even represent yourself in court. However, you may face a stressful uphill battle if you are considering taking on a property owner, their insurance company, and potentially their lawyers all by yourself.
Slip and fall cases can be tough to litigate. Fault is not always clear-cut, and a property owner can fight your case, potentially arguing that it was your carelessness or clumsiness that caused your fall.
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), while three out of five people choose to represent themselves in a civil court case, some studies show they are at a distinct disadvantage by doing so.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen because of a property owner’s negligence in various locations, such as:
- Shopping malls
- Parking garages
- Government offices
- Apartment buildings
Slip and fall accidents can cause severe and sometimes permanent injuries, such as brain injuries and serious fractures. If a property owner failed to remedy a hazardous or dangerous condition on their property, causing your accident and injuries, you might have legal recourse. You could potentially hold the property owner accountable for your losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and others.
However, you will need to prove the at-fault party’s negligence with compelling and comprehensive evidence. You will also need to present evidence for your damages and might even have to supply expert witnesses for your case. An attorney working on your behalf can help with all aspects of your case, freeing up your time to focus on recovering from your injuries.
How an Attorney Can Help
Some attorneys work with slip and fall cases on a contingency basis. For you, this means you have no upfront attorney’s fees to pay and, therefore, no financial risk. The attorney will get paid only if they win your case, and you receive a settlement. Other ways in which an attorney can help you with pursuing compensation and proving your case, include but are not limited to:
In the first instance, your attorney can advise you comprehensively and explain your legal options to you. They can recommend your next steps to potentially get justice and compensation.
One of the trickiest parts of a slip and fall claim is proving negligence of the property owner, business, or government entity of the premises where your accident occurred. You must establish who is at fault conclusively and with adequate evidence. A lawyer can help analyze your accident and gather the available evidence needed to prove a property owner’s negligence.
Another important step in holding a negligent property owner to account is proving your damages. This is crucial if you are hoping to recover compensation. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to calculate all your present and potential future damages correctly, especially if you have no legal experience. A lawyer can assess and calculate your past, present, and expected future damages. They will aim to protect you from any losses arising due to someone else’s negligence.
Negotiating a Settlement
Sometimes, finding an out-of-court solution can be advantageous for a plaintiff. However, if you do not know how to negotiate a settlement and are unsure what your actual damages are, you risk being out of pocket in the long run. An insurance company may want to offer you a settlement that you later realize covers only a fraction of your losses. However, once you accept a settlement, you will not be able to take your case to court later. An attorney can handle negotiations with an insurance company for you and review any settlement offers you receive to ensure they meet your needs.
Representing You in Court
According to an article published by The Conversation, going it alone without a lawyer may mean that civil litigants fail to make it through the process, have their case dismissed, or lose what would otherwise have been a winning case.
A lawyer can take care of all the technicalities of filing a court case and ensure that you do not miss any deadlines and that all your documents are in order. They can also represent you professionally in a court of law.
While you do not need an attorney for your slip and fall accident, having professional legal counsel and representation can help you when you are pursuing compensation from a negligent property owner.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Can Work for You
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today to discuss your slip and fall accident with our legal team. Call us at 800-959-1444 for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team members. You can share the details of your situation and ask questions as you consider your next steps.