A slip and fall case is a premises liability case that often requires proving negligence, building a case, negotiating a settlement, and sometimes arguing a case at trial.
Each slip and fall case will go differently, but generally, there are steps in the legal process a lawyer will take to try to win a settlement for their client. A lawyer can give you more specifics on how a slip and fall case works.
Investigating Your Case
The first step in a slip and fall case will be to investigate the case by gathering as much evidence as possible. A lawyer might gather evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, photos of the hazard, medical records, and more to establish the basis for the case.
It might help if you take pictures of the hazard you slipped and fell on. In the case that you are incapacitated, you can have someone else do so.
Building Your Case
After gathering evidence, a lawyer can put the case together to try and get you a fair settlement for your losses.
Evaluating Your Losses
Part of building a solid case is accurately evaluating your losses. This is relatively easy to do with tangible expenses, also known as economic losses. A lawyer can use receipts to prove these expenses, including:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medication
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Property damage
However, depending on the extent of your injuries, you might also be entitled to noneconomic damages. These relate more to the physical and emotional effects the accident had on your life. Some noneconomic damages you might be entitled to include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement or disability
- Loss of consortium
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of death by injuries in adults over age 65. If your loved one died after falling on someone else’s property, you might be able to recover compensation for their funeral and burial expenses.
The most important part of building a slip and fall case is proving the property owner’s negligence. To do this, you generally must prove the property owner caused the hazard, that they knew or should have known about the hazard and fixed it, and that the hazard hurt you because of their negligence.
This might be more difficult for a lawyer to prove if you were on the property illegally, if there were warning signs, or if you were doing something that would have distracted you from the hazard. In other words, if a reasonable person would have spotted the hazard, proving negligence might be more complicated.
However, once a lawyer proves who was at fault for the accident, they can begin negotiating on their client’s behalf.
Negotiating a Settlement
A lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement for you with either the negligent party or their insurance company. Negotiating is a quicker, often cheaper, way to settle a case for all parties involved because both sides pay less in attorney’s fees, filing costs, and administrative costs. Settling is also faster than going to trial.
According to the American Bar Association, about 97% of civil cases settle without going to trial.
Taking Your Case to Trial
While settling is usually the more favorable vehicle of closing a case, sometimes, either the negligent party or their insurance company is unwilling to pay the victim fair compensation for their losses. In these cases, a lawyer might suggest taking the case to trial.
Going to trial could take months and up to years to come to a close, and it is often more stressful. However, if it means getting the settlement you deserve, your lawyer will typically want to argue your case for you. Settlement negotiations continue through this process as well, so even after filing a lawsuit, the case might settle before the two parties reach civil court.
Getting a Slip and Fall Lawyer’s Help
If you are considering filing a slip and fall claim or lawsuit, you might benefit from calling a law firm to evaluate your case. They can tell you your legal options and how a slip and fall case works.
A slip and fall lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you build your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if needed, take your case to court. We are committed to helping victims of negligence seek fair compensation and justice.
For your free, no-obligation consultation, call a member of our team today at 800-959-1444. We work on contingency, so you never owe us anything until your case results in a settlement out of court or a verdict at trial. You do not have to go through the stress of building a slip and fall case alone. Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is here to help.