Did You Incur Serious Injuries When You Slipped and Fell?
In most situations, slips and falls are just a normal part of life. You get up, dust yourself off, and continue about your day — maybe with an extra bruise to show for it.
But some slips and falls can be much more dangerous and detrimental. Some slips and falls result in ambulance rides, hospital stays, and lengthy recoveries. If you have recently had a slip or a fall that resulted in surgery, an amputation, disability, or another serious medical issue, you may deserve compensation for these injuries and the time you missed from work.
Below, we’ve outlined what you should do if you recently incurred serious injuries after a slip and fall accident and how you can receive the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents or trip and fall accidents are incidents in which someone slips, falling to the ground because they lost their balance. This may mean that they fell on loose gravel, a root coming out of the ground, a puddle of liquid, ice, or another obstacle.
Keep in mind that not all slips and falls constitute a legal “slip and fall accident” in which you may be eligible for monetary compensation. Legally, slip and fall accidents refer to something specific: slips or falls that occur on the property of another person or entity (like a business) and those that cause a serious personal injury.
Most of the time, this means that legal “slip and fall accidents” happen on the property of a business. For example, if someone slips on a patch of ice outside a grocery store and breaks their arms, causing them to be unable to perform their occupation as a piano player, this would be a personal injury case that could be taken to court. The piano player would be the plaintiff in this case: the person who fell, was injured, and is suing. They would be suing the grocery store for damages because of their personal injuries.
Most likely, the piano player plaintiff would win their case as long as negligence could be proven on the part of the grocery store. If the store knew the parking lot was prone to icing over but did not make it clear to their patrons that would be the proven negligence. If they indeed won their case, they would receive monetary compensation for their medical bills and monetary compensation for their lost income and lost work compensation.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Slips and falls can happen for such a myriad of reasons that it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why a given slip or fall happens. On the other hand, this is the exact obligation of proving your personal injury case in court: you must be able to prove that your slip or fall (and subsequent injuries) occurred because of the negligence of the business where you slipped and fell.
Naturally, this means taking your case to court and providing evidence. You need to essentially “build your case” against the defendant (the business you are suing for negligence).
You may opt to do this yourself; however, being one’s own attorney rarely results in a win in court. Most businesses will have an expert lawyer or a team of expert lawyers on retainer, which means they are at-the-ready if someone sues them. The larger the business is the bigger and better lawyers they will have to represent them.
On the other hand, with most serious injuries that occur because of a slip and fall where negligence was the cause of the accident, you can win your case and receive thousands in damages. You just need the help of a lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you prove that the business was negligent in their actions and that that negligence contributed greatly to your slip or fall.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Proving negligence often comes down to evidence, and this is where having an experienced lawyer on your side becomes so important. A lawyer can bolster your case so that obvious negligence can be proven on the part of the defendant.
Similarly, your lawyer can help you gather the right evidence yourself. For example, you’ll need copies of medical records, pictures of the scene of the fall or slip, and possibly additional information and investigation on the defendant in question. If you cannot prove negligence in a personal injury case, you cannot expect to win and receive damages.
Proving a Link Between a Slip or Fall and Serious Injury
In addition to proving negligence on the part of the defendant, you and your lawyer will also need to provide evidence of a clear link between your injuries and the slip or fall. In some cases, the defendant (the entity you are suing) may attempt to counter your case by saying that you already had the injuries you’re claiming before the date of the slip or fall.
Similarly, remember that in a slip and fall case (or any other personal injury case), it’s not uncommon for the symptoms of injury to not show up until several days, weeks, or months after the date of the slip or fall incident. For example, if you fell and hit your head, you may have suffered a concussion and brain damage without knowing it right away.
In a situation like this, it is a perfectly legal action to sue for damages just as you would if your injuries were instantly recognizable (a broken leg, for example). On the other hand, you’ll need to be ready for the defendant and their lawyers to counter that any latent injuries you are claiming are not actually related to the slip or fall incident in question.
Again, a skilled attorney can help you prove in court that your injuries were directly caused by the slip or fall.
Deciding Whether You Have a Legitimate Case
To learn more about slips and falls and how you can be confident about receiving the damages you deserve for your injuries, talk to a lawyer today. Falling or slipping because of the negligence of someone else shouldn’t mean that you deserve to be punished in life. Serious injuries from slips and falls can mean thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and additional pain and suffering. Get the compensation you deserve by speaking with an experienced lawyer today.
AUTHOR: Farrar, Hennesy & Tanner, LLC
Copyright Farrar, Hennesy & Tanner, LLC
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.