Slip and fall accidents are incredibly common. In fact, slip and fall accidents result in over 1 million hospital visits each year. Not only do slip and fall accidents result in many hospital trips, but they also are the leading cause of lost days from work. Many falls are caused by floors and flooring materials and are not the fault of the person who is injured. If you have suffered injuries due to a slip and fall accident, you should consider speaking to an attorney, especially if you have extensive injuries. Read on to learn when you might need to hire a slip and fall attorney.
1. Fault Is Unclear
Determining who is at fault in a slip and fall accident is difficult. The owner of a property will do everything they can to deny that they were at fault unless, of course, their liability is crystal clear.
If you are walking into a business and you slip and fall, you may not remember how you ended up on the ground, as it probably happened quickly. One minute you’re walking, and the next you may be laying on the ground with people around you.
There are so many different things that could have caused your slip and fall, such as a wet floor, defective flooring, loose rugs, snow or ice that hasn’t been properly removed or treated, or even your own shoes. Most property owners will try to say that it was your fault, and not theirs, that you fell.
An attorney will need to conduct an investigation to determine who is at fault. They will likely examine the area where you fell, take pictures, talk to witnesses, and listen to your account. If the floor was recently mopped and there was no wet floor sign, for example, it might seem that the property owner is at fault, but you need an attorney to determine this and identify if any laws or local ordinances were broken.
2. The Insurance Company Will Not Cooperate
Insurance companies want you to settle and they want you to do it quickly and for as little money as possible. Their main focus is their bottom line, so they want you to take a settlement and go away because once you accept, you can’t change your mind later.
In many cases, they’ll offer you a settlement quickly after the accident for an amount much less than what you fairly deserve. Resist the urge to accept this and instead, speak to an attorney because they will be able to assess what a fair amount is.
If the insurance company refuses to negotiate with you, you may also need an attorney to step in. If the insurance company won’t work with your attorney, you can take the case to trial,
3. You Aren’t Sure How Much Compensation to Ask For
While you can easily calculate the cost of your medical expenses as a result of the slip and fall, what about future medical care? Will you need long-term care or rehabilitation? Do you need any special equipment to help you get around or to make your home accessible?
What about missed work? How much work did you miss as a result of the accident and will you miss more? An attorney will be able to calculate your lost wages and loss of future wages to come up with an appropriate amount.
Based on the characteristics of your case and their experience with similar slip and fall cases, they’ll know what to ask for and will likely think of things that you never did, ensuring that you are adequately compensated for your losses.
4. You Can’t Communicate with the Insurance Company (or You Don’t Want To)
If you are not in the mental state to communicate with the insurance company, your attorney can handle all of that for you. In fact, once you hire an attorney, they will take care of all of the communication and negotiation with the insurance company. If the insurance company tries to contact you, you can refuse to speak with them and tell them to contact your attorney.
Once your attorney notifies them that all communication should go through them, the insurance company has to honor that.
5. Your Chances of Success Are Higher With an Attorney
Although you can choose to navigate the legal process on your own, it is not advised. Research has found that millions of people who are pro see litigants (meaning they do not have a lawyer) have their cases thrown out or they lose what should have been a successful case. Because there is no constitutional requirement to counsel in civil cases, some people try to go it alone and it does not go well.
With an attorney, your chances of success are higher and you are likely to receive a higher settlement than if you negotiated with the insurance company on your own. Their years of experience in handling slip and fall cases give them the knowledge of what your case is worth and what they should fight for on your behalf.
6. There’s No Fee Unless You Win
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that they do not get paid unless you win your case, so you do not have to come up with any money upfront for them to take your case.
If you win, they will typically get 1/3 of your settlement amount once you receive the money. If you lose the case, you owe them nothing. This should give you the peace of mind that your attorney is there to work on your behalf and fight hard for you.
Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you have suffered injuries due to a slip and fall, you need an attorney. You might be tempted to try to navigate the legal process on your own, but a slip and fall lawsuit is best handled by an experienced slip and fall attorney. If you want the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries, you’ll forego representing yourself and seek counsel.
Here at Sweet Law, we handle all types of personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.