A personal injury lawyer can prove indispensable in the aftermath of a slip and fall accident. Slip and fall injuries are often traumatic, both physically and mentally. Making matters worse, the process of pursuing compensation can add even more stress and uncertainty.
With a personal injury lawyer at your side, you can know confidently that all the facts are being considered for your case and that the best argument possible is being made as to the other person’s fault. Slip and fall cases can be quite complex, after all, especially when it comes to determining fault, or “liability” as it is known in law.
Read on to learn more about the general structure of a slip and fall case and how a personal injury lawyer can guide you through each step.
Assessing and Documenting Your Injury
One of the first steps in a slip and fall case is to assess the extent of your injuries. You will also want to ensure that they are documented well, such as taking x-rays of any suspected broken bones or sprains.
Without the needed documentation, proving the extent of your injuries becomes more difficult. You may also miss a major potential diagnosis, such as a herniated disc, if you were not thorough after your accident. Many people take an “I’ll be fine, don’t worry about me” attitude at first, only to regret it later when trying to claim compensation for their losses.
A personal injury lawyer can guide you through this process, even recommending certain medical professionals in order to get the most complete, accurate and thoroughly documented diagnosis possible.
Describing the Premises
Your own memory will serve as a powerful tool during your case, but it alone will not be enough.
In addition, you will need to know as much as possible about the reason you slipped or tripped and then fell. What precise time did it occur? Was a slippery substance involved, and was that substance water or something else? If you tripped on a piece of flooring, what was the material and what was its location on the premises? How many employees were present? How was the lighting in the vicinity?
Answers to questions like these can help build a case that the owner of the premises left dangerous conditions. Whether the owner caused it themselves, knew about it and did nothing, or should have known about it as a “reasonable” person can all help determine liability.
Asserting Negligence or Liability
In order to prove that the owner of the premises caused a condition, knew about it, or should have known about it, some tests can be used. By asking questions like the following, a personal injury attorney can build a stronger case alleging the owner’s negligence or liability:
- If the fall was the result of liquids, were the liquids being used for a reason, or was it an accidental spill?
- If the area was likely to cause an injury, were there adequate warning signs or barriers?
- Does the owner have a maintenance and inspection plan to keep dangerous wear like bunched carpets from occurring?
- If the fall was related to an object, did it have a good reason to be there? Could it have been somewhere else?
In addition to posing questions like these in regards to the defendant, the plaintiff will have to determine their own portion of fault. Were they paying attention at the time? Were they in a place they were authorized to enter? Did they ignore any warnings or obvious signs of danger?
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By assembling a set of facts that puts more emphasis on the premises owner’s negligence and simultaneously asserts the plaintiff’s own blamelessness, a personal injury lawyer can greatly increase the chances of successfully obtaining compensation for your injury.