What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall in Indianapolis?
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It might seem like only a matter of seconds, but a slip and fall can leave you with lifelong costs and treatments. Don’t feel that you were clumsy or that it was your fault that you didn’t see a hazard; it is often the fault of the property owner who should have done everything possible to decrease your chances of being seriously hurt. In these cases, you might be able to file a premises liability lawsuit to recover compensation, but you have to take your legal rights seriously and consult with a lawyer as soon as you can after getting medical treatment.
Being hurt in a slip & fall accident in Indianapolis can really change your life. You might not realize the extent of your injuries after you get hurt, but you might begin to experience symptoms in the hours and days later.
Hiring a slip & fall lawyer in Indianapolis is important for protecting your legal rights. Most people underestimate the impact of a slip & fall injury, but it can be serious. You might not notice symptoms at the site of the accident. If an accident happens on someone else’s property and there was a hazard or obstacle that should have been fixed or you should have been made aware of, you can potentially hold that property owner accountable.
If you slip and fall in a retail or office location, you may be requested to sign paperwork right away. Without proper evaluation by a physician, you might miss out on the chance to truly understand your injuries and to file an appropriate claim. Do not sign any paperwork at the scene of the incident. Likewise, property managers or their employees might ask if you’re fine. Do not hesitate to get medical attention for any injuries or concerns; you might discover these hours later or even the next day. It’s important to take these seriously because even a split second of hitting the floor or another object could be life-changing injuries.
Falls are the leading cause of injury in the United States; many of them come with significant medical expenses. If you’re unsure of your legal right to file in Indianapolis, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
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Causes of Slip & Falls
Property owners and managers have a legal responsibility to make sure their properties are reasonably safe for others. When they neglect this responsibility either by fixing the issue or properly warning people of dangers, the chances of a serious accident are greatly reduced. However, too many slip and fall accidents are easily prevented, but when the property manager fails to correct the problem, visitors can be critically hurt.
Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Torn carpeting
- Broken floorboards
- Wet floors
- Sidewalks with major cracks or uncleared ice/snow
- Poor lighting
- Major hazards blocking a clear pedestrian path
Although the specifics of the fall will influence the kinds of injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident, some are more common than others. These include:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Head injuries
It’s very possible that you might experience more than one kind of an injury in an accident. Even if you feel fine immediately after the fall, visit a doctor to rule out any more serious concerns.
What to Know About Filing a Lawsuit
Most states, including Indiana, manage slip & fall injury claims similar to personal injury lawsuits. However, you need to find a lawyer who has experience with premises liability claims, which is the umbrella term used to describe the kind of claim filed by victims when a slip and fall injury occurs.
It’s important to know that you have a limited period of time in which to file a legal claim after you’re hurt. This is known as the statute of limitations. Failing to file a claim within this window means that your claim will be dismissed. It’s best to speak with an injury lawyer sooner rather than later so that you can feel confident about your ability to pursue a claim for maximum compensation.
When you file a lawsuit, you should present as much evidence as possible showing that the other person was responsible for causing the accident. For example, if employees who came to your aid at the scene mentioned that they had reported this danger but that nothing was done about it, you can share this information with your lawyer. It’s possible that there are reports of the issue or that other people were hurt.
Any evidence you have from the scene of the accident is helpful for your lawyer to tell the story of your injury, too. This can include videos, photos, eyewitness statements, and other things that help explain how the accident happened.
Expenses After an Accident
Once you receive a diagnosis from a doctor about your conditions, treatment options can be explored as well. Since many people don’t realize the full extent of their medical expenses at that time, they can accumulate to a significant amount. Physical therapy, doctor’s visits, medications, your expenses going to and from the appointments, and other damages can all become part of your personal injury claim.
Your slip & fall injury lawyer in Indianapolis can tell you more about damages in your claim. Although you’ll have accumulated medical expenses by the time you file, your lawyer will also help you project personal injury expenses into the future.
Most personal injury and premises liability claims will resolve outside of court even when they come with substantial damage arguments. This is because the insurance company involved does not want the uncertainty of going to trial. However, this does not mean you should rush to sign over your rights and take a settlement check from the company. That can be a big mistake that follows you for years or even possibly decades. Instead, you need to consult with your attorney about whether the settlement check covers your expenses not just now, but years into the future.
What Should I Look for in a Lawyer?
The company owning the property where the accident happened might try to convince you that it wasn’t a big deal and that you’ll be fine. They might try to get you to sign paperwork shortly after the accident happens, too. Be aware that this company does not have your interests in mind. Instead, they are trying to do everything they can to minimize their own liability, and that does not line up with your primary concern of getting maximum expenses for your legal case. As a result of these challenges, you want someone committed to fighting for your rights and that is a premises liability attorney.
Your attorney should be an experienced litigator because although many cases get concluded in a settlement, such is not guaranteed. Your lawyer should be someone who knows what it takes to work with an insurance company and someone who will communicate with that organization on your behalf so you don’t have to.
During an initial consultation, your attorney can tell you more about how the law firm works. In general, you should leave that meeting with a good idea of the different people who might be involved in your case and how you can communicate with them over the course of your claim. You should also ask about the firm’s general experience in this field of the law and the kinds of other cases they’ve handled in this manner. That information can be used to assist you with your final decision on who to work with, as you are not required to hire any lawyer you set an appointment with. Use the initial consultation to learn more about their structure and strategy, then make your decision about how best to work together.
Most personal injury law firms charge on a contingency fee basis, which means that the firm is only paid if successful with your case. Your lawyer might get a percentage of your lawsuit winnings if you sign a settlement offer or if you succeed in court. This fee basis makes it easier for you not to have to worry about coming up with the money upfront when it’s hard for you to pay your basic bills or go back to work.
When to Hire a Lawyer
If you have already tried to resolve your case on your own and have been unsuccessful in doing so, you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer about your rights. You might need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages.
If you want more information about what a lawyer can do for your case, it’s a good idea to reach out for resources shortly after you’ve been injured. Once you’ve received a diagnosis from your doctor, you can then contact an attorney to discuss how to prepare the filing paperwork.
If you’re ready to take your first steps toward justice, contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started. We are here to help you when you’ve been hurt.