Where to Find Legal Advice for a Personal Injury Involving a Slip and Fall
Unsure what legal rights you have after getting hurt in a slip and fall accident? Premises liability claims of this type can be challenging in many respects. None more so than determining who should be held liable for your injuries. Often, the property owner is held responsible, and their insurer will step in and cover the losses you've suffered due to their client's negligence.
But, just like other personal injury claims, your having slipped and fell doesn't automatically mean the other party is liable. Read on to learn more about premises liability claims and how to find out what rights you have to compensation.
How to Find Out if You Have a Valid Slip and Fall Personal Injury Claim
After first getting hurt, your first instinct may be to work with the property owner and/or their insurer to handle the costs of your medical care for your injuries. After all, if it weren't for their failure to warn you about that hole out by their pool, you never would've fallen in it, right? But, unfortunately, not all cases are this straightforward, and even when they are, you still may not have a compensation case.
You may have started researching local and state laws that govern these types of injuries, or you may look up law blogs on the matter. While online research is helpful, keep in mind that much of this advice is either outdated or may not apply to your jurisdiction.
The only real way to know for sure what civil remedies may be at your disposal is to speak with a seasoned slip and fall accident attorney. These legal professionals have extensive experience and training to navigate the complex elements of these cases. For example, depending on the state you live in, you can't file suit if you have even 1% responsibility for the injuries you sustained. This is known as contributory negligence. Or, you may live in a comparative fault state, like Florida, that has no limit on your percentage of liability. Instead, any contribution you made will reduce your award proportionally.
In addition to the type of fault laws that could impact your slip and fall claim, negligence must be established. This is done by proving the below elements:
- Demonstrate the defendant had a duty of care to your safety, and,
- They failed to meet this duty of care (breached), and,
- This breach led to your injuries, and,
- These injuries have caused you economic and non-economic damages.
The main argument of your case will be that the property owner(s) had a duty to ensure the safety of lawful visitors on their premises and that by failing to do so, they were negligent. As you can see, having an attorney to assist you in pursuing your slip and fall case may be necessary to ensure the circumstances of your accident show negligence was a factor.
How to Find a Reputable Slip and Fall Injury Attorney
One of the most important qualities to look for in a slip and fall injury attorney is their experience representing these types of cases. These cases are naturally complicated and usually have multiple parties you will have to sue. You need legal counsel and advocacy, so it's important whoever you hire has a successful track record pursuing compensation under these circumstances.
Trust is another significant factor to look out for when interviewing potential personal injury lawyers to handle your case. You need to be sure that they have your well-being at heart in everything they do on your behalf. If you go to an initial consultation and feel like you weren't heard or that they lacked compassion when discussing the impacts of your injuries, keep looking. You don't want to jeopardize your case by retaining someone you can't rely on.
Below are some tips on where to begin looking for a slip and fall attorney:
Check with the local Bar Association in Your Area
The first thing you should do is go to your state's bar association online and check the reputation of a prospective attorney. These organizations can tell you when an attorney was admitted, the areas of law they practice, if they are in good standing, and many other details.
Contact Lawyers You've Previously Hired.
If you've already worked with a personal injury lawyer for a previous car accident or other civil matter, call them up first. Even if they don't have the experience you require to represent you in a slip and fall case, they may have someone to refer you to that they trust.
Friends and Family are a Great Referral Source
There's nothing like word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends. Even neighbors, coworkers, and professional acquaintances like your doctor can advise who can handle your case. You trust these individuals and will hear the pros and cons of their firsthand experiences with a lawyer they hired.
Online Attorney Review Sites
If you've managed to create a shortlist of prospective slip and fall lawyers you might like, the next step is to review their ratings. Many online websites review attorney services and provide detailed information about reputation, training, and other details.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
Slip and fall accident attorneys practice personal injury law. The majority of legal professionals in this field offer free initial consultations where they can learn more about your case. Don't hesitate to schedule a visit with each lawyer you have on your list and come prepared with questions. One-on-one interaction with them and their support staff can reveal their ethics and the type of experience you will have working with them.
Visit Their Practice Site
Finally, you should also visit attorney websites and read client reviews. While most firms post legitimate testimonials, take what you read with a grain of salt and don't base your final decision on what you find there. It's possible they paid someone to write up those favorable reviews.
Ultimately, when deciding who to hire for legal advice and representation, you should use a combination of all of these options to get a good idea about their skills and dedication to their clients.
How Slip and Fall Attorneys Help Slip and Fall Cases
As you have gathered, to reach a fair compensation settlement or jury award, there are many hurdles and complex laws to work around. These challenges can jeopardize your entire claim if any mistakes are made when approaching the liable insurer with your claim. Worse, without representation, insurance companies will attempt to frustrate the whole process as much as possible. They do this in hopes that you'll drop your slip and fall case against them, or at the least, take an undervalued settlement offer.
A skilled slip and fall accident attorney can take aggressive action against these issues and ensure that any damages you get awarded cover the scope of your injuries and related costs. In addition to being your advocate, they will also assist you in many other ways, including:
Conduct a Thorough Investigation of Your Damages
Holding the landowner accountable for their negligence is crucial in proving your damages and recovering the compensation you need. Knowing your current and future losses is a challenging calculation but not impossible if you have extensive experience in slip and fall claims.
The seasoned attorneys of Morgan & Morgan have unmatched insight into these valuations. As a result, not only will we ensure your past bills and lost wages are taken care of, but we can assess your case for potential damages in the future.
Slip and Fall Attorneys Establish Negligence of the Other Party
As mentioned earlier in this article, establishing that your slip and fall accident was the result of a property owner's negligence is tricky. Situations where the insurer claims that a hazard that hurt you was open and obvious can be especially frustrating to combat. But, with the right skills and application of the law, your attorney may be able to fight back and convince a jury. This is just not the case.
If your injuries don't rise to the level of severity justifying a lawsuit, your slip and fall attorney can use their honed negotiation skills to work out a fair and just settlement agreement instead. On your own, you could surely settle, but an attorney can make sure that nothing gets left out and maximizes any recovery you receive.
They Aren't Afraid to Go to Court on Your Behalf
Some insurers are infamous for forcing a slip and fall attorney to go to trial. This is because it's a costly process and could exceed the value of your injuries for the attorney. At Morgan & Morgan, we have an eye for court and never hesitate to go there if we can't get the at-fault party to pay your damages.
Work with the Nation's Most Trusted Law Firm
While a slip and fall can hurt your pride, it can also leave you with lifelong debilitating injuries that will require ongoing care. This reality can be frightening, and at Morgan & Morgan, we can help you achieve some level of financial relief while you heal.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a slip and fall accident, contact Morgan & Morgan as soon as possible. We know you and your loved ones are going through a challenging time right now. This is why Morgan & Morgan offers a contingency fee basis to ensure everyone can have access to top-quality legal services. Don't suffer the devastation of a hurt leg, shoulder, or back after a property owner was negligent and didn't prevent injury.
At Morgan and Morgan, our personal injury attorneys are here to serve you and your family during this difficult time. Trust our firm to deliver the compensation you need to move on with your life and get on the road to healing. With over $9 billion in settlements and verdict awards, our firm has proven our dedication to maximizing compensation for our clients and getting them that new beginning.
If you want to hire some of the best accident lawyers in the nation for your case, Morgan & Morgan is just a phone call away. In your time of need, let us help you get your life back on track. Please fill out our brief contact form to find out more about our free consultation offer.