Now that you know when to contact a slip and fall attorney, let's discuss exactly how this attorney can help. Many victims of slip and fall accidents understand that an attorney can help identify the negligent party and hold them responsible for the damages.
But that's just a drop of ink in the ocean of the things a slip and fall attorney can do. Here's an overview of different ways a slip and fall lawyer from a reputable personal injury law firm like Morgan & Morgan can help.
Investigating the Scene
Slip and fall accidents occur in different environments. Whether at a grocery store, residential area, or public property, a slip and fall attorney can help investigate the accident.
However, insurance companies won't just write you a check because you slipped and fell at their client's property. Instead, they'll most likely send experts such as claim adjusters to investigate the scene and establish whether their insured is legally liable. And that's not all; even if they establish that their client acted negligently, they may argue that it's not enough to prove that you deserve compensation.
Instead, there has to be a strong connection between your injury and the insured's negligent conduct. That's where a personal injury attorney specializing in slip and fall cases comes in. Such an attorney can put all the pieces together, proving beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant acted negligently, leading to the slip and fall accident.
Identifying the Liable Party
Slip and fall cases aren't the same; some are easy to settle, while others are a little bit more complex. For example, if you slip and fall at a grocery store, chances are the grocery store owner is liable for your injuries.
However, what happens when you slip and fall in public? Who do you go for when filing a claim or lawsuit? That's one of the many questions an experienced slip and fall attorney can help answer. Based on their experience in this field, such attorneys can investigate the scene and identify the individual or entity responsible for your injuries. This means you won't be wasting time filing a claim against an individual or entity that has nothing to do with your injury.
Here's the most frustrating part of a slip and fall case and any other personal injury case for that matter.
Even if it's been established beyond reasonable doubt that the slip and fall incident occurred, this conclusion doesn't mean you are entitled to compensation. The only way to prove that you're entitled to compensation is by proving the damages suffered due to the slip and fall incident.
Unfortunately, many victims of such accidents don't know how to calculate damages. As a result, they may end up settling for far less than what they deserve. This is one of the many reasons insurance companies prefer to solve such issues out of court. They may even approach you with a quick settlement offer to confuse you, limiting your chances of consulting an attorney.
After all, why would you need an attorney when you're staring at a check worth $1,000,000 right in front of your eyes? Why not sign the life-changing paperwork and cash the check when you can?
However, what if we told you that your case is worth $20,000,000? That's the kind of information attorneys want you to know, but insurance companies don't.
Contacting an experienced slip and fall attorney increases your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome and securing a higher compensation than the initial offer. For instance, at Morgan & Morgan, we've helped some of our clients secure compensation of up to 20 times more than the initial offer!
This is because we don't leave anything out when calculating damages. From past, current to future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, or even death and funeral expenses, we don't let anything slip away. We believe you're entitled to compensation for everything you've endured due to the other party's negligence, and we don't stop at anything until you receive what you need and deserve.
Representing You in Court
Assuming your case is worth more than the initial offer, you possibly don't expect insurance companies to part with the money that easily. It takes a lot of legal tussles and struggles to even secure the initial offer. So when we inform the insurance company that you deserve more than what they've offered, chances are they'll either decide to settle for an out-of-court settlement or have the case settled in court.
Either way, a slip and fall attorney from Morgan & Morgan will always represent you in both circumstances. The venue of negotiations doesn't really matter — what matters is that you receive the compensation you need and deserve. This means every penny you're entitled to.
We do this knowing that once you sign the settlement agreement, it's nearly impossible to reopen the case or sue the defendant over the same injury over again unless the settlement agreement was fraudulent. There are no second chances when it comes to negotiations for the compensation you deserve. For this reason, it's important to get everything right the first time.
Ever heard of the saying "speak up or forever hold your peace"? That's the kind of situation you'll find yourself in when negotiating a reasonable settlement with the defendant or their representatives. Therefore, you need the right attorney working with you and aggressively fighting for your rights in or out of court.
Interpreting the Law
If you think negotiating a settlement or proving negligence is difficult, wait till you discover how complex it is to interpret personal injury law, particularly slip and fall. As mentioned before, slipping and falling at someone else's property isn't enough to hold them accountable.
So many factors come into play when establishing the individual or entity at fault. As ridiculous as it sounds, your status at the time of the incident could determine whether or not you're entitled to compensation.
In that case, the defendant will want to establish the following:
- what were you doing at the property?;
- who invited you to the property?;
- how did you slip and fall? and;
- was it possible to avoid the slip and fall (e.g., did you ignore warning signage?);
If established that you were partly responsible for the injury, the claim could quickly turn into a comparative negligence situation. Comparative negligence means that the plaintiff and defendant both share responsibility for their injury. In that case, it's established that both parties acted negligently, leading to the injury.
For example, in states like New York, the court may find you 40% responsible for the injury. When that happens, you'll only be entitled to 60% compensation. But it's possible to push back against the defendant and hold them accountable with the help of an experienced slip and fall attorney.
This is because personal injury attorneys understand the different tactics insurance companies use to avoid financial responsibility for the damages you've suffered as a result of the slip and fall injury. For example, the defense claiming comparative negligence doesn't necessarily mean you're responsible.
There's also the issue of statute of limitations. Each personal injury claim or lawsuit has a statute of limitations.
This is also one of the many reasons it's important to contact a personal injury attorney right away. It becomes much easier to build a solid case against the defendant when the attorney has enough time to do so.