Premises liability laws require property owners to ensure the safety of their properties. These laws encompass everything from making sure there is adequate security at an apartment complex to maintaining easy access to emergency exits at a restaurant.
Slip and falls, a type of premises liability claim, are accidents that involve someone being injured on a property due to an unsafe condition. Unfortunately, they are common accidents that can cause serious injuries.
If this has recently happened to you, and you are now facing medical bills and other damages due to the accident, you may be able to recover compensation from the property owner for their negligence. That said, having an accident on someone else’s property does not necessarily mean you have a slip and fall case. Several factors must be carefully considered for a case to be viable.
A Jeffersonville slip and fall attorney at the Karl Truman Law Office can advise you of your legal options. Learn how our lawyers can help at a free consultation, or keep reading for information about building a claim.
The first part of building a slip and fall case is proving that an unsafe condition existed. Ideally, your attorney and his or her team can begin investigating conditions on the property soon after the accident occurred. Witness testimony and video or photographic evidence can also help establish the existence of a dangerous condition at the time.
Dangerous conditions can include broken stairs, inadequate lighting, icy sidewalks, slippery floors, and much more. Regardless of the condition that caused your accident, your attorney must be able to prove the existence of the condition before determining why it existed – and who was responsible for it.
Even if your slip and fall attorney can prove that a dangerous condition was present, it is also important to show that the property owner should not have allowed the condition to be present or should have resolved it in a timely fashion. This means proving that:
If, for example, another visitor on the property created the dangerous condition moments before it caused your accident, the property owner or an employee would likely not have had time to remedy the condition or warn you about it. In this case, the owner would likely not be held liable for the accident.
On the other hand, if someone told the owner about the danger, and he or she chose to do nothing about it, they could be held liable for the accident and subsequent damages.
After a slip and fall, the first thing you should do is receive medical treatment. This will create a record of the seriousness of your injuries.
If you fail to seek medical attention after an accident and then later claim the accident caused you serious injury, the property owner and his or her insurance company will likely use the fact that you didn’t seek immediate medical assistance as a means of disputing your claim.
In other words, not assessing your injuries or seeking medical attention after your accident can make it difficult to recover compensation for your damages.
“Damages” refer to your economic and non-economic losses caused by the accident. The first type of damages you should consider are your economic damages, which include medical expenses and lost wages (if your accident leads to time away from work). Depending on the severity of your injuries, economic damages can vary widely.
In more serious cases, non-economic damages are also crucial to consider. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. If, for example, you are an avid runner and your slip and fall means you will no longer be able to run, you may be able to recover compensation for this loss.
If you can prove that a dangerous condition existed, that it was a result of negligence on the part of a property owner or employee, and that it directly led to your injuries, you have the option to sue for damages. However, most slip and fall cases are resolved outside of the legal system through settlements.
Before filing a lawsuit, your first step should be filing a claim with the property owner’s insurance company. The carrier may accept fault on behalf of the insured and offer you a settlement. However, settlement offers are often less than what injury claimants deserve.
For this reason, it is important to contact a slip and fall attorney to help with your claim. An experienced lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf in an effort to reach a settlement that compensates you fairly.
Oftentimes, this is an efficient, effective way to resolve a slip and fall claim. However, if you are unable to reach an agreement, then you and your attorney should consider taking the case to trial.
As you can see, recovering compensation for damages caused by slip and fall accidents is not a simple process. But don’t let that discourage you. Instead, we encourage you to work with an experienced, compassionate slip and fall attorney who can handle the process for you while you focus on getting better.
Please call (812) 282-8500 today for a free consultation with the Karl Truman Law Office. Our Jeffersonville slip and fall attorneys serve clients throughout Indiana and nearby Kentucky.