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When to Get a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall?

October 15, 2020

A number of different factors can cause a fall. Though issues with individual balance and coordination may increase your risk of falling, most falls occur due to external conditions such as the state of the walking surface, lighting in the area, and more.

When they fall, many people assume that they are simply clumsy. However, a slip and fall accident may also be the result of someone else’s negligence.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall, contact our accident lawyers in Louisville by calling (502) 222-2222 today. Your initial consultation is free.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Slip & Fall Accident?

Whenever you are injured through no fault of your own, it is in your best interest to have legal counsel on your side. Slip and falls and other types of premises liability claims can be complicated to navigate if you don’t have a lawyer to protect your rights.

Some of the ways a slip and fall accident lawyer can help you with your claim include:

1. Determining Liability for the Accident

If you slip and fall on the premises of a residential property, the owner may be liable for your injuries. However, if the fall occurred on a commercial property, the property owner or the individual or business leasing the property may be responsible. A government entity may also be liable for injuries sustained on a government property due to the negligence of an agency or its employees.

To recover compensation, it is important to identify the liable party or parties and take appropriate action. An experienced lawyer will be able to investigate the circumstances and advise you of your legal options.

2. Gathering Evidence

When you are injured in a slip and fall, you may require immediate medical attention. If you are not transported to the hospital, you should see a doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Before getting medical care, you may be able to preserve evidence by taking pictures of the spot where you fell and taking down the information of witnesses in the immediate vicinity who saw you fall. A slip and fall lawyer can also help with these steps (whether you were able to start collecting evidence at the time of the accident or not) and further investigate your claim by:

  • Documenting hazardous conditions on the property
  • Identifying and interviewing witnesses who may have seen the accident
  • Researching previous accident claims and building code violations on the property
  • Obtaining video surveillance of the property at the time of your slip and fall

In order to determine liability and how you sustained your injuries, your lawyer may enlist one or more expert witnesses to review the evidence as well. Expert testimony can be a valuable component in proving your claim against the property owner.

3. Calculating the Damages in Your Case

One of the biggest differences between a person who hires a slip and fall lawyer and one who tries to handle the case without representation is the amount of damages they typically recover. Statistically, people who hire an attorney tend to get much more in compensation than those who don’t.

A major reason for this difference is the calculation of damages. When you think about your case, your main concern is probably the medical bills you have incurred and the income you have lost from being unable to work. When a lawyer reviews your case, they consider these losses, too. However, they also consider a variety of other damages, including:

  • Medical expenses you may face in the future
  • Out-of-pocket costs connected to the slip and fall accident, such as travel to and from doctor appointments, use of a cane or wheelchair, and upgrades to your home and vehicle
  • Loss of future earnings, if your injuries will prevent you from working long-term or permanently
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium (disturbances to your familial relationships)

Many of these damages do not have a concrete dollar value. An experienced slip and fall accident lawyer will work with experts to assess the evidence and determine how much you may be able to recover.

4. Filing Your Claim on Time

Whether you file a claim against a homeowner, the owner or occupant of a commercial property, or a government agency, you have a limited time in which to act. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents (and other personal injury claims) is 1 year from the date you got hurt. Claims against the government are also subject to a 1-year time limit.

When you are already dealing with the consequences of an injury, having just 1 year to build a case is extremely difficult. When you hire a slip and fall lawyer, however, you can focus on your recovery while your lawyer investigates the accident, builds your case, and files the claim on your behalf.

5. Negotiating with the Insurance Company

Another reason clients who hire a lawyer after a slip and fall accident tend to recover more compensation is the inestimable value of having a skilled advocate who can handle the insurance company. When somebody files a claim without hiring a lawyer, the insurance company knows it can typically get away with paying that person less – or simply deny their claim.

Employees of the insurance company know that you are probably unaware how much your claim is worth. They may also use a number of strategies to get you to act against your own interest.

When you get a lawyer for your slip and fall claim, you have someone in your corner to act in your best interest. If the insurance company contacts you directly, you can decline to answer questions and refer them to your attorney.

In addition to handling communications with the insurer on your behalf, your lawyer will also represent you in settlement negotiations. The ability to negotiate a fair settlement is a skill honed through time and practice; if you have never dealt with an insurance company before, you are unlikely to achieve the same result on your own.

Most slip and fall accident claims are resolved before they go to trial. However, if a settlement can’t be reached in your case, you want an experienced attorney who is willing to go to court on your behalf and pursue a verdict that fully compensates you for your losses.

Contact Our Louisville Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, the Karl Truman Law Office is here to help. Our lawyers have extensive experience holding negligent property owners accountable for the injuries caused by dangerous conditions on their premises.

Please call (502) 222-2222 today for a free consultation. The Karl Truman Law Office serves clients in Louisville and throughout Kentucky, as well as Indiana.