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Slip and Fall Lawsuit Guide

Falling after a slip in public is among the most embarrassing situations you can find yourself in. For most people, the first thing on their mind is dusting off and getting away from the situation.

But walking away is not always the best idea since some falls can result in life-changing injuries and unprecedented expenses in medical bills. According to the National Flooring Safety Institute, slips and falls constitute 12 percent of all fall-related accidents and one million ER visits yearly.

You May Be Eligible for Compensation

If the slip and fall accident is related to another person’s negligence, they may be legally obligated to compensate you for your damages.

“Compensation after a slip-fall accident is not automatic. You have to file a slip and fall lawsuit and prove through a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was negligent in their conduct resulting in the accident and, consequently, injuries,” says attorney Walter T. Clark of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Like other types of personal injury accidents, liability for the accident lies with the at-fault party, which in this case can be the property owner or tenant. When filing a claim, you must identify the party responsible for keeping the property safe.

Owner vs. Occupier Liability

If the property owner is the occupier, they have responsibility over the property or premises’ safety for all persons accessing it legally. But there are situations where they could still be liable for accidents on premises they have rented out. For example, if they maintained control of the area where the accident occurred, they knew of the hazards but failed to disclose them when renting out a property, or the lease agreement has them responsible for specific repair tasks.

Occupiers are also responsible for ensuring reasonable safety even when they do not own the property. For example, a grocery store owner must ensure that their premises are safe for their customers, for example, by ensuring all spills are wiped before causing an injury and erecting proper signage to warn customers about hazards. Also, they must notify the owner of all hazards that require their attention, and all accidents that arise from their failure to uphold this duty will have them liable for resulting damages.

What to Do After an Accident

To recover compensation in a slip and fall accident, you must demonstrate that the defendant owed you a duty of care and failed to uphold that duty, resulting in an accident. Also, the accident must result in physical or psychological injuries and compensable damages.

You can do a few things to bolster your chances of getting fair compensation. For example, take pictures at the accident scene while paying attention to the hazard that caused the accident and your injuries, if any are apparent. You may also want to gather witness accounts of the accident and their content if you find any who offer help.

If your injuries are significant, call an ambulance. If not, you can go to the ER yourself, but ensure you do it on the day of the accident or, at the latest, 72 hours after the accident to avoid creating treatment gaps that could harm your case.

Hiring a Lawyer Helps

According to statistics, involving a lawyer increases your chances of fair compensation, even when considering legal fees.

A lawyer helps in several ways: commanding respect, gathering the evidence you may not have access to as a layperson, negotiating, and establishing fault, all of which means higher compensation, so get one.

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