We all have accidents from time to time, but there’s a difference between those caused by our own carelessness and those caused by negligence on the part of the property owner.
Often, serious injuries cause victims to lose days or weeks of work or costs them significant sums in medical bills—all for an accident outside of their control.
If you’ve fallen in a public place and hurt yourself, you may be able to take some legal recourse, but there are some things you need to know before contacting a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer and filing a claim.
From proving the liability to the process of filing a claim, don’t miss out on learning everything you need to know about filing a slip and fall settlement.
Read further to get more information.
What Is a Slip and Fall Settlement?
A slip and fall accident is a situation in which someone slips, trips or takes a spill as a result of a hazard on someone else’s property. Obstructions can include things like puddles of water, ice, cracks in the flooring, a hole in the ground or poor lighting.
In general, if you fall and hurt yourself on someone’s property, you may be able to collect compensation in order to pay for the losses caused by the accident.
But, in order to hold someone legally responsible for your injury, you’ll need to be able to prove that the other party is liable and negligent, and as the injured person—you’ll have to defend against the likely claim that your actions resulted in the injury.
What Does One Need to File a Slip and Fall Settlement?
While having an accident in a public place may seem embarrassing or even a bit chaotic, the things you do in the wake of the incident are crucial. Here are some important pieces of info to keep in mind after the accident, while filing the claim:
That You Were Unable to Stop the Accident from Occurring
In many slip and fall case, the owner of the property may try to argue that the plaintiff is at fault for the accident. Because this is somewhat hard to prove, this type of blame shifting is known as comparative negligence.
Basically, this means that in most cases, your behavior may be at least a small part of the issue at hand. While filing your claim, you may be asked some basic questions that help determine whether your claim is reasonable.
Here are some examples:
- Was the site of the accident clearly marked or easy to avoid?
- Were you talking on the phone or texting when you slipped?
- Was the area wet ground near a pool, or a similar situation—where you were running or moving quickly through an area that requires more caution?
It may not be easy to prove who is at fault in a case where you were checking your Facebook page and didn’t notice someone had spilled a drink on the ground.
If you were being careless at the time of your accident, it may be harder to prove negligence or liability on the part of the property owner—but it doesn’t mean they aren’t at fault either.
One more thing, you don’t necessarily need to prove you were being careful at the time of the incident.
You’ll simply need to provide details that paint a clear picture of what happened, and that you weren’t blatantly being careless.
Proof of Negligence on the Part of the Property Owner
While it may be hard to prove that an incident caused by liquid on the floor or some other obstacle is outright negligence or pure clumsiness, the more you can document, the better.
Gather Evidence–Take photos and record any interaction with the property owner or any staff that happen to be on site. If something seems out of the ordinary, it’s a good idea to document the conditions in question.
Report the Accident Right Away–It goes without saying, but the sooner you report your accident, the better. Best case scenario, while still on the scene, you should tell the owner or manager what happened.
If you require medical attention, such as getting picked up in an ambulance—the incident is likely going to be recorded on the part of the property owner, as well as the medical center where you were treated.
Decide Whether You Want to Hire a Lawyer
Hiring an attorney is helpful in any type of legitimate personal injury case, but some plaintiffs choose not to.
The plaintiff may forgo an attorney if insurers want to settle right off the bat, or if the settlement amount is less than $5,000 (the small claims court maximum). Even if the case ends in an insurance settlement, it’s good to have a lawyer on your side to help sort out all the logistics and provide a solid case against the defendant.
Then, Decide If You Want to Sue
Since many personal injury cases are settled before a trial takes place you may find a lawsuit to be wholly unnecessary. Should the defendant want to pursue the case further, you may want to file a slip and fall lawsuit.
Should the defendant want to pursue the case further, you may want to file a slip and fall lawsuit, which will help cover expenses for the case, as well as the injury, rehabilitation, and medical expenses.
We Help with Slip and Fall Settlements
At KaplunMarx, we’ve got a team of experienced personal injury lawyers ready to take on your slip and fall claim, to help you get back on track.
We understand the physical, emotional and financial tolls that serious injuries can cause for their victims. For that reason, KaplunMarx is on hand to help you investigate negligence and determine whether you’ve got grounds for a legal claim.
If you’ve suffered injuries in the wake of a fall, don’t hesitate to call our office at 610-660-7780, to learn more about your rights after a slip and fall accident.