You’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property and now you have realized that you may not be able to afford the medical care you require. You may not have previously considered filing a slip and fall lawsuit, you may feel like it’s an extreme step to take, but legal action may be the only way that you can recover the compensation that you need.
However, slip and fall lawsuits are complex and depending on the circumstances, you may not be able to pursue legal action.
Do I Have A Slip & Fall Case?
How do you know when you can pursue a slip and fall lawsuit? What aspects of the case can impact your ability to sue?
In order to determine if you have a case, our legal team has to determine if negligence occurred. Under the law, negligence occurs when one party fails to do what they should and another party is injured as a result. When it comes to slip and fall accidents, the following must occur in order for a victim have a valid claim:
The Accident Must Have Been Reasonably Foreseeable
There are some situations where a visitor to a property should know that they need to proceed with caution. For example, if you decide to take a hike on a path through the woods that isn’t paved and is covered with roots, rocks, and uneven areas, this is considered an open and obvious hazard.
However, if you are walking around a store, looking at merchandise instead of the floor and you slip on a spilled liquid, you could have a case. This is because a spilled liquid is a foreseeable hazard and one that should have been cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time.
Timing: How Can Time Impact A Slip & Fall Case?
According to the law, property owners and managers must have had a reasonable amount of time to discover and clean or fix the hazard which caused you harm.
What is considered reasonable will vary from property to property since no two are exactly alike.
Serious Injuries That Are Commonly Caused By A Slip & Fall Accident
When a child falls, adults tend to tell them to “brush it off” and “get back up”. While some people do just get up after a fall and go about their business, others aren’t so lucky. Injuries that are commonly sustained in a slip and fall accident include:
Even just a simple fracture of a bone will take weeks to heal. In severe cases, the patient may require surgery to correct and stabilize the fracture. If the broken pieces of bone move, the surrounding tissue, muscle, and nerves may also be damaged. Patients may require months or even years of physical therapy.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The brain is incredibly delicate and even though it is protected by the skull, a blow to the head can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull. A brain injury can impact a patients ability to speak, see, move, and may result in a vegetative state. Over a lifetime, the medical treatments required by brain injury patients can cost more than $3 million.
Bruising and bleeding around the spinal cord, a severed spinal cord, or fractured vertebrae can all cause partial or total paralysis. This can end a career and forever change the quality of a person’s life.
These are just a few of the injuries that a slip and fall victim can be diagnosed with – injuries that will cause financial strain.
What Steps Should I Take To Protect Myself After A Slip & Fall?
Steps that every slip and fall victim should take after their accident include:
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you aren’t sure that you sustained an injury, it’s wise to visit a doctor. Some injuries, like those involving the spine and brain, don’t surface until much later.
- Take Photographs: If possible, take pictures of the area where the fall occurred, including pictures of the hazard that caused the accident
- Talk To Witnesses: Speak with those who witnessed the accident. If possible, collect their contact information.
- Speak With An Owner Or Manager: Let them know that you fell, what caused the fall, and request a copy of their insurance information.
- Speak With A Lawyer: Contact our legal team as quickly as possible so that we can start building your case.
The legal team at Schuster Law has been assisting slip and fall accident victims for more than 30 years. Call our law office today to learn more about how we can help.