Slip and fall injuries aren’t uncommon. If you’ve been injured by slipping and falling on a business’ property due to neglect in maintaining the property or due to an unsafe condition, you could have a personal injury claim against that property.
Regardless of if your injuries are minor or severe, the property owner or manager could be responsible for reimbursing you for your pain and suffering.
A slip and fall injury, also known as a trip and fall injury, is overwhelming but receiving compensation for your injury doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. A slip and fall attorney is a personal injury lawyer who can help.
These lawyers represent slip and fall victims to make sure that victims are paid for the injuries and related expenses. A slip and fall lawyer will also make sure the cause of a victim’s injury is resolved.
When Do You Need a Slip and Fall Attorney?
If you have injuries from slipping and falling because a property wasn’t safe, you might benefit from a slip and fall lawyer.
Slip and fall cases can happen quickly, as a result of things like:
- Poor lighting or visibility
- Flooring that isn’t safe
- Hidden hazards
- Torn carpeting
- Cables, wires, and cords
- Stairs that are too narrow
- Potholes that are in the ground
- Surfaces that are slippery, wet, or even icy
- Surfaces that are rough or uneven
Commonly, victims who have slipped and fallen injure their neck, arms, or back, but individuals can suffer injuries on other parts of their bodies.
An injury due to slipping and falling is a premises liability claim.
A premises liability claim means it’s a kind of personal injury claim based on the victim slipping on someone else’s premises and suffering some type of injury.
Property owners are responsible for ensuring their property is hazard-free.
However, sometimes a landowner will fall behind in terms of land maintenance or will neglect their duties to make sure the space is safe.
It’s important to remember that although these cases are common, slip and fall claims can differ due to state laws. Premises liability lawyers can help victims become familiar with their state’s laws regarding premise liability.
It’s never a good idea to try to go up against an insurance company nor their lawyers by yourself. If you do, they can try to get you to settle for less. Hiring a premises liability attorney that you trust can avoid this injustice and protect your rights as a victim.
How Can a Slip and Fall Attorney Help?
Slip and fall cases are sometimes challenging to win as the victim or plaintiff has to prove the property owner or defendant was negligent.
The burden of proof — in which the victim must demonstrate significant evidence that their injury was due to the defendant — can sometimes be complicated or multifaceted.
That’s where the lawyers at Hutchison & Stoy come in.
After all, how do you prove a slip and fall case? These types of cases are based heavily on negligence, which means that the premises owner, or the person who controls the premises, failed to ensure the safety of others.
The victim must prove things such as:
- The defendant owned or managed the property where you got hurt
- The defendant had a responsibility to make sure the property was safe
- The defendant previously knew about the situation that caused the victim to get hurt or should’ve known about it
- Whatever caused your fall was dangerous
- Because you fell, you also became injured
This makes slip and fall lawyers incredibly beneficial. After all, they’re experts in cases due to slipping and falling. A slip and fall law firm, like Hutchison & Stoy, can put victims in contact with premises liability attorneys who will advocate for their client to get compensation for their client’s injuries.
A personal injury lawyer for slip and fall cases investigates all possible defenses for a slip and fall claim.
Some everyday things a defense can use include:
- The fact that the condition was an obvious danger, with which reasonable people would’ve avoided
- A lack of notice, which means the property owner might’ve known that an unsafe condition was on their property, but they didn’t have sufficient time to respond or correct the issue before someone suffered an injury
- The carelessness of the victim, which essentially means the victim wasn’t really paying close attention to their surroundings and would’ve been safe had they paid closer attention
- Immunity as a government entity means that sometimes — when the accident happens in a place of government — the government might have a partial or even full defense based on laws that limit when a government entity can be sued
- The fact that the victim should’ve known they would have gotten hurt on the premises (an assumption of risk)
- Warning notices, which suggests that although the property owner know a condition was dangerous, he gave reasonable notice of that condition so that a reasonable person wouldn’t have gotten hurt
- Or trespass, where a state’s law can decrease the property owner’s liability if the victim was trespassing
Although it can be overwhelming to read, this is where premises liability lawyers come in. Premise liability lawyers are prepared to face any of the above defenses and will fight for your right to compensation.
At Hutchison & Stoy, we’ve seen a whole host of various injuries, from scrapes and abrasions to broken bones to spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Victims sometimes worry when they don’t have health insurance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to get treatment.
Premises liability lawyers can sometimes help if you don’t have health insurance. It can be possible to get treatment after an accident due to slipping and falling as a victim without paying enormous upfront costs out of pocket.
In fact, at Hutchison & Stoy, we have a network of medical professionals who can treat slip and fall victims for their injuries. These doctors will wait until the case is over before they charge victims.
It’s also critical for victims to find a personal injury lawyer for accidents due to insurance reasons. The majority of insurance companies will try to categorize victims as a “licensee,” which ultimately decreases the amount of money you could be entitled to. To ensure you get a higher payment, find a reliable slip and fall attorney.
Lawyers at a slip and fall law firm will advocate for victims to get the money they deserve by taking the complexity out of the premises liability classifications, so victims don’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty of licensee classifications.
Slip and Fall Payouts and Settlements
Each slip and fall case is unique in that the circumstances surrounding your fall are different. That means your compensation could be different from the amount someone else receives.
It all depends on your case.
The damages a victim can receive in a slip and fall case can be economic or non-economic.
Economic damages include medical costs like:
- doctor bills
- X-ray bills
- rehabilitation bills
- future medical expenses.
If an elderly individual is a slip and fall victim, they can also receive money for in-home assistance expenses. If the victim is injured and isn’t able to go back to work, they can receive compensation for lost wages.
A personal injury lawyer for slip and fall can also help victims receive non-economic damages.
- lack of enjoyment of life (in which the accident led you to stop enjoying exercise, hobbies, or other activities)
- pain and suffering, which is defined as severe pain or significant discomfort
Payouts to the victim will be determined by other damages such as property loss, in which the defendant’s negligence was the reason for you losing or damaging things like cars, clothing, or other items.
Emotional distress can also be a factor when considering settlements and payouts. This is essentially the different effects the accident might’ve had on the victim, which could include anxiety, fear, lack of sleep, or depression.
Loss of consortium is another factor. This includes the effect the accident had on a relationship between you and your children or you and your spouse.
The average amount of personal injury lawsuit compensation is around $52,000. However, on average, victims of slip and fall accidents received anywhere from $17,200 to $27,500 in compensation.
There are a handful of factors that can affect how long a victim’s case takes. For example, does the victim need to ask for a hearing? Will they need to file an appeal if the insurance company denies their claim? Hiring a premises liability attorney can speed up this process.
The key is finding a slip and fall law firm that you can trust and rely on.
How Long Do Slip and Fall Settlements Take?
Every slip and fall case is different. Depending on your situation, it can take months or possibly years to resolve a slip and fall case. But these cases do tend to follow a pattern.
Just like many other types of personal injury claims, a slip and fall case is likely to settle out of court — sometimes before a lawsuit is filed.
Remember that individual states have timelines tied to filing a claim that can differ. This concept is called statutory limitations.
For the state of Texas, the limit is two years, meaning that if you’re a victim of personal injury, you must file a claim within two years of the accident.
The quicker you act on a case, the better.
First, you’ll need to have a thorough and comprehensive conversation with a slip and fall attorney. The attorney can check out the scene where you were injured and will also evaluate local, state, and even federal laws to see if the property breaks any of those regulations. They can also discuss what type of status you might have as a claimant.
For example, a trespasser is a person who goes on a property without legal permission. On the other hand, claimants could also be a licensee who has the authority to enter the property but not by the owner’s permission. The most common type of claimant, however, is the invitee, which is a person who has consent to enter the property and does so with the owner’s knowledge.
Victims will first file a complaint and wait for the defendant to respond by submitting an answer. The next stage includes both parties sharing information and evidence (called discovery). If the case doesn’t settle, it could go to trial. However, it’s important to remember that many lawsuits end up paying outside of court.
The legal team will organize your medical records and bills to present your case better.
They’ll also take into account the concept of liability. Although, as a victim injured in an accident, the jury still must decide if any part of the accident was your own fault. This could cause you to miss out on some compensation or even become ineligible for reimbursement.
On average, slip and fall cases took about 15 months to resolve. Keep in mind that every case is unique.
How to Contact Our Team of Lawyers
Your accident doesn’t have to be life-changing for you to receive compensation. If you or a family member have suffered injuries on someone else’s property or organization and the conditions weren’t safe, the owner could be held liable, and you or a family member might be entitled to compensation.
The Hutchison & Stoy legal team prides ourselves on our “aggressive client advocacy and real results,” both of which are exemplified through the millions of dollars earned in both verdicts and settlements.
You can contact the Hutchison & Stoy legal team through their online form or by phone. For the Fort Worth office, call (817) 820-0100. For the Lubbock office, call (806) 491-4911.