If you slip and fall on someone’s property, then you may receive compensation (also known as damages) through winning a lawsuit. Personal injury attorneys, especially experienced ones, can be costly.
You might be wondering if it’s possible to win a slip and fall lawsuit without hiring a lawyer. The answer is: yes.
More information on our website: https://gproslaw.com/personal-injury-lawyer/
The basic law for a slip and fall case is negligence. Negligence has five factors and you need to prove each one to win a lawsuit. Let’s talk about each factor in turn:
The first question to ask is, who had a duty to keep you safe and prevent the slip and fall? In most scenarios, it is the property owner, such as the owner of a home or a store.
There are numerous hazardous conditions that can lead to a slip and fall, such as a wet floor, broken stairsteps, objects on the floor, etc.
An owner has a duty to warn you of a hazardous condition on their property and a duty to fix that condition within a reasonable time.
If a property owner fails to warn you about a hazardous condition on their property and fails to fix it in a timely manner, then that property owner has breached their duty to you.
The causation element of negligence is proved by showing that the owner’s conduct was the direct cause of your injury. For instance, if you slip on a banana peel that the owner failed to pick up, that would likely show the court causation.
The causation element uses the “but for” test. The slip and fall would not have occurred “but for” the owner leaving the banana peel on the floor.
This element can be tricky, but the main thing to remember is: foreseeability. Is it foreseeable that the defendant’s conduct (ex. leaving the banana peel on the floor) would lead to plaintiff’s injury (slipping and falling)?
In order to actually win the lawsuit, you must show that you were injured by the slip and fall.
There are a number of damages you can ask for: economic losses due to time off work, payment for medical bills, and economic recovery for emotional pain and suffering, among others.
But, wait, that’s not all! One very common defense that is used in personal injury cases (depending on your state) is comparative negligence.
The comparative negligence defense could decrease your compensation if the defendant is able to show that you were also at fault in perpetuating your injury.
For example, if you were walking around with your eyes closed and/or not looking where you were going, then you are partly at fault for your slip and fall. Thus, you’ll receive less compensation.
A small minority of states allow the contributory negligence defense, which means that if the jury finds you are even a little at fault for your injury, you will not receive any compensation.
Although negligence can be hard to understand at first, it is certainly doable to be your own advocate in court.
Selecting Your Advocate: How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Attorney
People get injured all the time. It is a fact of life. But, sometimes, the injury is bad enough to consider hiring a personal injury attorney if someone else is at fault for your injury.
The process of choosing the right personal injury attorney can be quite daunting, but here are a few things to consider in your search.
The first is experience. In your search, you should be focusing on personal injury attorneys that have at least a few years of experience and ideally, more.
Experienced personal injury attorneys have more practice and are better versed in the law.
They can help answer your questions, guide you through the process more efficiently, and are less likely to make mistakes since they have gone to trial many times.
In your consultation, it is imperative to ask: how many years have you been practicing personal injury law?
Have you dealt with other clients that have similar injuries as mine? How many times have you gone to trial? Have you reached settlements outside of court?
In an ideal situation, your attorney should mainly practice personal injury law, have had cases similar to yours, and has gone to trial many times.
The second factor is success rate. If a personal injury attorney has a high success rate, they are usually advertising that on their firm’s website. If it’s unclear, ask them during the consultation.
The higher their success rate, the more likely it is that you will also have a successful lawsuit outcome.
Additionally, ask if they’ve won lawsuits similar to yours. It’s also important to ask for their lowest, average, and highest compensation award that they’ve won for their previous clients.
The third factor is comfortability. Personal injury trials can be long and may last up to a few years.
It’s important that you feel comfortable talking to your attorney. You will spend many hours working together and they will need many details from you.
The process is much easier if you feel comfortable around your lawyer. A good lawyer communicates well and gives you updates when needed.
Last, but certainly not least, is your budget. It’s important to your potential attorney the monetary range you will likely receive in compensation if you win the trial.
Although damage awards can vary, it is good to at least get an idea of what the potential sum would be based on your attorney’s experience.
Usually, personal injury attorneys deduct a certain percentage from the compensation you will potentially win in court. This is known as a contingent-fee. Ask them what their fee is and see if that works for you.
Moreover, depending on the firm, if you do not win compensation, you might not be required to pay anything. Ask an attorney what their financial policy is and consider if it aligns with your needs.