Slip and fall accidents occur more frequently than people might assume. In fact, national hospital records show that more than one million people come to the emergency room with injuries from slip and fall accidents. Not only that, but also these injuries may cost an individual up to $40,000 in medical bills and insurance costs.
If an individual suffers from a slip and fall injury, they may be entitled to compensation. However, it depends on the nature of the case. Mostly, slip and fall accidents claims differ in terms of complexity.
As such, one must evaluate whether to hire an attorney or handle the case themselves. Here is some valuable information that you should consider in making this decision:
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Contrary to popular belief, slip and fall accidents can be quite serious. At times, the injuries from such an accident may cause permanent damage or disability. If a senior citizen slips and falls, their weaker bodies experience higher levels of trauma and damage.
On the whole, slip and fall accidents are defined as accidents which occur due to a property owner’s negligence. They may happen in a public area such as a restaurant, park, hotel, or mall. Alternatively, they may occur at private properties such as someone’s home.
For example, if a private property owner fails to adequately remove snow and ice from their sidewalks or driveways, it may cause a slip and fall accident. Snow-related accidents are more common and more dangerous.
Or if there is a spill of some liquid on a person’s property and the owner fails to remove the hazard within a reasonable period of time, a slip and fall accident can occur. Many slip and fall accidents occur in grocery stores, office buildings, or in people’s homes.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
If a person has suffered a slip and fall accident, if they are injured, they should seriously consider seeking medical assistance. This step is important even if they assume their injuries are not severe. When the accident is reported later on, the medical report serves as proof.
Once the person is cleared medically, they can begin seeking legal compensation. This process begins with an accident report that is often written by the owner of the property or their representative. The individual should consider asking witnesses to write affidavits, attesting to the accident details, including the negligent parties.
If the accident occurred on private property, the person must ask the owner or landlord for a written report of the incident. It is essential to collect details such as witness names, contact info, and addresses. Moreover, it is also essential to find tangible proof such video camera footage.
At times, photographs of the accident location also serve as essential evidence. Therefore, one can revisit the site and document the exact location of the accident. In this way, authorities can determine whether the location still poses a danger to others.
Do You Need an Attorney for Your Slip and Fall Accident?
All in all, it is not necessary to hire an attorney after a slip and fall accident. The next steps simply involve filing injury claims, which anyone can do. However, not hiring an attorney can lead to significant disadvantages down the line.
If a person chooses to represent themselves in a lawsuit without adequate knowledge of the law, they may lose or receive a smaller settlement than if they hired a lawyer.
Moreover, fighting the legal battle can be stressful and demotivating. Most opposing counsel argue negligence on both parties, blaming the victim for excessive clumsiness or carelessness.
Studies conducted by the American Bar Association show that such arguments are more effective in cases where the victims represent themselves. This is because victims tend to be more emotive, basing their arguments from defensive reasoning as opposed to objective ones.
With slip and fall cases, winning is not always guaranteed as it is challenging to prove negligence. An attorney provides valuable support and legal knowledge to the case, which can increase a person’s chances of receiving a fair settlement.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Your Case?
If a person is considering hiring a lawyer, it is essential for them to note the type of value a lawyer brings to their claim. First and foremost, a lawyer will provide the victim with relevant legal knowledge, informing them of key details, including the overall strength of the case.
For example, an attorney will establish how the incident occurred, helping both the victim and witnesses identify details they may have missed without a legal representative. The entire basis of a slip and fall accident is to prove the property owner as negligent, which can only happen if the story is complete.
Falls are instantaneous and it is challenging to remember key details, especially for the victim. An attorney will ask the right questions, helping the victim understand exactly how the fall occurred.
If someone fell down the stairs, an attorney will question the victim’s actions. Did they slip or did their feet miss a step? Were they paying attention to their steps? Was the handrail sturdy enough to stop the fall? Was there something on the stairs that caused the slip?
All these questions help establish liability. After the initial questioning, the attorney will help in collecting evidence. If the fall caused a loss of income, the attorney will gather the victim’s employment records and bank statements.
The attorney will also help obtain tangible evidence such as video camera footage, which is not always a simple task. Property owners may refuse to submit video footage, in which case the victim must subpoena the evidence.
Such processes involve a lot of bureaucracy, which is challenging for beginners to navigate. Attorneys, with their enhanced knowledge of legal processes, can manage such tasks more easily and effectively.
In sum, attorneys are a valuable asset in any lawsuit. Although victims can choose to forgo an attorney and represent themselves, doing so makes them vulnerable to unfair deals and losses. As such, it is essential to not discard attorneys to avoid litigation costs.
If costs are a concern, know that most clients do not have to pay anything to the lawyer unless there is a recovery. Most attorneys take their fee from the settlement. As such, they are highly motivated to win substantial amounts in both heir client’s interests.
At the Law Office of Gaynell Williams, L.L.C., we have the experience you need to fight for the compensation you deserve for not only the costs you’ve incurred, but for the pain and suffering you and your family may have suffered as a result of the negligence of someone else such as a property owner who caused a slip and fall accident. We will search for every possible source of financial restitution, be it through insurance settlements, personal injury claims, arbitration, mediation, or litigation. Our goal is to work with you so that you receive compensation for the pain and suffering and financial costs you have been burdened with after a serious accident so that you can focus on what is most important – healing and getting on with the rest of your life.
CONTACT US TODAY
Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. The first consultation can be in person or it can be virtual, on the Internet. Call Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will work around your schedule. New Orleans lawyers Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law have offices in Gretna and Downtown New Orleans by appointment only.
This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you.
© 2021 Gaynell Williams