When a property owner or custodian invites you onto their premises, they are responsible for making sure that it’s reasonably safe. That’s not always the case, however. There are many instances where someone slips, falls, and injures themselves as a result of someone else’s failure to keep floors safe from substances, obstructions and other hazards. Simply falling in an area that someone else is required to maintain is not the only requirement to seek personal injury damages from the responsible party, though. There have to be other factors that made your fall more likely: an item or slippery substance on the floor, uneven surfaces, etc. It is important that you contact an attorney who will be able to go through each detail of your accident in order to identify who is at fault, why they are at fault, and the most appropriate course of action in order to seek restitution.
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. We connect slip and fall accident victims to an attorney who will help them recover damages. When a victim chooses not to use an established network like ours, they will need to manage the stress and headaches of searching out and meeting with attorneys and ultimately deciding which one will represent them. All of this occurs while they’re trying to focus on recovering from their injuries and keeping their life on track. 1-800-Injured is here to take the stress of searching for an attorney off of your plate so that you can focus on self-care.
Read more below to learn more about slip and fall accidents, how 1-800-Injured can help you meet the right attorney, and more. Contact us now to be connected for a free initial consultation with a Florida slip-and-fall accident attorney in your area.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A “slip and fall” is a common name for a type of premise liability, which is a legal term for a situation where there are dangerous or unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. There are a few steps that you will need to take with your attorney in order to establish actual fault for the injury, even if you were clearly injured as a result of a hazard on someone else’s property. Here are some of the factors that your attorney will examine to determine whether or not you have a viable case.
- There was someone with a duty to keep the premise safe for visitors
- The person in charge of the premise either knew about or should have reasonably been aware of, the hazard and failed in their duty to remedy it
- You were injured as a result of this hazard
- Your injuries have measurable damages associated with them
In some cases, a premise liability case can be extremely straightforward when trying to determine a reasonable fault for the hazard. In other cases, the responsible party may be able to claim that they were unaware of the hazard and that there was little or no opportunity for them to become aware of the hazard before you were injured, and therefore your injuries were not a result of their failed duties. In other cases, it can be fairly straightforward. You can rest assured that your attorney will be able to go through each detail of the situation in order to build a strong case on your behalf, which will give you significant leverage during negotiations or during a full lawsuit.
Filing Insurance Claims After a Slip and Fall Accident
In many cases, there is an insurance company such as a homeowner’s insurance or commercial insurance company representing the management company in charge of a public or semi-public space. You and your attorney will work directly with a representative of the insurance company, known as an adjuster, who will go through your case in order to determine the scope of injuries that you have suffered, the economic impacts that your injuries have had on your life, and ultimately determine how much money that they are willing to offer you. While this sounds fairly straightforward, it is absolutely essential that you are aware that the insurance company is actively trying to limit the amount that you get for your injuries.
An insurance company stays in business by maximizing their profits, meaning that it is extremely important for them to minimize the payments that they make to victims while also protecting the long-term legal interests of their clients. This means that during the claims investigation, the insurance representative that you are working with is investigating your overall situation in order to identify the least amount of money that they believe they will be able to offer you in exchange for you waiving your rights for any future legal actions against them or their client in regards to this specific accident. This means that even if you realize a year later that you have a late-onset but significant injury that was caused by the accident and is extremely financially disruptive, there is nothing that you are able to do with it.
Negotiating After a Settlement Offer
Instead of accepting the initial offer, your attorney will begin a series of aggressive negotiations in order to reach an agreement with the insurance company about the money you truly need and deserve for the impacts that the injuries have had on your life. This amount includes the obvious factors such as your medical bills and lost wages, but will also account for more abstract damages such as the impact that the actual pain and suffering had on your life. An insurance company will not voluntarily offer to compensate you for the pain you had to endure as a result of your injuries.
Keep in mind that the amount of money you will likely be seeking during these negotiations is less than the amount your attorney believes that you deserve in a full lawsuit. This is because the settlement avoids lengthy legal cases, time-consuming court dates, fees, and more.
When To File a Full Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the negotiations fail, then you and your attorney will then need to begin to prepare for a personal injury lawsuit. This process can be long and arduous, but when you are working with an attorney that you were connected with through 1-800-Injured, you can be confident that they are minimizing your stress while taking your case on as aggressively as possible. Even if you do not consider stress reduction to be an important part of your recovery, it has been scientifically proven that stress has major impacts on physical recovery, meaning that hiring an attorney is also good for your health.
Deciding when it is appropriate to actually move forward with the lawsuit is a matter that is specific to your situation, and should be decided between you and your attorney before negotiations even begin. This way, you will be able to know what to expect throughout negotiations and will therefore not have to deal with the pressure of deciding against taking a settlement that is available at the moment versus choosing to fight through the disagreements and get what you actually deserve.
Determining Damages in a Slip and Fall
You will need to know how much money you actually deserve before you are able to start negotiating properly. This will require extensive research into the economic damages that you have suffered, including your medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and all other immediate financial impacts. In addition, you and your attorney will work to compile a list of all of the non-economic damages that you have endured, such as the actual pain and suffering of your injuries, the depression, sadness and anxiety you have dealt with, and more.
It is likely that the majority of the pushback you will receive during negotiations will be in regards to the non-economic damages since there is no set way to derive a dollar amount for something as abstract as pain. Even if the insurance company does not want to pay for these injuries, or want to pay the amount that you are requesting, it does not mean that they are not as important, if not more important than the economic damages that you are dealing with as well.
Contact 1-800-Injured Today
If you are ready to start working with an aggressive personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to get the money you deserve and get your life back on track, contact us now. We will connect you with a network attorney who can discuss your situation in great detail during your initial consultation. We look forward to helping you connect you with one of the proven attorneys in our network.