Negligent property or business owners who cause accidents due to carelessness can be held responsible and charged for their medical bills and injuries.
But slip and fall cases can be tough to prosecute since who the blame lies on is not always clear. For instance, slipping from ice on a property wouldn’t necessarily put fault on the owner; he could argue that your clumsiness caused the fall.
Knowing the process and what you need to do after a slip and fall accident can help protect your legal rights and ensure you get exactly what is deserved.
Do You Need an Attorney For an Accident?
Legally, you don’t need to hire an attorney or personal injury lawyer for a slip and fall accident or any personal injury incident. You could file a claim and fill in the paper on your own, negotiate for a settlement, and represent yourself in court.
However, in most cases, especially if you’re inexperienced in the field, you would have to struggle a lot. Considering that you’re fighting against a property or business owner, their insurance company, and their lawyers, it would not be an easy battle to win.
Filing a claim alone would put you at an extreme disadvantage; it’s not a risk people should take. So, it’s best to hire an attorney to get you through the process.
Steps to Follow After a Slip and Fall Accident
1. Seek Medical Attention
Health should be your first priority after a slip and fall accident. Regardless of whether you feel fine, it’s crucial to contact emergency medical personnel. In many cases, the shock from an injury might cause people to think they have sustained physical damage.
Another reason it’s important to see a doctor immediately after is so you can document your injuries properly. Those medical records can be a crucial piece of evidence.
2. Report and Document the Incident
Despite the location of the incident, whether it be a friend’s house, supermarket, or business firm, you need to report it to someone in charge, such as the owner or landlord. Make sure to get the report’s details in writing and get a copy of the document for your claim.
3. Don’t Make the Situation Worse
While you might get emotional or enraged, it’s important to remember that anything you say could be used against you in court. Just remain calm and decline to give a statement to the property owner or insurance company until you get an attorney.
4. Hire an Attorney
When considering legal action, ideally employ the services of a personal injury lawyer or attorney as early on in the process as possible. They have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you get justice and recover the loss of money and time you deserve.
Tips for Getting the Best Personal Injury Settlement
Keep a Calculated Compensation Amount in Mind
When putting together a demand letter for your personal injury settlement, you’ll need to decide the range of the minimum settlement amount you’re willing to accept and what you think the claim is worth.
This information is not relayed to the adjuster; it’s basically there to determine your bottom line. There could be an instance where you might not have considered a detail that makes your claim weaker, in which case you will have to lower your minimum figure.
Emphasize Stressful Points in Your Favor
In addition to the physical damages, bringing up mental pressure and emotional points supporting your argument during the negotiation can help significantly. If you own pets or have children, you can mention how the injury restricted your ability to care for and look after them.
Physical evidence like the accident scene or your injury can also be leveraged. While it’s impossible to put a value on these incidents, it can be very effective in settling an accident claim.
Use Strong Arguments with Help from an Attorney
If the adjuster makes an obviously low offer during the process, it’s important to remember that it’s only a negotiating tactic and not lower your settlement immediately. Your lawyer needs to remind the adjuster why you’re demanding compensation for your suffering and loss.
If your accident could result in a potential loss in future income or need for medical assistance, later on, you are eligible for higher compensation.
Personal injury attorneys are typically very trained and experienced with negotiation and can help you get the settlement you deserve.