I Was Injured in a Slip and Fall. What’s Next?
It is sad but true: slip, trip, and fall accidents happen all the time. If it happens to you, the accident may not even be your fault at all, and it is crucial to know what steps to take afterward. If you get a slip and fall injury that was not your fault, you can file a personal injury claim and get compensation for it. By law, parking lots, buildings, homes, and walkways must be maintained to ensure people can use them safely. If the owners of the premises fail to ensure safe passage, you can bring a lawsuit before them and get compensated for your injury.
Here is more about the different types of personal injury claims and what to do after an accident!
Common Types of Personal Injury Claims:
According to Personal Injury Law, an injured person can get compensation after someone else’s negligence (or wrongful conduct) has caused them harm. Some of the most common personal injury cases include:
* Car Accidents
Car accidents are the most common personal injury cases in the United States. There are some states that have a “no fault” rule where drivers have to collect compensation from their own insurance carrier.
* Slip and Fall Cases
Possibly the second most common personal injury type is slip and fall accidents. Property owners have a legal duty to ensure their premises are safe and hazard-free. If you get injured as a result of their negligence, you can file a personal injury claim.
* Medical Malpractice
If a doctor or another health care professional fails to provide proper treatment that meets the appropriate standard of medical care, and a patient is harmed as a result, this can be a potential medical malpractice case.
* Dog Bites
In most cases, dog owners are financially responsible for any injuries or bites caused by their dog. Laws vary from state to state, so you need to consult with an attorney if you were bitten by a dog.
What to Do After You Were Injured?
Whether you were involved in a car accident or suffered a slip and fall injury, the personal injury case process covers the same steps.
*Get Medical Treatment ASAP!
The first thing you need to do after getting injured in an accident is to seek medical help. Even if you do not have visible injuries but have the slightest sense that you might be hurt, it is best to go to the emergency room or schedule a doctor’s appointment. This is important for two reasons— first, to ensure you are okay and any injuries are dealt with properly, and secondly, as evidence to the jury or insurance adjuster that you were responsible and your injuries are documented. If they are not, the jury or adjuster may decide you were not seriously harmed in the accident.
Personal Injury FAQ
The official definition of personal injury is when someone has sustained an injury to the body, mind, or psyche caused by another person’s failure to execute reasonable care. If the negligence of another person has led to your injuries, you might be entitled to some kind of compensation. Getting in contact with an attorney is crucial at this point to determine whether or not legal action should be taken.
Trying to decide whether or not you have a case shouldn’t be something you do on your own. Contacting an attorney and getting a free consultation is ideal to evaluate your situation in great detail. Your attorney will tell you who you can sue, what you can expect to get in terms of compensation, and more information based on the facts of the accident as well as the laws in your state.
On average, personal injury case expenses are 20% of the amount recovered and can range from $10,000 to $100,000. Some might even go beyond this average, depending on the instances. It’s crucial to work with a law firm that specializes in your specific type of case.
Since each case is different and will require various negotiations, details involved, etc., the time it takes to resolve each case can differ. On average, it can take from 6 months to a few years to settle.
Not all cases will go to trial. A large majority of them will end in a settlement involving the defendant or the insurance company. However, the time that it will take to reach this settlement can be tough to determine, and it can range quite a bit. A claim that involves substantial injuries and a significant amount of money can often take longer to settle because the insurer will likely fight harder to avoid settling.
If your case is complex or the liability is unclear, the settlement can also take longer. When you hire an attorney, you might be able to speed up the process because you’ll likely motivate the insurer to settle fairly earlier since they’ll be less likely to take advantage of you.
If you were partly at fault for the injuries, the damages you can recover would vary state-to-state. Some states use contributory negligence, which means that a victim will not be able to recover damages if they had any fault in the situation. Other states will allow you to recover damages if you were not 50% or more at fault. When it comes to what happens if you’re at fault, the rules are technical and very state-specific, which is why you should consult with an attorney after reading this FAQ.
The most common type of damage is referred to as compensatory damages. This is divided into non-economic and economic damages.
● Economic Damages: These are considered to be tangible objective costs and losses such as medical bills, property damage, lost income and earning capacity, cost of future treatments.
● Non-Economic Damages: These are considered to be more subjective and cover items like pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.
Damages have to be reasonably quantifiable, instead of speculative, to be awarded. If the defendant in the case has acted egregiously as the victim, you might be able to recover punitive damages as well as compensatory damages. These damages punish the defendant and deter the type of conduct. While rarely awarded, punitive damages can be substantial, but there are constitutional limits.
After you’ve been injured, you might wonder how long you have to file your case. This can depend on the specific statute of limitations in your state. Most personal injury cases will have to be filed within a year of the accident; however, you have as many as 4 years to file in some states.
Check the rules in your state and be sure not to waive your rights accidentally. There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they can be quite narrow. In most cases, you should pursue your claim as soon as possible so that the evidence is still fresh and it can help you prove liability as well as the scope of the damage.