Slip and falls are one of the common types of accidents in America, accounting for 8 million emergency visits each year. These accidents can cause a variety of injuries, from broken bones and cuts to spinal cord injuries and concussions. Treatment for these injuries can be expensive, painful, and take you away from your work, family, and leisure activities.
If you suffered injury in a slip and fall accident, you may be wondering what legal options you have to recover damages. Unfortunately, regardless of how clear-cut the accident may seem to you, these cases can be complicated.
To find out if you have a case, contact the experienced slip and fall accident attorneys at Colombo Law at (304) 599-4229 for a free case review. Our lawyers can do the following on your behalf:
1. Evaluate Your Case
The first step we take with accident victims is to develop a thorough understanding of what happened. We’ll need to answer questions like:
- Where did the slip and fall take place? Was it a business, an apartment complex, or government-owned public space?
- What caused the slip and fall? For example, was the accident caused by a wet floor, poor lighting, uneven flooring, or improperly maintained stairs?
- Were there warnings posted? In other words, was the present danger of the surroundings made obvious?
These questions will help your attorney form an argument for the validity of your claim based on full knowledge of the laws surrounding slip and falls and the results in previous cases similar to yours.
2. Investigate the Accident
It’s important to understand that slipping and falling on someone else’s property doesn’t immediately mean you have a case against them. The viability of your claim will depend on the details of how the dangerous situation was created, how long it had existed, and who created it.
For example, if another patron in a store spills an item directly in front of you and, seconds later, you slip and fall, the store owner would not likely be held responsible for what happened. On the other hand, if the owner caused the spill and failed to clean it up, it might be a different story.
It may be somewhat complicated to answer these questions – potentially requiring interviews, review of security camera footage, and more – which is why having an attorney familiar with investigating slip and fall accidents is so valuable.
3. Determine Who Is Liable
The question of liability comes down to who was responsible for ensuring the safety of the premises. In the case of a commercial property, it may be the property owner or manager who is responsible. If the accident occurred on a residential property, it may be the owner or landlord’s responsibility to ensure the property’s safety for tenants and guests.
The liable party may also be the government if the slip and fall happened on government-owned grounds. It is also possible that multiple individuals or entities are responsible for keeping a property safe.
Regardless, the liable party (or parties) is likely to have an insurance company that will represent them in slip and fall cases. Make no mistake: The insurance company will do everything it can to pay you as little compensation as possible.
Insurance adjusters and corporate attorneys are very good at defending their clients against slip and fall claims. So, hiring an experienced attorney can help level the playing field to ensure your rights are protected.
4. Calculate Damages
When figuring out how much you should seek in compensation, it is crucial to take all of your expenses and damages into account. After all, your immediate medical bills may only be a part of the total costs you end up facing as a result of the accident.
Will you have ongoing costs for physical therapy? Have you lost wages due to your time away from work? Will your injuries have a long-term impact on your career? Do you need to make modifications to your house or vehicle because of your injuries? Has your enjoyment of life decreased?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be entitled to compensation beyond just your immediate bills. Your slip and fall attorney will calculate all of the damages in your case so you don’t have to settle for less.
5. Serve Your Interests
Ultimately, the attorney you hire should be committed to you and your case. In addition to pursuing maximum compensation for your injuries, your lawyer should be easy to reach and thoroughly answer any questions you may have.
Although many slip and fall accident claims are resolved before they ever go to trial, it is important to choose an attorney who is willing and able to go to court if need be. If the best way to achieve a favorable outcome in your case is to proceed to trial, your lawyer needs to be prepared.
Get Started on Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim
After being injured in a slip and fall, it is best not to go it alone. Property owners and insurance companies have a number of tactics for underpaying and denying you the compensation you deserve, and you do not want to forfeit your opportunity to recover the damages you deserve.
Contact the slip and fall accident lawyers at Colombo Law by calling (304) 599-4229 today for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys serve clients in Morgantown, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Bridgeport, and all of West Virginia.