Receiving financial compensation for a slip and fall injury usually involves premises liability issues caused by another party’s negligence. Typically, a slip, trip, and fall accident victim has a legal right to obtain financial compensation when their injuries occurred on another’s residential or commercial property.
However, premises liability cases are often quite complicated and challenging to prove, requiring expert personal injury lawyers specializing in liability tort law.
Circumstances surrounding the premises liability case might identify multiple parties, complex evidence, and questionable injuries that help bolster the legitimacy of receiving compensation from the area property owner and their insurance companies in the legal matter.
A personal injury attorney answers some Illinois slip and fall faq below.
How Long After a Slip and Fall Can You Sue the Property Owner?
The state statute of limitations restricts the time you have for filing a slip and fall compensation case. For example, in Illinois, a slip, and fall accident victim must file a premises liability lawsuit (cause of action) within the first two years in the appropriate courthouse as stated in 735 ILCS 5/13-202:
“Actions for damages for an injury to the person… shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of action accrued…”
If you wait until after the statute expires to file a premises liability claim against the property owner or management, you will forfeit your right to seek financial compensation forever.
How Long Do You Have To Go to the Doctor after a Slip and Fall?
Victims must seek immediate medical attention in slip and fall accidents to ensure they fully recover as soon as possible. However, many injured victims, believing their injuries are minor, only go to the emergency room or urgent care center after the adrenaline released in their bloodstream diminishes hours after the accident.
Only a competent doctor with the best diagnostic tools can accurately determine your medical condition and identify any serious injury that could have life-threatening consequences.
Illinois law does not require victims ever to see a healthcare provider who can identify accident-related injuries. However, failing to be treated quickly could significantly impact how much compensation you will receive through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict award.
What Do I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
The steps you take immediately after slip and fall accidents are crucial to your health and financial well-being.
You will need to prove your premises liability case to receive monetary compensation by showing the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damaged property, or how the accident claimed the life of a loved one.
The steps you will need to take include:
- Receive immediate medical treatment, even if you believe your injuries are minor,
- Report the slip and fall incident to the store manager, building owner, or property owner,
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations and never miss a follow-up medical treatment appointment,
- Do not discuss the situation and what happened with anyone other than the slip and fall lawyer representing you in your premises liability injury case,
- Gather evidence immediately if possible, including photographs of where you slipped and fell on the property,
- Identify what caused the slip and fall accident, including spilled liquids or slippery materials,
- Contact eyewitnesses to record their testimony and provide answers as to what they saw,
- Do not give any written or oral statement to anyone but your hired premises liability attorney,
- Start a detailed journal to record what caused the fall, where you fell, how you fell, and other factors, including the date, time, weather conditions, and clothing you wore when the accident occurred,
- Save your clothing and shoes in a safe space after taking photographs of each item front and back,
- Document daily changes in your health, including your mental health, during your healing process,
- Do not sign any paperwork, including documents from a claims adjuster or property owner that could commit you to a lowball settlement, until you have spoken with a personal injury lawyer,
- Speak with aggressive personal injury attorneys specializing in slip and fall accidents for help, legal advice, and counseling during a case consultation.
How to Win a Slip and Fall Accident Case
You must show that the property or management’s negligence involving the unsafe condition led to your slip and fall. Your detailed information will show that another party – usually the property owner – is legally liable for your damages, injuries, or wrongful death of a loved one.
Crucial slip and fall FAQ (frequently asked questions) liability issues usually include:
- Who is the potentially liable party?
- Was that party actually negligent?
- Did their negligence lead to a slip-and-fall accident?
- Did the preventable accident lead to actual damages?
The management or property owners might have failed to protect you from a dangerous condition by failing to check for potential hazards routinely, not posting a warning sign, or preventing your access to the dangerous location.
Your injuries might have happened from limited visibility due to the low lighting, broken handrails on a stairway, or an icy sidewalk on the owner’s property.
How Much is a Slip and Fall Case Worth?
Slip and fall cases are typically resolved through negotiated settlements or jury trial awards paid by a homeowner’s insurance policy or business owner’s liability coverage.
The defendant’s attorney will likely initiate a comparative fault argument claiming that the plaintiff (injured party) is totally or partially responsible for the slip and fall accident.
Statistics show that negotiated slip-and-fall settlements pay on average between $15,000 and $45,000. However, each case is as unique as the contributing factors that caused the injuries. People with severe injuries tend to have higher settlement amounts.
How Many Slip and Fall Cases Go to Trial?
Most slip and fall cases are resolved through negotiated settlements, leaving only a few to be heard in front of a judge and jury at trial. Presenting evidence at trial requires an experienced premises liability attorney representing the injured person specializing in intricate, complicated cases.
Initially, a personal injury attorney will investigate the accidents’ cause, send a demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company detailing the accident, and participate in the negotiation stage to reach an agreement.
Typically, trial cases occur when the plaintiff and defendants cannot agree on the value of the injured party’s claim and how the defendant compensated the victim. At trial, the attorney must prove that the property owners’ or business owner’s negligence led to the accident with injuries or property damage.
Some contributing factors might include:
- There was a hazardous or dangerous condition on the property,
- The property owners or management was aware, or should have been aware, of the hazardous condition but failed to correct the problem or warn visitors,
- The hazardous or dangerous condition led to a fall, leaving the victim with injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and lacerations.
What to Do If You Slip and Fall at Work?
Slip and fall accidents result in more non-fatal injuries on the job than in any other event. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics  data shows that over one of every four work-related types of accidents involves slipping, falling, and tripping.
You may believe you can get back on your feet and start working again after slipping, tripping, and falling. However, failing to report what happened and seeking immediate medical attention could cost you more over time.
The steps you should take after some slipping, tripping, and falling incidents include:
- Seek medical attention right away – It is probably company policy to report any accident on the job and get medical attention immediately. You may require transport to the hospital or urgent care center from emergency medical technicians.
- Gather evidence – Capture photographic evidence of the hazardous area, and identify any slippery or wet surfaces, parking lot potholes, torn carpeting, cables, and wires spread across flooring or low lighting that made it challenging to see any hazards.
- Keep your medical records – Get copies of your medical records, doctor statements, x-rays, and scans, and photograph your injuries.
- Report what happened – Fill out any company paperwork reporting your accident as quickly as possible. Do not make any statements like “I am not hurt” or I am fine” to anyone until you have seen a medical professional and have discussed your legal options with a slip and fall injury attorney.
You are likely entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits through your employer’s liability insurance. Your lawyer can ensure that you receive maximum benefits under the Worker’s Comp. system paid by employers’ insurance companies.
How to Sue Walmart for a Slip and Fall?
Were you involved in a slip-and-fall accident at Walmart and suffered injuries? Did the store fail in its duty to keep you safe while shopping or working? You need to report what happened to Walmart management before seeking medical attention, if possible.
Every Walmart is a business that has a legal obligation to ensure that the property remains safe for every customer under the law. You likely have a valid claim if you slip, fell, or trip on wet surfaces or cluttered walking areas inside the store.
To initiate a civil lawsuit against Walmart, file the appropriate paperwork in the local court in the county where the accident happened. A personal injury attorney specializing in slip and fall cases can ensure that all required documents are filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Your lawyer can ensure you receive all monetary damages covering your hospitalization costs, medical bills, future therapy/rehabilitation, lost wages, future lost earnings, pain, and suffering.
To prove your compensation claim, provide expert witness testimony, medical records, photographs of the accident scene, and adverse property conditions when the event occurred. You’ll need to prove your injuries and provide detailed medical bills, and recreate how and where the accident occurred.
Your attorney will prove that Walmart management could have prevented your injuries had they exercised caution and taken reasonable care to ensure your safety while on the property.
How Do I Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents?
Most slip-and-fall accidents result from wet and uneven surfaces, adverse weather conditions, substandard footwear, cluttered aisleways/walkways, and accumulated snow and ice.
Tripping might result from low lighting, obstructed abuse, wrinkled carpeting, and uncovered cables where the victim is harmed through an unexpected or unintended change where their feet contact a walking surface.
Proper housekeeping and sidewalk maintenance may be able to prevent most slip, trip, and fall accidents when spills are cleaned immediately, carpets, rugs, and mats are securely fastened with tape and tacking, and walking or working areas remain well-lit and clutter-free.
Statistics show that most people injured in a slip and fall accident get only a tiny portion of what their compensation case is worth if they settled their claim without an attorney.
With a lawyer, the injured party could expect to receive three times as much compensation or more, making it more than beneficial to obtain legal representation.
A lawyer working on behalf of the injured party receives compensation for their legal expertise, including their comprehensive knowledge of tort law, negotiation skills, and trial experience.
The ordinary expenses for legal representation in some personal injury cases include:
- Attorney’s fees – The attorney will likely receive 33.33% (one-third) of the negotiated settlement or 40% if the case goes to trial. For example, the attorney will receive $10,000 for a $30,000 settlement. However, fees can vary.
- Case costs – Filing and resolving slips, trips, and falls cases numerous incurred expenses, including postage, copying, and obtaining medical records. These expenses can vary based on the unique circumstances of the case. However, personal injury attorneys provide front money to avoid the injured party needing to pay for anything until the legal matter is resolved.
- Medical expenses and liens – The victim’s doctors may have provided ongoing treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation through a “right of subrogation” agreement where they are paid from the proceeds of a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.
Have More Illinois Slip and Fall FAQ?
Contact our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced attorney who can discuss your legal rights and options for pursuing a financial recovery.
A personal injury law firm representing slip and fall accident victims typically provides a free consultation to discuss the case’s merits.
Resources:  United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Long After a Slip and Fall Can You Sue the Property Owner?
The state statute of limitations restricts the time you have for filing a slip and fall compensation case. For example, in Illinois a slip, and fall accident victim must file a premises liability lawsuit (cause of action) within the first two years in the appropriate courthouse as stated in 735 ILCS 5/13-202: