Were you injured in a slip and fall accident? However, you are unsure if you should file a lawsuit against the owner.
Property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe for visitors, and when they fail to do so, severe injuries can happen.
When working with an experienced slip and fall settlement attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, you can rest assured that your personal injury case is in good hands.
We will help you figure out how much your slip and fall claim may be worth, as well as recover the financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of your accident.
Contact our Chicago slip and fall settlement attorney at our law firm today by calling (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. Our team is available 24/7 to take your call and help you learn about all of your rights as a victim in Illinois.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Types of Injuries That Can Occur in Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common personal injury cases. In fact, according to a report from a research Institute, average slip and falls account for an estimated 25 percent of all weather-related cases, which is the most common type of personal injury claim.
Depending on the injured person’s circumstances, they may be entitled to seek compensation that will cover medical bills, pain and suffering value, lost wages, and other damages. Sometimes, pain and suffering can be five times the victim’s medical costs value.
Other types of injuries that you may suffer:
- Broken bones: Broken toes, legs, and arms are common injuries in average slip and fall accidents.
- Head injuries: The brain is one of the most important organs in your body, and severe head injuries can leave you with long-term physical disabilities with high medical bills for treatment.
- Spinal cord injuries: When your spine becomes injured, there’s a risk that it could become permanently damaged.
- Burns: Burns can occur when hot liquids or steam are involved in the slip and fall accident.
- Back injuries: The back is a very fragile part of your body, and it can be easily injured in a fall.
- Death: A small number of slip and fall cases result in fatalities.
Serious injuries like these can bring a significant amount of suffering to an accident victim and their family.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries
People can be affected by a slip and fall accident in many ways. For example, some people may suffer serious injuries requiring extensive treatment with huge medical bills, while others may only suffer minor injuries that quickly heal.
In addition, some people may have permanent disabilities that may hinder them from working in their previous employment or need to take an easier, lesser paying job.
Regardless of the severity of their injuries, all slip and fall victims are likely to experience some amount of pain and suffering.
There are many different causes of a slip and fall injury. Some of the most common causes include:
- Wet or icy floors (usually called a classic slip and fall)
- Uneven surfaces
- Poor lighting
- Clutter or debris on the floor
- Defective stairs or handrails
- Slick or worn flooring
- Poorly designed stairs
These are just a few of the many causes that may lead to a slip and fall accident.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent a Slip and Fall Injury
If you work in a facility with slippery, cluttered floors or poorly lit stairwells, you should take the necessary steps to ensure that your employees and customers remain safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has very specific recommendations for keeping your business safe.
If you are an individual who is concerned about slipping and falling in public places, the National Floor Safety Institute offers these safety tips:
- Always watch where you’re going. You should never have your head down when you’re walking. If you need to look at something on the ground, bend over rather than stop or sit down.
- Try to avoid wearing slippery shoes when you’re in a business or public place. Not only is it dangerous, but other people can also slip and fall if they don’t have a good grip on the floor.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or taking medications that cause dizziness when going out in public places. This advice holds true whether you’re going to a business, a mall, or a park.
- If you go out in inclement weather, be aware of how slick the flooring can become when it’s wet or icy outside. You should always find an alternative route if you can’t easily avoid going outdoors on slippery days.
- Before entering a business or a public place, always check the floors for spills, clutter, and other safety hazards. Report anything that looks dangerous to an employee to be cleaned up.
Be mindful of your surroundings. If you see others slip and fall in a business, tell someone who can help them. It is why it’s important to always watch where you’re going in these places.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured by a Slip and Fall Accident
If you have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness, you must know your rights. In some cases, filing a lawsuit is an effective way to recover all or most of the costs associated with your injuries.
The four crucial actions to take are as follows:
- Seek medical attention immediately: If you do not think your injuries are severe, it is important to seek immediate medical attention to ensure no internal injuries or other problems that cannot be found with an x-ray or ultrasound.
- Report the accident to the landlord/store manager: Even if you do not intend to file a lawsuit, you must report the accident as soon as possible so that the owner or manager can take preventative measures to protect other guests from a fall injury.
- Take pictures of your injuries and gather evidence: Taking photos will allow you to have a concrete representation of your physical condition following the accident. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the scene and gather information from people who witnessed the accident.
- Seek legal representation: Once you have received your diagnosis from the available healthcare providers, you must have an attorney review your slip and fall claim worth to determine if filing a lawsuit would be worthwhile.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assess your slip and fall claim and help you secure compensation for your damages, including medical costs, wages lost, pain and suffering.
Also, it is good to seek appropriate legal advice because the slip-and-fall law is difficult to understand on your own.
Essential Steps to Follow in Filing a Slip and Fall Claim
If, after speaking with your slip and fall settlement lawyer, it is determined that filing a lawsuit against the negligent party is indeed worthwhile, there are several essential steps to follow.
- Ensure that you send them a “demand letter” that outlines the injuries sustained due to their negligence.
- Allow your attorney to take over negotiations with the insurance company representing the negligent party. It may become necessary as the insurance company may attempt to avoid paying a lump sum amount that will cover your financial losses, including lost wages and medical expenses (both past and future medical bills).
- Once any initial fall settlement negotiations have been reached, you should sign a release agreement that requires you to give up your right to file a lawsuit in the future. It is known as a “General Release,” and it will prevent you from filing any further charges related to this incident after your average slip and fall settlement has been paid.
- Finally, if negotiations once again prove fruitless and you do wish to file a lawsuit, you must move forward with filing your case as quickly as possible. It will ensure that the defendant has less opportunity to alter their testimony to create a defense for themselves.
Allowing too much time to pass before you file a legal claim may also let the defendant file a “statute of limitations” defense, which states that the deadline for filing such a suit has passed.
Slip & Fall and Premises Liability Case
Many slip-and-fall claims are based on premises liability. To be eligible and determine how much compensation you can get for a fall, you must show that the property owner who allowed the accident to occur was negligent in their duties as an owner or caretaker.
It does not necessarily follow that you are eligible to file a slip-and-fall claim if you fall on someone else’s property.
Even if you slipped and fell due to a hazardous condition on the premises, this does not imply the owner was careless. You must understand the average settlement for a slip and fall claim.
Property owners must keep their premises safe for public use, and if they fail in this duty, it is considered negligence.
In most slip-and-fall cases, you must prove that the owner was aware of the danger or condition on his property beforehand but did nothing about it.
Winning a Slip and Fall Case
One of the important factors to win a slip-and-fall case and to determine how much compensation you can get for a fall, you must prove that the property owner knew about the dangerous condition of the premises and breached his duty as a property owner.
Property Owner’s Duty
The owners and individuals in charge of a place have a responsibility to maintain it so that anyone who goes there will be reasonably safe. They are responsible for any past or future injuries sustained by someone on their premises because a reasonable person would make their premises safe.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course. For example, if you were hurt on someone’s property and a sign posted saying that the condition existed, it is your responsibility to see the sign and avoid the area where it exists.
You may still be able to recover compensation from a negligent property owner if their failure to put up warning signs about the hazard was unreasonable.
Average Slip-and-Fall Settlement Amounts
In a personal injury claim for your slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to receive much more than the actual value of your damages.
You could win a judgment or settlement that not only covers the cost of your medical bills but also includes additional compensation for things like:
- Lost income: When a person falls and breaks a leg due to another person’s negligence, they may have missed work and lost out on pay. Even if their injury is temporary, it’s important to be compensated for all the incidental expenses related to their accident, including the lost wages and medical expenses.
- Pain and suffering: It is considered the least predictable component of an injury in terms of value, but the costs may be high when they include both past and future medical expenses and the mental and physical pain that occurred while you were injured.
- Property damage: If your slip and fall resulted in damage to property such as furniture or a car windshield, it should also be paid for by the person responsible for your injuries.
Hiring a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Case
A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere—at work, in a store, or even on the sidewalk. And it’s no surprise that nearly 1 million of these slip and fall cases occur every year.
Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident? If so, it may be beneficial to contact a personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 for a free evaluation of your case.
A slip and fall lawyer has the knowledge and resources necessary to help the injured party secure compensation for your fall damages, which can include medical bills (including past and future medical treatment related to your fall) or lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Contact a Chicago slip and fall settlement attorney at our law firm today to learn about your current legal options and consider your future medical costs. We work on a fee contingency basis.