Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Trip and Fall Case?
Yes, because slip and fall cases are not as straightforward as they seem, and it will be your responsibility to prove that the defendant was negligent and caused your injuries.
Not only would this be factually difficult to do in a vacuum, but you must also simultaneously counter the defenses of the defendant which can be legally, financially, and administratively cumbersome, to say the least.
What Do I Need to Prove in an Illinois Slip and Fall Accident Case?
As previously mentioned, slip and fall causes of action in Illinois are for negligence. This means that you must show that the defendant's conduct was unreasonable in light of the circumstances.
Specifically, there are four points you must illuminate:
- The defendant owed you a duty (which is normally defined as reasonable care in Illinois slip and fall cases)
- The defendant violated that duty
- You suffered damages and injuries and
- The defendant's violation was the cause of your damages and injuries.
Now, in court, you must prove all four of these points beyond a preponderance of the evidence. This means that a jury must be more convinced by the plaintiff's allegations than the defendant's defenses.
In criminal court, the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt and is generally presumed to require more certainty than the civil standard.
How Can I Help a Chicago Attorney in Slip and Fall Accidents Cases?
There are a number of things that you can do to help your attorney and better position yourself for victory in an Illinois slip and fall case.
For starters, do not speak to the property owners, their attorneys, or their insurance representatives. This can put your entire recovery at risk.
Next, soon after the incident, compile a list of all the people present at the scene of the accident, your impressions of it, and any questions that you have. Also, record any expenses, medical visits, or work absences that the slip and fall caused you.
Finally, stay available. Your attorneys might need you throughout the entire dispute.
You are the best source of information for what happened and you deserve to understand the course of developments of your lawsuit. You will only get these things if you stay on top of your legal team.
How Can a Chicago Injury Attorney Help Me With the Defendant or Insurance Company?
Before jumping into an Illinois slip and fall case, there are some things that you should be aware of about the legal process. These facts will better contextualize your pursuit of recovery for the injuries that you suffered:
- Plaintiffs that use counsel normally obtain more compensation than those who don't and often by many multiples.
- Cases for slip and fall accidents can take as long as one or two years or even more.
- Slip and fall litigation takes an incredible amount of factual investigation, legal analysis, and financial resources to succeed.
- Many defendants in slip and fall cases are well-financed businesses or insurance companies.
- Plaintiffs that obtain counsel in slip and fall suits have a higher rate of success than those that do not obtain counsel.
- Many slip and fall cases don't go to trial but actually settle in private settlements involving complicated negotiations.
Hopefully, these important points about slip and fall lawsuits frame the question about getting a lawyer in a more comprehensive way. Naturally, if you speak with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney, he or she can go over in great detail what they can do for your case.
What Defenses Could the Property Owner Offer in a Personal Injury Claim?
You and your personal injury lawyer need to be aware of defenses that the defendant or insurance company will use against you after the slip and fall accident. They will use these to destroy your personal injury claims and full and fair compensation from the fall injury.
For you to prove liability after a slip and fall injury, you must dispute and disprove all of them in turn. Here are the three most common defenses a property owner, other defendant, or insurance company may use in slip and fall accident cases.
First, in the fall injury case, their fall injury attorneys could maintain that you caused the accident yourself.
Under Illinois law, if you are more than fifty percent responsible, you cannot recover at all from the opposing party like a commercial property owner.
Second, their personal injury attorney could maintain that your slip and fall injury happened because of someone else's negligence. This would not remove your right to recover compensation for fall injuries, but it would require you to divert your case strategy.
Third, the defendant's slip and fall lawyer (or fall lawyers because they have more than one) could suggest it was an act of God.
In that case, the injured person wouldn't be able to proceed against anyone in personal injury cases for lost income, medication attention, or other compensation.
What Compensation Is Available in a Legal Action for Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
There could be substantial financial compensation available to victims involved in a slip and fall accident. The question of how much and what kind determines if you can prove liability and establish your damages.
How much could you get in a slip and fall accident cause of action? To estimate that amount, you need to itemize your out-of-pocket expenses like healthcare bills and lost income.
Then, project how much the events intangible affected you. This can include things like disability, long-term pain and suffering, and lost quality of life.
This should serve as a solid starting point for estimating your recovery. You should conduct this process with an experienced slip and fall lawyer.
Schedule a free case evaluation and no obligation today with a slip and fall attorney from our law firm. We can set up an attorney client relationship to prosecute your case and obtain relief.
We are experts in proving liability and know how to establish a lack of reasonable care in a fall accident (by reviewing medical records, investigating what happened, etc.) prior to recovering damages.
Our team can also handle many cases involving medical malpractice, car accident, premises liability, auto accident, or similar events.
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Case After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Per Illinois law 735 ILCS 5/13-202, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to bring a claim. This can sound like a lot of time, but it goes by quickly especially if you need substantial medical attention for brain injuries or other critical conditions.
There are some exceptions where the injured can bring a claim later. However, these mostly apply to children and fraudulent situations which do not apply to many victims.
Call our law firm to get a free case review and no obligation consultation from a slip and fall attorney. Our firm can set up an attorney client relationship so you can get legal counsel from a dedicated lawyer.
We will look at the accident and premises liability law to see how to establish fault, how they didn't exercise reasonable care, and how to dispute comparative negligence. This will help you get a fair settlement and compensation under Illinois law.
Slip and Fall Case Summaries
$1,225,000 Illinois Settlement:
A pastor in his late sixties was out walking his dog at night when he slipped on some ice on a neighbor’s driveway and seriously injured his head. He sustained a traumatic brain injury as well as a subdural hematoma that required cranioplasties and craniectomies.
The pastor sued the neighbor. He alleged the water was an unnatural accumulation from a downspout that turned into black ice. The defendant shot back that the pastor was drunk or, in the alternative, that the ice was a natural accumulation and open and obvious.
Their differences did not prevent them from settling the matter to end the litigation. The pastor received $1,225,000 in financial compensation for his economic damages (medical expenses) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering).
$400,000 Illinois Settlement:
A construction worker was working at a Jewel grocery location when he slipped on ice and fell to the ground. He was fifty-give. The man suffered spinal damage at L4 and L5.
Though they did not require surgery, he still incurred medical expenses close to $100,000 for other medical treatment and lost over $100,000 from missed work. To recoup for that as well as the other economic and non-economic damages, he sued the grocer as well as the general contractor.
He claimed they knew of this dangerous condition but failed to tell him about it or rectify the situation. The parties settled the matter for $400,000.
$110,000 Illinois Settlement:
This personal injury claim was brought against a condo association by a condo owner. She was just forty-six at the time of the accident. The woman slipped on some ice in the parking lot and aggravated a prior lower back injury at the L5-S1 spot on her spine.
She needed surgery and other medical treatment totaling nearly $50,000. The woman also racked up thousands of dollars of losses because she had to miss work to recover.
While leaving snow unattended might not ordinarily incur liability in Illinois for slip and fall accidents, the association was supposed to clear per its bylaws. The two sides settled the dispute for $110,000.
Need help proving negligence in your claim? Then contact our offices to obtain a free consultation from a qualified lawyer.
Do You Still Have Concerns About an Illinois Slip and Fall Claim?
Every lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC strives to ensure that our clients succeed on their Illinois slip and fall claims to the fullest extent possible. To accomplish that, we work with clients according to a contingency fee agreement.
That agreement states we will not charge clients for the work that we do for their Illinois slip and fall claims unless they are happy with the jury award or settlement amount that we bring them.
We will give you this same promise. Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today by calling (888) 424-5757 and learn how we can secure your rights.