Elizabethtown Kentucky Slip, Trip and Fall Accident Attorney
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Slips and Falls FAQs
If you’ve been hurt due to dangerous conditions, you may be entitled to compensation through a slip and fall lawsuit. It’s important to note that, although these are called slip and fall cases, accidents of various types caused by unsafe property fall under this term. In this FAQ, we will answer your most pressing questions around slips and falls.
What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall?
As is the case for all personal injuries, your first step must be to seek medical attention — even if it seems like your injuries are not serious. This is not only important for your health: it also starts the documentation process, which will ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. It’s important to note that your injuries may seem minor initially, but some (including internal organ damage and brain damage) present no symptoms for a couple days or even weeks.
The next step is to report the accident to the person in charge of the property. This could be the homeowner, landlord, property manager, or business owner, but it could also be a hospital administrator or municipality. Make sure you follow up later to check if the person has made a report and, in case there was no police report, to gain your own copy.
Finally, make your own report of the incident. Take photos of the scene, showing where you fell and what caused your injury. Make notes about factors that contributed to the accident. If there were any witnesses, include their contact information. It’s also crucial you keep the clothes and shoes you were wearing in the exact condition as they are now — don’t clean them.
Where Can Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
A slip and fall can happen virtually anywhere. Common places include:
- Private property
- Parking lots
- Hospitals and nursing homes
The reasons for slip and fall accidents are just as diverse:
- Unsafe carpeting, rugs, or vinyl flooring
- A poorly-maintained street or sidewalk
- Insufficient lighting
- Spills on the ground
- Wires, cords, hoses, or other clutter
- Uneven stairs
- A broken handrail
- Buildup of snow or ice
Do Slip and Fall Cases Apply in the Workplace?
In most cases, you cannot use a slip and fall claim against an employer, but you may be able to receive workers’ compensation. However, if the accident was due to negligence on the behalf of a third party, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against the other company.
What Compensation Can I Receive?
Compensation can cover medical costs, future medical bills, lost wages, and other related damages. All these fall into the category of special damages, meaning they relate directly to your injury. You may also have general damages, including pain and suffering or a change of lifestyle due to the accident. These are more difficult to calculate. Due to these factors, the amount each victim receives from a slip and fall case varies considerably.
How Can I Increase My Chances of Winning a Claim?
Slip and fall lawsuits are complex — it’s not simply a case of suing because you fell on someone else’s property. To win your claim, you’ll need to provide evidence that proves four elements.
The first element is duty, which refers to the responsibility of the person who owns or rents the property to keep the premises in a safe condition. You’ll need to provide evidence to show the person you are suing had a duty to maintain the premises at the time of your injury.
Second is notice, which means the person you are suing should have known the condition could cause an injury. It’s unlikely the person knew about the risk and chose to ignore it; more often, the party responsible failed to inspect the premises.
The third element is dangerous condition. As the name implies, you need to prove the condition was dangerous, rather than just a minor defect from regular wear and tear that would not normally lead to an accident. In addition, you’ll need to prove that you were using the premises as intended.
Fourth is damages. You need to show that your injuries were a direct result of the accident. This condition demonstrates the importance of early and accurate documentation of your accident.
How Long Will the Case Take?
Since cases are complicated, it can take a while to resolve your lawsuit. On average, a lawsuit for an injury involving just soft tissues (no broken bones) takes between 3 and 6 months. Cases filed in court, though, may take a year or even 18 months.
Should I File a Claim Against a Friend or Neighbor?
Understandably, many people feel hesitant about filing a slip and fall claim against someone they care about. However, you may be struggling to pay your medical bills on your own (especially if you’ve lost income as a result of the accident). The good news is you’ll actually be filing a claim against the person’s insurance company.
Property owners have a legal responsibility to hold a minimum amount of insurance to compensate anyone who is injured on their property. This is called premises liability. In the case of negligence, you file a liability claim and receive compensation to cover your losses. In other words, it will be the insurance company that pays you, not your friend, neighbor, or family member.
Can I Claim a Slip and Fall Accident from Street Crime?
If you were a victim of street crime, you may be able to pursue a slip and fall case in addition to the criminal proceedings against your assailant. You can use a premises liability claim if the property owner failed to take adequate steps to prevent the crime, such as by securing the area or installing sufficient lighting.
If you’ve suffered from a slip and fall accident, you need an attorney who specializes in this type of personal injury. Never sign anything you receive from the defendant’s insurance company, as you may only receive an amount to cover your initial medical bills and you’ll lose the right to further compensation. Contact us to set up a consultation to ensure you receive the full amount you are entitled to.
Have you or someone you know been injured in a slip, trip, or fall?
When a slip and fall accident is caused by a hazardous condition that should have been fixed by a property owner, the victim could be owed compensation.
Following a slip and fall accident, it is critical to hire an experienced attorney who understands the law and is prepared to fight for you. Property owners and the companies that insure them will often try to fight injury claims and may try to shift the blame to the victim.
That’s why it is so important to immediately get help from an attorney if you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall accident in Kentucky. Do not discuss your case with insurance company representatives until you have legal representation.
What should I do next?
The Fleck Firm is committed to helping injured people seek justice. Contact us at (270) 447-7000, or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand your legal options during a free consultation.
Remember, the insurance company has lawyers. You should have one too.