Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. Anytime we go shopping or to the mall, we could end up falling and getting hurt. Sometimes we fall due to our own clumsiness. Other times, we fall because the person who owns the property didn’t maintain a safe environment. You have to realize that not all falls lead to a lawsuit. Not all falls result in injuries. In order to have a valid slip and fall claim, you need to suffer an injury. It’s not like on television where somebody falls and walks away with a million dollars. Your personal injury settlement depends on your actual injuries. It also depends on the circumstances of your case. If you do fall because of somebody’s negligence, you will need a Mableton slip and fall lawyer. Your lawyer will deal with the defendant’s insurance company and try to get your claim paid. If the parties are unable to settle, he will have to file a lawsuit. This is a last resort as lawsuits can be time-consuming and expensive.
If you fall on someone’s property, you should seek medical attention. Some people refuse treatment because they’re afraid of the costs involved. This is a mistake. It’s important that you seek treatment because:
Your slip and fall attorney in Mableton will have to prove a few things in order for you to win. He will need to demonstrate that:
If your Mableton slip and fall lawyer can’t prove these four elements, you may not recover anything at all. Simply falling doesn’t automatically entitle you to compensation. You need to demonstrate that the defendant is responsible for your injuries. If the defendant can prove he is not in breach of his duty of care, you may lose your case. Your Mableton slip and fall lawyer will try to settle your case.
In most slip and fall cases, you will have to file a claim with the defendant’s insurance company. Sometimes your claim will be paid in full and you won’t need a Mableton slip and fall lawyer at all. Other times, your claim will be denied. You will have to rely on an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Mableton to get your claim approved.
Not all slip and fall accidents qualify as negligence. If your claim is clearly lacking, the insurance company has no reason to pay it. However, if your claim is legitimate, it is in the best interest of the insurance company to settle. Your slip and fall attorney in Mableton will work hard to convince them of this.
Here is an example of a clear-cut slip and fall where you should be eligible for compensation:
Example 1: You fall while walking through a parking lot. The parking lot has poor lighting and the ground is torn up from years of neglect. You are wearing sneakers because it’s been raining and you need to keep your feet dry. Halfway to your car, you trip in a 4-inch deep pothole and fall. You break your ankle and chip your two front teeth. You also suffer two broken wrists from trying to break your fall.
In this case, you have a clear example of negligence. The property owner had a responsibility to keep the parking lot safe. Instead, there was poor lighting and potholes in the ground. Since the lighting is poor, it’s hard to see where you’re going. The hole that you fell in was 4-inches deep so it should have been obvious to the property owner. You are wearing sensible shoes so the defendant can’t argue that you are should share blame. You suffered some pretty serious injuries. An experienced slip and fall lawyer in Mableton should be able to get you compensation for your injuries.
Let’s compare the first example with one that is not so clear-cut.
Example 2: You spent your Friday night in a local bar doing shots of vodka and smoking marijuana. You decide to walk home rather than drive. On the way home, you fall while crossing the street. You tear your ACL and suffer back injuries as a result. There is a video camera on the corner that captures the incident. In the video, you can clearly see that you are stumbling as you walk down the street. When you trip, you can be heard exclaiming, “Gosh, I’m so drunk I can barely walk.”
In this example, it’s going to be very difficult for your Mableton slip and fall lawyer to get a settlement. You were clearly drunk in the video. You even said as much. You were stumbling the whole way home. It is much more likely that you fell because you were intoxicated. Unless your slip and fall attorney in Mableton can prove the street was extremely unsafe, you should not expect compensation. In fact, very few Mableton slip and fall lawyers would even accept a case like this.
Some people are afraid to meet with a Mableton, GA slip and fall lawyer because they are partially at fault. They figure since the fall was partly their fault, they aren’t entitled to compensation. This is not the case. In Georgia, there is something called comparative negligence. This means that if you seem to be partially at fault, you can still file a suit against the defendant. However, your claim will be lowered by whatever percentage you were at fault.
The one caveat is that your claim will be dismissed if you are more at fault than the defendant. In the first example, the girl on her way home from the bar’s claim would likely be dismissed. She was clearly more at fault than the person who maintained the streets of Mableton.
The way comparative negligence works is simple. Let’s say your case is worth $100,000. Let’s also presume you were found to be 25% at fault for your injuries. Comparative negligence means that your claim will be reduced by 25%. So, instead of receiving $100,000, you will only receive $75,000.
Just because you slip and fall doesn’t mean you’re automatically entitled to damages. You need to actually suffer an injury to file a legal claim. In order to prove that you were injured, you need to receive medical treatment. It’s critical that you see a doctor immediately following the slip and fall. It’s also important to call the police in some situations to be certain you have an accident report.
If you fall on a commercial property, the store manager or property manager will handle your fall. He will usually have you fill out an incident form to document the incident. If you are unable to do this because you’re too hurt, say so. Your main priority is getting medical care. The manager should call for an ambulance. The ambulance will take you to the hospital so you can be checked out and treated.
If you have been injured, you may be entitled to damages. Your slip and fall attorney in Mableton will demand the following damages:
Your slip and fall lawyers can only get you damages if you comply with treatment. Make sure you attend all doctor’s appointments. Go to all physical therapy sessions. If you refuse treatment, your Mableton slip and fall lawyer may not be able to win your case.
If you’ve suffered a slip and fall, you may be entitled to damages for pain and suffering. Slip and fall lawyers make a point of demanding this type of damages. How much you receive will depend on the circumstances of your case. Your Mableton slip and fall lawyer may rely on experts to help prove your damages. He may have friends and family testify about how much pain you were in. Because pain is a subjective thing, it’s impossible to really prove or disprove.
Your slip and fall attorney in Mableton will fight to get you every penny you deserve. If your case actually goes to trial, a judge or jury will determine your damages. The court will look at the following when considering damages for pain and suffering:
It is your slip and fall lawyer’s job to prove pain and suffering. It is the defendant’s job to prove that you didn’t experience pain and suffering. Since it is subjective, your Mableton slip and fall lawyer will try to settle your case. In many settlements, a portion of the money is earmarked for pain and suffering.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, call a slip and fall attorney in Mableton. They can sit down with you and discuss your case. You can ask any questions or concerns you may have. Your lawyer can even contact the insurance company while you’re in his office. He may be able to get them to reconsider your claim.
When you meet with your slip and fall attorney in Mableton, you should bring the following:
This information helps slip and fall lawyers get a feel for the value of your case. If you have a legitimate case, most Mableton slip and fall lawyers will accept it. They will reach out to the insurance company on your behalf. They will try to reach a settlement for you. Settlements are in the best interests of all parties.
It’s important to keep in mind that it is your slip and fall lawyer’s job to make you whole. It is not his job to make you rich. You can only get damages for your actual losses. Your slip and fall attorney in Mableton will try his best to get you’re the compensation you deserve. It’s important that you be realistic about what to expect from your case.
If you’ve suffered a slip a fall accident, contact a Mableton GA personal injury lawyer today. The first consultation is free. You can ask all your questions. This meeting also gives your slip and fall attorney in Mableton a chance to review your case. Remember, you don’t pay until we conclude your case.