Any time you suffer injuries due to another party’s negligence, you may wonder how you can best manage an injury claim and maximize the compensation you can recover.
After a slip and fall, for example, you may find yourself asking, “Is it hard to get compensation for slip and fall injuries?” Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you address the common challenges of dealing with a slip-and-fall case.
Winning a Slip and Fall Case: Is It Difficult?
Slip and fall cases can, in some cases, prove very difficult to navigate. To file a slip and fall claim, you will need to establish that you suffered injuries due to the negligence of another party.
Negligence can mean several things, including failure to clean up a mess promptly or to properly maintain the property. However, in some cases, the property owner may try to show a lack of knowledge regarding the incident, which can make it more difficult to establish that the property owner or an employee of the owner committed that act of negligence.
Working with a lawyer can make it much easier to deal with the challenges that may go along with a slip-and-fall accident claim.
The Challenges Associated With Slip and Fall Accident Claims
Slip and fall accident claims can present some unique challenges that can impact the way your claim progresses and how you can pursue compensation for the injuries you may have sustained.
Establishing Duty of Care
To show that you have the right to file an injury claim against the party that caused your injuries, you will need to show that the property owner bore a duty of care to you at the time of the incident. Both public and private property owners may bear a duty of care to those who visit that property. However, to show a duty of care, you may need to establish that you entered the property legally, especially in the case of an incident on private property.
You will need to show that you did not suffer your accident due to trespassing and that the liable party bore a legitimate duty of care to you at the time of the incident.
If you entered private property without permission or entered an area of a business that you should not have accessed, it can interfere with your ability to pursue compensation for slip and fall accident injuries. Working with a lawyer may make it easier to clearly establish that the liable party did bear a duty of care to you at the time of the incident.
In the case of some injury claims, collecting evidence can prove simple. Video footage of an accident, for example, can make it much easier to show what happened that led to the accident. After a slip and fall, however, you may not have that essential video footage.
Many businesses may not have security cameras. Even when they do, those cameras may not record footage, or the system may write over the footage within days. Furthermore, security camera footage often proves grainy or blurry, making it difficult to see what led to your accident.
As a result, slip and fall accident claims often rely on witness testimony and your accounting of events. All too often, witness memory fades or grows distorted after an accident. Witnesses may not accurately recall the events that led to the accident. You may find that your memory of events blurs faster than you anticipated.
To show that you deserve compensation for a slip and fall injury, you will need to show that the owner of the property, or an employee that works on the property, committed an act of negligence that led to your accident. Negligence can take several forms, depending on exactly what caused your slip and fall accident.
Failing to Keep up With Maintenance on the Property
Sometimes, a slip-and-fall accident may result from negligent maintenance. A property owner that allows the property to fall into disrepair may bear liability for any accident resulting from poor maintenance. However, to establish negligent maintenance, you may need to clearly show that the property owner knew about potential problems and did not take steps to fix them.
For example, suppose that a handrail breaks, sending you plummeting to the floor as you make your way down the stairs. You may need to show that the property owner knew the handrail had grown worn with time, but did nothing to take care of that damage.
Failure to Clean Spills in a Timely Manner
Spills occur as a normal part of business in many stores and properties. Water tracked in from outside or spills from customers can quickly make a floor very slippery. Many visitors to the store, however, may not realize the potential dangers they face until they step onto the surface and suffer a dangerous fall.
If the property owner, or an employee responsible for keeping up with the property and the customer experience, knows about the spill and does not take steps to put up warning signs and clean it up, the business or property owner may bear liability for injuries that occur as a result of that fall. However, to establish negligence, you may need to show that the property owner or an employee should have known about the spill or did know about the spill and took no steps to fix it.
In many cases, the insurance company may argue that you do not deserve compensation because the property owner and the employees could not have known about the spill.
Failure to Properly Warn Guests About Potential Hazards
Sometimes, it may prove difficult for property owners to keep up with maintenance and repair to all possible hazards on the property. Those hazards may crop up at inconvenient times: for example, fixing hazards outside may need to wait until the weather clears since rain can prove incredibly detrimental to a concrete settings.
Property owners, however, should warn their guests about the hazards they might face to avoid the risk of an accident. If the property owner does not take the time to warn guests, the property owner may bear liability if an accident occurs.
Establishing the Extent of the Injuries You Suffered
A slip-and-fall accident can result in anything from relatively minor injuries to severe ones. Some people might slip and climb back to their feet with a relatively little problem: no more injuries than a few scrapes and bruises. Others, however, may end up suffering severe injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury
If you hit your head during a fall, you may wind up with a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury can prove very difficult to lay out as part of an injury claim since it can cause vastly different symptoms between different people. Some people with minor traumatic brain injury may heal up within a couple of weeks or months, leaving them with relatively few symptoms.
Others may have symptoms that linger for more than a year after the initial incident. The impact of traumatic brain injury can spread far beyond headaches, tunnel vision, and physical symptoms. Patients with traumatic brain injury may struggle with ongoing symptoms like memory loss, short-term memory difficulties, and difficulty maintaining focus and concentration.
Traumatic brain injury can also impact emotional regulation. Measuring the impact of traumatic brain injury and showing how it may impact every area of your life can prove very difficult, since patients may have such different symptoms.
Some people may prove more prone to suffering broken bones in a slip and fall than others. For example, elderly individuals and those with underlying health conditions may have a greater risk of serious injuries from a fall, including broken bones. A broken hip can prove catastrophic for many patients. In fact, elderly individuals can have a high risk of death after a slip and fall that results in a broken hip.
However, many slip-and-fall accident victims will suffer broken bones in areas other than the hip. Broken bones in the hands and arms occur commonly, often due to the victim attempting to break the fall. Victims can also break other bones, including bones in the ribs or legs, as they fall to the ground after a devastating slip.
Often, the impact of broken bones can last far beyond the initial injury. In many cases, patients end up struggling to deal with the aftermath of those broken bones, which may include limited mobility or long-term pain.
Back and Neck Injuries
Back and neck injuries can prove difficult to include as part of an injury claim because they may vary so dramatically from one person to the next. Back and neck injuries may cause extreme pain, limb weakness, and a host of struggles, particularly if the injured party does not receive adequate care as soon as possible after the accident.
Unfortunately, because those injuries vary so much, the property owner’s insurance company may try to claim that the injured party did not suffer as much as they claim. The insurance company may refuse to pay for the full medical damages suffered by the injured party, much less the other damages, like lost income.
In many cases, after severe injuries from a slip and fall, the insurance company may try to claim that a minor fall like the one suffered by the victim could not have caused those injuries. However, by working with an experienced medical and legal team, victims may have an easier time fully establishing the damages they suffered.
Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue damage, including strains and sprains, can cause more difficulty than many think. You may find that your slip and fall accident injuries cause severe limitations, including preventing you from returning to work or making it difficult to take care of yourself for some time after the accident. However, the insurance company may try to argue that you sustained only minor injuries and that, as a result, you do not need any compensation for more than those minor medical expenses.
How to Increase Your Odds of Winning a Slip and Fall Case
Trying to handle a slip-and-fall accident claim alone is practically impossible.
Working with a lawyer, however, can make it easier to proceed with your slip and fall accident claim, increasing the odds that you will recover reasonable compensation for those injuries.
- A lawyer can help collect the essential evidence to establish that the property owner’s negligence led to your accident. A lawyer can help lay out all the details that may have contributed to a slip and fall accident, making it much easier to showcase the compensation you deserve for those injuries.
- A lawyer can put together a clear account of the injuries you sustained and the damages that went along with them, making it easier for you to put together a comprehensive claim that includes the full compensation you expect and deserve for those injuries.
- A lawyer can make sure that you understand the compensation you deserve.
- By working with a lawyer, you can show the insurance company that you intend to take the claim seriously, increasing your odds of recovering reasonable compensation for your injuries.
Do not try to handle a slip-and-fall accident claim alone, which could minimize your compensation. Instead, contact an attorney as soon after your fall as possible to learn more about the compensation you deserve.