A slip-and-fall accident can happen unexpectedly at any time and anywhere. Perhaps while shopping in a store, a recently mopped floor causes you to fall. Or while in the parking lot, you may suddenly trip on cracked pavement and fall. Not only can such a fall be embarrassing, but it can also leave you with injuries, some of which may be life-changing.
Perhaps, you may be thinking of pursuing compensation for damages suffered from the fall. After all, in most cases, the cause of a slip-and-fall accident is found to be another person’s negligence. So, a logical question would be, how can I prove damages suffered from a slip-and-fall and get fair compensation?
The lawyers of Kiley Law Group, LLC, have the legal expertise to assist you or your loved one. Our personal injury lawyers have successfully won over $1 billion for damages for our clients. Our policy is no fee until we win, so contact Kiley Law Group today at (888) 435-1321 for a free consultation.
Common Causes of a Slip-and-Fall Accident
A slip-and-fall accident can occur due to a variety of causes. Some of the most common causes are the following:
- Snowy/icy sidewalks and parking lots: Walkways, stairs, sidewalks, and parking lots can become dangerous after a winter storm. An accumulation of snow and ice can render hazardous such surfaces.
- Wet/slippery surfaces: On indoor surfaces, a spill can occur which would create a slip-and-fall risk for passersby. The same would be true of a recently mopped floor.
- Broken/uneven surfaces: Sidewalks can become hazardous when they become uneven or break due to the roots of a tree or the weather. In some cases, simply the amount of traffic can result in an uneven surface.
- Broken handrails and stairs: When stairs and handrails are missing or broken, a person can lose his or her balance and suffer a slip-and-fall accident. Due to this risk, regular maintenance is required.
- Torn carpets: A torn or ripped carpet increases the risk of slip-and-fall accidents, since passersby may not notice a tear. As such, a victim’s foot may get caught, or he or she may lose balance and fall.
- Obstacles in walkways: Exposed power cords or debris left in a walkway can cause an unexpected victim to experience a slip-and-fall. This is a common hazard on worksites.
- Inadequate lighting: Improper lighting can conceal a tripping hazard from a passerby. Some areas that may have inadequate lighting include stairways, restrooms, and parking lots.
- Potholes: Parking lots receive a large amount of traffic from cars and pedestrians. If improperly maintained, potholes can develop, which would create a tripping hazard to unsuspecting passersby.
Of course, this list is not comprehensive. There are many other causes of slip-and-fall accidents. If you or your loved one has suffered harm in a slip-and-fall accident, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for damages.
Premises Liability and Slip-and-Falls
The law of premises liability makes clear that property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment, or premises, for all potential visitors. When an injury occurs due to negligence on the part of the owner, he or she could be found liable for compensation for damages.
The law of premises liability applies to all types of residences and commercial properties. Some of these include shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, offices, hotels, beauty salons, sidewalks, and parking lots.
Proving Damages in a Slip-and-Fall Accident
When a slip-and-fall accident occurs, how can you pursue compensation for damages? Who would be responsible? How can you prove the damages you suffered due to the slip-and-fall accident?
To receive compensation for damages, you would have to prove that the owner not only knew of a potential risk on his or her property but also failed to attend to it or post a warning. For residential properties, you can gather evidence of this by taking photographs and using eyewitness testimony.
If the injury occurred on a commercial property, video footage from surveillance cameras and incident reports would help to prove that a hazard existed on the property that should have been attended to, or whether or not a warning had been given.
Additionally, you would need to show proof that you suffered damages for which you would need to be compensated. Consider the following, for example.
This refers to the costs of treating the injuries you suffered from the accident. Proof can be provided by obtaining medical records and bills, even for the repeated treatment of the same injury. Also, providing receipts for medical devices and prescription medicines would show proof of damages.
Not to be overlooked are the costs for future medical treatment as a result of the injury. This would include medical services such as surgeries, physical therapy, chiropractic services, and counseling.
Also included in damages for compensation are lost wages, or the income you would have earned had you not suffered a slip-and-fall accident. If you are employed, you can provide copies of your pay stubs and tax returns. Further, your employer can provide additional information on sick days used and any overtime, bonuses, or promotions you may have lost by being unable to work.
If you are self-employed, showing 1099s, income tax returns, contracts, and correspondence regarding potential work opportunities could be used to show lost income damages. If you suffered a life-changing injury, calculations of any future loss of income can be included in damages.
Any clothing, shoes, or personal items that were damaged as a result of the accident would constitute property damage. Perhaps your clothing was ruined by bloodstains or torn from the accident, or perhaps it was cut by medical professionals to gain access to the injury.
Additional property damage from a slip-and-fall accident can include broken eyeglasses, damaged jewelry, and damaged electronics such as phones and tablets. By placing these damaged clothing and items in a sealed bag and dating it, you can preserve these to later use as evidence of damages suffered.
Damages for a slip and fall injury may also include non-economic damages. These can include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, permanent disfigurement or disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. But, how can you prove damages for non-tangible losses?
Photographs of any scarring or disfigurement, coupled with testimony from medical experts regarding prognosis can be used to provide proof of damages. Also, the importance of a daily journal highlighting the recovery process, events, and activities missed due to the injury, and your personal thoughts cannot be underestimated.
Of course, there may be other damages for which you may seek compensation, and providing evidence for those damages may require additional work. This is why it is crucial to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your attorney would know how to gather evidence to strengthen your claim to compensation.
Compensation for Damages From a Slip-and-Fall Accident
If you have suffered a slip-and-fall accident, you may be surprised at how quickly medical expenses can accumulate. It may seem that the bills just keep coming. Further, you may be dealing with reduced or lost wages resulting from the slip-and-fall.
You should not have to pay for someone else’s negligence. Although you may have a valid claim to compensation, you would need to provide proof of damages. Obtaining such proof may be difficult to do on your own. With the help of a highly skilled personal injury lawyer, though, you may be able to win compensation to cover all damages related to the accident.
The Personal Injury Lawyers of Kiley Law Group Can Assist With Your Claim
When you experience a personal injury from a slip-and-fall accident, the change in your circumstances may cause you to feel completely overwhelmed. The physical pain, and the mounting medical expenses – coupled with the inability to return to work – may be causing you much distress.
Don’t suffer alone. A personal injury lawyer with Kiley Law Group can help with the process of proving proof of damages and seeking compensation from the responsible party.
Don’t make the mistake of speaking with an insurance company before speaking with a lawyer. The insurance adjuster could minimize the cost of your claim or deny compensation based on a lack of evidence of damages. Your lawyer, though, would know how to gather evidence in support of your claim and how to communicate with the insurance adjusters.
You have a legal right to fair compensation, and we want to help you get the maximum amount you are entitled to receive. This will take effort on your attorney’s part, but you can rest with peace of mind as we work hard on your behalf.
Contact Kiley Law Group today by calling (888) 435-1321 for a free consultation. Remember, there’s no fee until we win!