Recovering from a Trip-and-Fall Accident
The National Safety Council reports that more than 25,000 slips, trips and falls occur every day in the United States. That comes out to one injury every 17 minutes.
These accidents can happen just about anywhere, from the workplace to the shopping mall to the grocery store to neighborhood sidewalks to private residences. Slippery floors, loose stairway railings, cracked sidewalks, and wires or cords not sufficiently fastened to the ground are just some of the causes of these accidents.
While most trip-and-fall accidents aren’t life threatening, they often lead to broken bones, back and/or neck injuries, concussions or torn ligaments. Moreover, they typically result in several doctor’s visits, x-ray exams and physical therapy sessions, as well as numerous days or weeks of missed work.
While some types of personal injury cases may not require a lawyer’s help, trip-and-fall cases are different for a couple of reasons.
- First, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault for the accident.
- Second, property owners can and often do claim that the injured person was at least partially, if not fully, responsible for the accident. If they’re successful in their claim, no matter how bogus it may be, your monetary award could be substantially reduced.
What can a lawyer do to help me? Ultimately, the onus is on the injured person to prove the property owner’s negligence. That’s where a skilled trip-and-fall attorney can be especially helpful. These attorneys will often conduct a thorough investigation, secure witness statements and testimony, and research past legal records to assess whether previous trip-and-fall accidents occurred at that site to determine the negligence of the property owner or third-party defendant.
Trip-and-Fall Claim vs. Trip-and-Fall Lawsuit. Some accident victims mistakenly believe that taking the property owner to court is their only option in recovering their expenses. However, in specific cases, it is more cost-efficient to file a claim for compensation with the defendant’s insurance company. Some insurance companies are happy to settle with you out of court and help the property owner avoid publicity, rather than incur the costs of a lengthy trial and potentially high damage awards.
When insurance companies refuse to offer the level of compensation that is rightfully yours, you can always refuse their offer and take the property owner to court. An experienced attorney can advise you on the best solution for you once an offer is on the table.