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In 2021, a total of 44,686 people died in falls either at home or at work, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many more people were injured by slipping and falling.
A lot of these falls were accidents, but many may have been avoidable but for the negligence of others. If you were hurt in a fall, you may want to consult a slip-and-fall lawyer to learn about your options. An attorney experienced with slip-and-fall cases can help evaluate your accident and advise you on how to proceed.
This guide to finding the best slip-and-fall lawyer helps you find an attorney with the skills and experience needed to best represent you.
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Tips for Finding the Best Slip-and-Fall Lawyer
Finding a slip-and-fall lawyer you can trust to represent you can be complicated. But taking these steps can help ensure you have the right legal advocate during a difficult time in your life.
Ask People You Know for Referrals
While you may not have ever hired a slip-and-fall lawyer before, chances are you have worked with attorneys in the past or know someone who has. So, tap into your network to help you choose an attorney. If you’ve worked with an estate planning lawyer or a real estate lawyer for example, they may be able to refer you to a slip-and-fall lawyer they trust.
There are also professional organizations, including your state or local bar association, which can provide attorney referrals. These are a helpful resource in your search for the best person to help with your slip-and-fall case.
Find out How Payments Work
Before you hire a slip-and-fall lawyer, it’s imperative you understand how your attorney will charge for legal services.
The good news is, most slip-and-fall lawyers charge on a contingent fee basis. This means you don’t need to worry about having to pay legal fees out-of-pocket if you lose your case. Your lawyer collects a percentage of the compensation they recover for you only if you are successful in getting damages for your slip and fall.
Lawyers do differ regarding whether you have to pay actual expenses—such as court fees and expert witness fees—if your case is unsuccessful. So you’ll need to find out what the policy is on this for any attorney you consider hiring.
Make Sure Your Lawyer Has Experience With Slip-and-Fall Cases
Slip-and-fall cases are fall under a body of law called premises liability law or tort law. This law applies if you slip on someone’s property when you are not at work.
Make sure the lawyer you hire has experience with the specific type of slip-and-fall case that affects you.
It’s also important to make sure your lawyer has experience with both settling cases and going to court or to workers’ compensation hearings as it’s difficult to know up front how your case will be resolved.
Why You Need a Slip-and-Fall Lawyer
Hiring an experienced attorney is crucial to resolving your case in the best way possible. Your lawyer will help you in many important ways, including taking care of the following tasks.
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Your Lawyer Helps You Understand What Laws Apply to Your Case
Your lawyer will assist in identifying all parties against whom you could pursue a tort claim so you can get the maximum damages.
Premises liability and tort laws require you to prove negligence in order to be compensated for losses. To prove negligence, you may have to establish what your “status” was on the property where your injury occurred.
For example, if you are classified as a “trespasser,” the property owner does not owe you the same duty of care as if you were a “licensee” or an “invitee.” These are technical legal terms that can be complex to understand but make a big difference in how easy it is to make your claim.
Your attorney will explain the definition of each status and assist you in proving that the property owner failed to live up to the duty they owed you. This will maximize the chances your claim is successful.
Your Lawyer Helps You to Decide Whether to Settle
In many cases, slip-and-fall claims are settled without litigation or a hearing. You could settle with your employer’s workers’ comp insurer or with the insurer representing the property owner where your injury happened. This is often a homeowners’ insurer or a property insurer.
Settling can be a faster, easier and less stressful way to get compensation if you receive a fair settlement offer. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to maximize the chances of that happening and can assist you in deciding whether a settlement is worth accepting.
Your Attorney Represents You in Hearings or Litigation
Finally, if you cannot agree with the state as to what your injury or workers’ comp claim is worth, your lawyer will represent you in hearings before the court or before an administrative law judge working within the workers’ compensation system. These proceedings require specialized legal knowledge to make your case, prove damages, and get the money you deserve.
If you are pursuing a tort claim and cannot reach a settlement with the defendant, your attorney will handle your trial.
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How to Interview a Slip-and-Fall Lawyer
- Ask About Experience: You want to know exactly what your attorney’s past track record and experience is. While your case is unique, a lawyer who has had many past successes stands a greater chance of helping you prevail.
- Make Sure You Know Who Will Handle the Details: Sometimes, associate attorneys or paralegals handle many aspects of your case. Find out how involved your attorney will actually be in the day-to-day management of your claim.
- Ensure Your Communication Styles Are a Match: Be sure you’re comfortable sharing intimate details about your injury and that you’re satisfied with the method and frequency of communication your lawyer will use.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who is responsible when you trip and fall?
When you trip and fall, the property owner may be held responsible if they were negligent in fulfilling their obligation to create a safe premises. Your employer may be responsible for any fall-related injuries that happen while you are performing work duties. A slip-and-fall lawyer helps you identify parties who could be held legally responsible to cover your damages.
What is the typical compensation for a slip-and-fall injury?
Compensation for a slip-and-fall injury is based on many factors, including whether you are pursuing a work injury case or a personal injury claim. The severity of your injuries also affects the compensation you will receive. For a non-fatal slip-and-fall personal injury claim, the typical compensation is between $10,000 and $50,000 while fatal incidents usually have payouts of $200,000 or more.
What happens if I slip and fall at work?
If you were hurt on the job, you cannot sue your employer and must go through the workers’ compensation system. There are good and bad things about going through this system rather than the courts.
Going through the workers’ compensation system means that you won’t have to prove negligence. As long as you demonstrate your fall happened while performing job duties, you’re entitled to benefits. While it’s easier to get benefits if your slip-and-fall injury happened at work, you won’t be able to get as much compensation as you could recover through a personal injury lawsuit. Workers’ compensation won’t pay for pain and suffering damages, for example.
A slip-and-fall attorney can help you even if you were injured at work. In addition to making sure your workers’ compensation claim isn’t denied and gets paid in full, skilled slip-and-fall lawyers can also help you identify third-party defendants you could sue after a work injury to try to maximize your compensation.
The largest settlement ever awarded in a slip and fall lawsuit was over 20 million dollars. This amount was awarded to the plaintiff, an elderly woman who suffered severe injuries after slipping on a wet tile floor in a hotel lobby.Why slip and fall cases are difficult to win? ›
Slip and fall cases are difficult to win. This is because they are a type of premises liability, which means that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent in their duty of care.What criteria important to selecting an attorney for a new firm? ›
Experience is, by far, the most important thing to consider when selecting an attorney to represent you and your case. Make sure you to also select an attorney who devotes their time to a particular practice area related to your case, such as personal injury, estate planning or immigration, for example.What is the average compensation for a slip and fall? ›
The average slip-and-fall settlement is between $10,000 and $50,000. If you've been in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation.How much are most personal injury settlements? ›
An average personal injury settlement amount is anywhere between $3,000 and $75,000. Be careful when using an average personal injury settlement calculator to give you an idea of what you may stand to collect. These numbers really depend on your individual case and are hard to predict without a professional.What injuries are hard to prove? ›
Some injuries can change a person's life, but are incredibly difficult to diagnose and treat. This is often the case when it comes to injuries such as whiplash, nerve damage, sprains, strains, mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions.Do most falls result in injury? ›
Many falls do not cause injuries. But one out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live on their own. Falls can cause broken bones, like wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures.What is the most common cause of slips and falls? ›
Spills, ice, snow, rain, loose mats, rugs, and stepladders are some of the common causes of slips, trips, and falls. In addition, poor lighting and clutter can cause injuries such as sprains, strains, bruises, bumps, fractures, scratches, and cuts.What do people look for when they hire an attorney? ›
Look up a potential attorney on the State Bar website (www.calbar.ca.gov) to check for license status, eligibility to practice law, and history of public discipline. Ask a prospective attorney whether they carry liability or malpractice insurance.How do you know if your deposition went well? ›
You know your deposition is going well if you are answering questions to the best of your ability according to the advice of counsel. Your lawyers are there to protect your interests and object to questions you should not answer.
Theory of liability for a slip and fall
The owner or an employee of the property caused the condition that led to a fall. (For instance, if you slipped because of a spill, worn or torn carpet, or because of some other item left on the floor or underfoot, the owner might be liable for your injuries.)
- The cool, crisp mornings. ...
- What fall scent smells the best? ...
- What's your favorite fall activity? ...
- Where's your favorite place to go in the fall? ...
- What's your fondest fall memory from your childhood? ...
- What fall holiday do you enjoy most?
Average Payouts for Slip and Falls
Slip and fall payouts can be as low as $10,000 or in the millions. An average case can settle between $15,000 and $50,000. It will depend on the circumstances of the case, how much the other party was at fault, and the extent of your injuries and losses.
- TBIs. ...
- Spinal Cord Injuries. ...
- Broken Hip. ...
- Shoulder and Neck Injuries. ...
- Broken Arms or Legs. ...
- Soft Tissue Injuries.
Slipped on wet floor compensation claim time limits
As with any type of personal injury claim, if you've slipped on a wet floor and would like to be compensated, you'll need to abide by the 3-year time limit. Usually, this will begin from the date of your accident.
Some cases settle within days of a lawsuit being filed, or are even settled before the court paperwork is filed by a plaintiff to take civil action. In other situations, a settlement may be reached just before a jury reaches a verdict or even after a jury has made a decision and an appeal is pending.How long do settlement negotiations take? ›
Mediation can take as little as a few hours or as much as several days. If you still cannot agree during the mediation, you might decide to file a lawsuit. Overall, the settlement negotiation process typically takes a few weeks to a few months.How long does compensation take to pay out? ›
After your claim has settled you should receive your compensation between 14 – 21 days. This depends on if your claim was settled in or out of court.What is the hardest injury to heal? ›
Serious injuries that are long-term or permanent in nature are considered “catastrophic injuries,” and they are the most difficult to recover fully from. Examples of catastrophic injuries include, but are not limited to, the following: Traumatic brain injuries. Spinal cord injuries.What body injury hurts the most? ›
Flail Chest: Defined as at least two ribs broken in at least two places (each) this high force trauma injury occurs when a section of the rib-cage becomes broken away from the rest, and is able to move independently of the rest of the chest.
- Sudden, severe pain.
- Extreme swelling or bruising.
- Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot.
- Not being able to move a joint normally.
- Extreme weakness of an injured limb.
- A bone or joint that is visibly out of place.
- Physiological (anticipated). Most in-hospital falls belong to this category. ...
- Physiological (unanticipated). ...
weak muscles. health conditions – like stroke and Parkinson's disease. the side effects of some medications.
Common risk factors for falls
limitations in mobility and undertaking the activities of daily living. impaired walking patterns (gait) impaired balance.
Falls are of two basic types: elevated falls and same-level falls. Same-level falls are most frequent, but elevated falls are more severe. Same-level falls are generally slips or trips. Injury results when the individual hits a walking or working surface or strikes some other object during the fall.What usually results from slips and trips? ›
Lost wages & out-of-pocket expenses. Pain. Temporary or permanent disability. Reduced quality of life.What are 3 common causes of falls? ›
- balance problems and muscle weakness.
- vision loss.
- a long-term health condition, such as heart disease, dementia or low blood pressure (hypotension), which can lead to dizziness and a brief loss of consciousness.
Many clients ask us when to talk to a lawyer for the best legal outcomes for themselves. The best time to talk with a lawyer is before an arrest happens. If you think trouble is starting, such as the police investigating you or talking to your friends, family, and workplace, you need to act.What are good things to ask an attorney? ›
- Are you a generalist or a specialist lawyer? ...
- Can you describe your typical client? ...
- Besides the law degree, do you have any kind of special training or insights that may apply to my case? ...
- How do you bill your fees and costs? ...
- How long will I be able to retain your service?
- If I hire your firm, will you be the attorney handling my case? ...
- What other areas of law do you practice? ...
- Have you handled cases like mine before? ...
- Are my goals realistic? ...
- What is the likelihood of success?
Having excellent logical, analytical, research and writing skills are all hallmarks of a good lawyer. Successful lawyers must be able to prepare effective, clear and well-reasoned legal documents and arguments that require research, plus a strong analytical and logical approach.Why is it important to hire a good lawyer? ›
A Lawyer Can Present Your Strongest Case
Pleading guilty or admitting fault isn't the only choice, even if there's evidence pointing directly at you. When you hire a lawyer, they can explain all of your options and can help you avoid potentially severe penalties even before a trial begins.
- Critical/logical thinking. Alongside their professional qualities, strong civil litigators possess specific personal characteristics that are vital for success. ...
- Organization & Vision. ...
- Great communication skills. ...
- Empathy. ...
The Three C's: Cops, Courts, and Corrections – SOU-CCJ230 Introduction to the American Criminal Justice System.What are the four responsibilities of lawyers? ›
- Advise and represent clients in criminal or civil proceedings and in other legal matters.
- Communicate with clients, colleagues, judges, and others involved in a case.
- Conduct research and analysis of legal issues.
- Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for individuals and businesses.
- 1998 – The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement - $206 Billion. ...
- 2010 – Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill - $20 Billion. ...
- 2012 – Smartphone Wars - $40 Billion. ...
- 1999 – Rupert Murdoch Vs Anna Torv - $1.7 Billion. ...
- 2010 – Tiger Woods Vs Elin Nordegren - $750 Million.
- Tobacco Settlement — $206 Billion. ...
- BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill — $20 Billion. ...
- Volkswagen Emissions Scandal — $14.7 Billion. ...
- General Motors Auto Defect Case — $4.9 Billion. ...
- Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Case — $4.69 Billion.
The result of a settlement agreement involves the responsible party paying a certain amount to compensate for the damages caused to the victim.What is the biggest lawsuit ever won by a single person? ›
1. $206 Billion Dollars for The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. It is standard knowledge today that tobacco kills, but even 25 years ago, the effects of smoking were still relatively unknown—or, at least, the big tobacco companies did a really good job of hiding them.What's the most a lawyer can take from settlement? ›
Nationwide, the average percentage lawyers take from a settlement can range from 25% to 75%. Depending on a number of factors, these percentages change when comparing a car accident settlement, to a disability claim, or a medical malpractice case for example.
- Prepare Well for the Settlement Agreement Negotiation. ...
- Decide which negotiation tactics to use. ...
- Ask for a Protected Conversation with your Employer. ...
- Don't ask for too much. ...
- Don't ask for too little. ...
- Find out how the settlement payments will be taxed.
To get a general idea of settlement, add up the costs in medical bills, damages, and lost wages, and multiply the sum by three. This may be around the amount in the settlement you can receive after a car accident. Compensation for pain and suffering is only given to those who are injured in a car accident.What are the 3 types of damages? ›
There are 3 types of damages in personal injury claims: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.How are personal injury claims calculated? ›
The amount of Personal Injury Compensation you can receive is calculated by adding together two types of compensation: general damages and special damages. Awarded to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity associated with your injury.How long does it take to get pain and suffering? ›
A personal injury lawyer familiar with civil claims and lawsuits can help you better understand how compensation works. The process of receiving your compensation for pain and suffering generally takes about six weeks, but the true timeline may vary.How do you negotiate a settlement offer? ›
Use positive, respectful and generous negotiating behavior to engender it in return and make it easier to influence the other side into accepting settlement proposals. Express a desire to meet the needs of the opposition so that they can repay the favor by meeting your needs.What is highest punitive damages awarded? ›
Although there is no maximum sum, punitive damages typically do not exceed four times the amount of compensatory damages. For example, if a plaintiff recovers $100,000 in compensatory damages and is awarded punitive damages, they most likely will receive up to $400,000 in punitive damages. There are exceptions, though.What is a big settlement? ›
Large settlement can be defined as loss of ground in the downward direction due to over-excavation as a result of trenchless pipeline installation methods such as horizontal directional drilling (HDD). This can lead to the formation of voids or sinkholes above the borehole leading to borehole collapse.What is the most lawsuits filed by a person? ›
|Jonathan Lee Riches|
|Born||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|