When you have fallen on someone else’s property, it may not have been an accident, no matter how much you are told it was. The property owner may have failed to uphold the duty of care that they owe you by not providing reasonably safe premises. If that is the case, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our slip and fall attorneys in Jacksonville, NC know how to hold property owners and their insurance companies accountable in slip and fall cases when they are giving you a hard time. Call us today at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to schedule your free initial consultation.
Injuries in a Slip and Fall Case
As much as the insurance company likes to trivialize slip and fall accidents, since it saves them money, it is rarely just a fall. Millions of people each year need treatment in an emergency room or hospitalization for fall accidents. Some may even die from their injuries.
The most common slip and fall accident injuries are to the head or hip, and may include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
No matter what type of injury you have suffered, you may be looking at prohibitive medical bills and time that you missed from work.
How Fault Is Determined in a Slip and Fall Case
In a slip and fall case, you prove liability when you can show that someone else was negligent.
Negligence in this context means that someone breached the duty of care that they owe you. In a slip and fall case, a property owner is negligent when:
- They create a dangerous condition on their property themselves.
- Someone else is responsible for the danger, but the property owner did not take steps to remedy the situation or warn the public in a reasonable amount of time after they knew or should have known about the accident.
The property owner does not have to be perfect. The law acknowledges the fact that accidents can and do happen. There may be times when there is nobody who is to blame for the accident. However, the property owner can be made to pay when their carelessness was the cause of your injuries.
Evidence in a Slip and Fall Case
You must meet your burden of proof to show negligence in a slip and fall case. If you do not have the evidence to prove that the property owner did not meet their duty, the insurance company will deny your claim.
It is not easy to document the scene of your fall when you’re dealing with immediate pain. Much of the work is done in the days after your fall. If you do not begin to gather evidence quickly, it could be lost to you forever.
Helpful evidence in your slip and fall accident case includes:
- Witness testimony from people who either saw your fall or the conditions in the area before the accident
- Security camera footage that shows your fall or the conditions beforehand
- Pictures of the scene of your accident
- Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert who can give their opinion of the cause of your fall
There is a chance that someone else may have seen what happened or was in the vicinity at the time of your fall. Your attorney would investigate the accident and locate witnesses who may be able to testify.
You may not have all the evidence that you need before you filed a lawsuit. Some of the evidence may be in the defendant’s hands. You could obtain some of that evidence in the lawsuit discovery process, and it would help you prove your case at trial.
Compensation in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
Your slip and fall accident could be worth a considerable amount of money. You would never know on your own exactly how your case is valued. You need a lawyer’s expertise because they understand the concepts that underlie personal injury claims.
The basic theory is that the responsible party has a legal obligation to pay you for all the damages that their negligence caused you. Slip and fall accident damages may include:
- The complete cost of all your medical care
- Lost wages for the money that you could have earned from working
- Pain and suffering for the emotional and physical ordeal associated with your accident
- The loss of enjoyment of the life that you had before your fall
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
Remember that your case is likely worth far more than the insurance company is telling you.
The Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall Case
North Carolina gives plaintiffs a specific period of time to file a slip and fall lawsuit after they have suffered a personal injury. You have three years from the date that you were injured to file a lawsuit.
Under no circumstances should you wait all that time to move your case forward. It becomes very difficult to win your case if you start the legal process months after your accident, let alone waiting years. Contact an injury lawyer in Jacksonville, NC promptly.
Why You Need a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Now
Insurance companies try to make slip and fall cases more difficult than other types of personal injury claims. They are more likely to deny your claim.
If they even make you a settlement offer, it would be for less than you deserve, leaving you with a considerable amount of work to convince them. Your lawyer’s presence means that the insurance company will take you more seriously, and they are less likely to try to push you around.
Contact a Jacksonville, NC Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Today
Time is of the essence in any slip and fall case. Even though your claim may take some time, it is vital that you start the legal process today. The attorneys at Horton & Mendez will get right to work on your case, working to get you a settlement check for your injury.