In the right context, taking a spill, stumble, tumble, or even falling flat on one’s face can be amusing. Think of how many comedic actors earned their spurs and thousands of laughs by perfecting the pratfall. Of course, it’s only humorous as long as nobody gets hurt, and tens of thousands of Americans are injured in real falls each year. In most cases, these flops are simply accidents no one could have prevented. But, on occasion, negligence is involved.
Where They Happen
As you might expect, these accidents can and do occur just about anywhere — at public and private places, indoors and out. All things being equal, they are more likely to occur in crowded, dangerous areas. For example, slip and falls happen all the time on huge cruise ships and on construction sites.
Suing For Damages
As with any lawsuit, you must contact an experienced litigator to help you determine if you have a winnable case. The following five questions will make things easier for both you and your Personal Injury Attorney by getting directly to the heart of the matter.
1. Was I Injured Badly Enough To Sue?
If a slip and fall results in a minor Injury, say an ankle sprain that causes you to miss a day of work and does not require medical treatment, odds are that it will not pay to contact a Lawyer. Most of these suits are based on Personal income, pain and suffering, and medical expenses. However, if your fall did not require you to see a doctor, a litigator may not take you seriously. There simply isn’t much money in a lawsuit where the plaintiff sustained a bruise, strain, or sprain.
2. Can You Prove Negligence?
This question might take a bit longer to answer since the Attorney must carefully examine your case before he can give his professional opinion. If he answers in the affirmative, there’s a pretty good chance you have a solid lawsuit since most of these disputes hinge on this single question. More often than not, the Personal Injury Attorney must demonstrate that the defendant was aware of the issue that caused the slip and fall and did nothing to address it in a timely manner.
3. What Is Your Success Rate With Cases Like Mine?
Whenever you interview a Lawyer, always remember that you are the client; you’re hiring him! Therefore, you have the right to ask blunt, pointed questions about his record. For a Personal Injury Attorney, inquire about his recent cases and the outcomes, including settlements and damages.
4. How Long Will My Lawsuit Take To Settle?
Your Attorney won’t be able to give you a firm date and time, of course. But he should be able to give you a ballpark estimate after he examines the facts of your case, especially if he has filed similar lawsuits in the past. Because these suits almost always involve negotiations between Lawyers and the defendants’ insurance companies, they can last anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years.
5. Are There Any Possible, Even Expected Complications?
Slip and fall cases range from the mundane to the strange, which means there’s often a lot of room for unexpected issues to crop up. As the plaintiff, it is always Best to know from the start if your Attorney thinks your lawsuit could be problematic.
If you pose these questions to your Personal Injury Attorney and get frank and honest answers, you should be able to determine if you have a winnable suit.