Nationwide, statistics reveal that more than a quarter of older adults (65 years and older) report falling every year. And while not all who slip and fall will become injured, there are a whopping 8 million injuries that occur as a result of non-fatal falls!
Falling injuries can occur due to poor balance and strength, chronic conditions, or even medication side effects causing vertigo or drowsiness. However, when your fall has occurred due to negligence from another party – individual or business – you may be wondering how you should proceed with a legal case. This article aims to provide you some insight and comfort if you have been unfortunate to slip and fall because of a negligent third party.
Do You Have a Legal Case?
From the outset, there are two situations in which you could hold another party liable for damages incurred from a slip and fall incident. The first case is when you have reason to believe that the third party (property owner or their employee) failed to recognize a dangerous condition and then failed to remove or repair it. For example, if there was an uneven surface or pothole that you believe should’ve been identified as a risk to people using the path on which you sustained an injury, the negligent party could be held liable for damages.
The other situation allows you to make an even stronger case, specifically when you have reason to believe the dangerous condition was actually caused by the third party. In this situation, the liable party should have reasonably foreseen that the obstacle or hazard would cause someone to trip, slip or fall. Once you know you have a legal case, you can move ahead with a claim.
Important Considerations for Your Argument
As the claimant, it will be your job to be thorough in your reporting of the incident, as well as any damages incurred. You will need to find out how long the hazard was on site and whether the history shows the property owner had sufficient or reasonable time to repair the damage or remove the risk.
Legally, a property owner needs to warn persons about a potential hazard or obstacle they may face in the nearby area. Therefore, especially if the owner argues that you share some of the blame, you will need to strengthen your argument. As the plaintiff, you will need to argue that you were not engaging in any activity preventing you from noticing the hazard or warning signs nearby, for example, texting on your phone at the time of injury or being distracted by talking to a friend.
Winning your injury claim is less likely if the property owner can prove carelessness or negligence from your side, so it’s important to consider whether your legal argument will still stand after assessing the extent of the fault of the accident.
Seek Legal Expertise
Deciding whether to make a claim against a property owner is a decision that can be made with the expertise of a personal injury lawyer. To give you some idea of your case, you can do some research beforehand at https://www.dsslaw.com/new-york/slip-fall-ny/, but, as understanding your case is likely more complex than you might think, it is advisable to consult a lawyer experienced in slip and fall claims. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
You would definitely like to give yourself the best chance of winning your case, so being in discussion with a legal expert as soon as possible after your accident is a wise investment! And though you will not be able to make a claim each time you incur injury, seeking individualized legal attention is the way forward. If you are a younger adult, you may not be considered a high injury risk, but knowing how to proceed after a slip and fall accident is essential because this type of accident can happen to anyone!
The most significant claim reward is the recovery of finances. According to the CDC, the annual medical costs of non-fatal injuries are in excess of $50 billion dollars. And while this is staggering, the facts are that older adults are likely to experience multiple falls as time goes on.
When you slip, fall, and incur an injury, the aftermath will require varying severity of medical treatment. In any cases in which an injury was received, it is vital that you keep strict records of your finances and evidence of how the injury has negatively affected your life.
If you have not yet made contact with a lawyer, it is crucial that until then – and until your injuries no longer have an impact – that you maintain accurate records of medical reports, doctors’ notes, prescriptions, and sick days off work. Other injury-related bills also include services that had to be outsourced because of your inability to complete daily tasks, such as hiring a cleaner or taxi costs due to an inability to drive.
Though you may have succumbed to a slip and fall injury, remedies taken can alleviate some of the consequences you are likely to experience. Consider a consultation with legal expertise to get the help you deserve.