The first thing to do after a slip and fall accident is to find medical assistance for your injuries. Make sure you’re safe from further harm, and if it’s serious, don’t hesitate to call 911, if able. Your doctor’s reports will prove to insurance companies the severity of your losses, further proving your claim for compensation.
Take photos of your injuries and surroundings to prove that property owners created the environment that caused your accident. Save all documents like medical bills and insurance records regarding the slip and fall accident. You’ll have evidence against the owners when you file a personal injury claim.
While recovering, you should hire a personal injury attorney to ensure you get the highest settlement possible. A slip and fall may involve thousands of dollars of medical bills, while you lose wages every day you spend recovering from your injuries.
An attorney can help you fight back against the property owners who negligently caused your fall. Gathering evidence to prove liability in a slip and fall accident while you’re injured is a tough task. It’s better to leave the legal work to the professionals so you can get back on your feet ASAP.
Slip and Fall Accident Statistics
The three types of personal injuries to account for over 86% of all preventable injury deaths in 2021 according to National Safety Council are:
- Poisoning – 45%
- Motor vehicle accidents – 21%
- Falls – 20%
Falls also account for 33% of all nonfatal injuries in 2020 according to the same study. In 2018 alone, ≥65 year-old adults sustained 8.4 million injuries due to falls, a vulnerable age for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and spinal cord injuries.
“Elderly patients are three times as likely to die following a ground-level fall compared to their under-70 counterparts.”
The most vulnerable groups for slip and fall accidents are:
- Blue-collar tradesmen like construction workers and technicians
- Nursing home residents, especially those suffering from nursing home abuse
All of these cases are preventable, but sadly property owners and workplace supervisors fail to maintain safe environments for tenants and workers. If your slip and fall accident was caused by blatant negligence from a property owner, reach out to an attorney. They’ll help you decide the best course of action for your personal injury claim.
Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
Most slip and falls fall under premises liability cases where property owners failed to maintain a safe environment. Common types of slip and falls include:
Your slip and fall case may not involve these examples, which is why you need an attorney to help you settle your claim.
Who is Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Property owners, individual occupants, or even employees may be liable in a slip and fall accident. Owners and tenants share a duty of care to prevent slips and falls on property they control. If they fail to fulfill their duty, they can be liable for damages.
To prove an individual or entity is liable in a slip and fall accident, you must provide evidence showing they are negligent. You have to prove these four statements to solidify your claim to courts and insurance adjusters:
- They held a duty of care to prevent slip and falls on their premises
- They breached their duty of care through their actions
- Their actions directly or indirectly caused your damages
- Your damages are significant and warrant damages
Business owners understand they are responsible for injuries that occur on their property — even if those injured are renters instead of owners. They also know this responsibility is far-reaching, covering everyone from employees, visitors, and neighbors (in some cases, even trespassers).
This is why business and property owners must regularly inspect their premises for any unsafe conditions. They must warn others if there is a situation that might cause a fall. That is why it is so common to see signs in restaurants and retail locations warning of wet floors after someone mops.
If you slip and fall inside a business, you should know most owners have insurance policies costing as little as $500. These policies typically cover up to $1 million in damages for customers’ injuries. Thus, you shouldn’t ever feel badly about suing. Make sure to file your claim before the personal injury deadline in your state expires!
How Much is a Slip and Fall Accident Worth?
The amount your slip and fall case is worth depends on:
- Your state
- The relationship between you and the property owner
- Your economic and non-economic damages
- The extent of their negligence which caused your damages
Slips and falls may range from $10,000 to $60,000 on average, but there is no cap and cases can go above $1 million depending on your case.
Insurance adjusters may try to lowball you in the first offer, so talk to an attorney before accepting your settlement. You may want to negotiate further with the adjuster to get a higher settlement. If they refuse to pay the right amount, you can bring the case to court to finally end your case.
How Much is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Slip and Fall?
Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage that may be capped depending on your state. For example, Colorado caps these types of damages to $300,000 according to CO Rev Stat § 13-21-102.5.
Ultimately, the worth of pain and suffering in your slip and fall case depends on your evidence and how your attorney argues your case.
How Long Do You Have to Report a Slip and Fall?
The deadline to report a slip and fall relies on your state’s personal injury statute of limitations. Most states have a 2-year deadline to file your slip and fall claim, but file as soon as possible to avoid missing the time limit.
If you miss the claim, your case may get barred from court. This prevents you from filing for the same case again. There are also exceptions that prolong your deadline, like if the defendant leaves the state or if they’re a minor. File your claim with an attorney to know your case’s deadlines.
How Long Do Slip and Fall Settlements Take?
The vast majority of slip and fall accidents settle out-of-court. How long your slip and fall settlement takes depends on each case, but oftentimes cases take 9 to 12 months.
If you suffered temporary injuries with inexpensive medical bills, expect your case to settle faster. If your case involves traumatic injuries with bills involving thousands of dollars, your settlement may get dragged out. It may be helpful to
Common Injuries After a Slip and Fall Accident
Here are common injuries you may suffer after a slip and fall accident:
- Hip fractures
- Herniated discs
- Head injuries
- Muscle sprains
- Broken bones
Your risk of serious injury after a slip and fall increases dramatically when you’re 65 years or older. Falling sideways will also increase your chances for hip fractures, requiring hospitalization. In fact, over 3 million elders are treated in emergency rooms after a fall.
How to Settle a Slip and Fall Claim
Slip and fall lawyers run their case investigations a little differently all across the country. Therefore, you should ask any lawyer you consult to talk you through their specific process before retaining legal services.
Here are some activities they may engage in to prove your claim:
- Examine and photograph the scene of your accident
- Talk to all witnesses present on the day of your fall
- Hire a private investigator
- Request any video surveillance footage from the business or property owner
- Consult with engineers, contractors, or other relevant experts
- Consult with your doctor or other medical specialists
- Conduct a public records search regarding the property’s history
- Look for evidence that the property owner knew about the defect or hazard
If you have any notes or citations from the day of your slip and fall accident, your lawyer will also want to review those materials.
Find a Lawyer for Your Slip and Fall Case Through LegalASAP
If you’re lost on what to do after a slip and fall accident, find a personal injury attorney. You need a professional on your side to properly argue your case.
There are several steps in the claims process that can jeopardize your claim if not handled correctly. Also, most attorneys work under contingency, so your lawyer’s services are free until you get your settlement in the mail.
If you need help finding a slip and fall attorney, contact LegalASAP. Our network has 500+ law firms throughout the United States, ready to assist you through your slip and fall claim. To talk to a representative, call 888-927-3080 or fill out this short evaluation form below:
Jan Reburiano is a content writer and SEO specialist for law firms focusing on personal injury, disability, employment law, among other practices. He has written and edited numerous articles and created commercial spots for broadcasters that you can find in his LinkedIn. Jan currently lives in Los Angeles, California while writing for clients from around the United States.