In a slip and fall accident, you have rights. This type of event can leave you with significant injury and limited mobility. You may be in pain, unable to walk, or facing costly financial bills. We encourage you to take action. Our slip and fall accident attorneys are available to discuss your case with you. Slip and fall cases can be some of the most difficult to prove, so it is important for you to have a skilled attorney on your side.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident is when a person falls on another person’s property. Keep in mind that not every fall or trip constitutes a claim. Specifically, you must show that the other party is responsible for the cause of your slip.
The law does state, however, that property owners are responsible for maintaining their property in a state where visitors can expect a reasonably safe environment that is free of dangerous conditions if they are going to invite others onto their property.
Common causes of slip and fall injuries include things like:
- Wet floors
- Holes in pavement
- Cracked sidewalks
- Oil on the ground in a parking lot
- Debris left in open walkways or store isles
Of course, there are plenty of common injuries, too. You may just hurt your pride, but it’s also possible to end up with injuries like:
- Broken ankle
- Back injury
It’s even possible to end up with a traumatic brain injury if you fall and hit your head on something.
Who Is Responsible For A Slip And Fall Injury?
Premises liability, the type of law that slip and fall accidents typically fall under, has very specific requirements for individuals to meet in order to file this type of lawsuit. To be responsible for your losses, the property owner or the person in charge of the property must have known a problem existed, had the chance to do something about that problem, and failed to do so. It sounds simple, but in reality, it can be hard to prove slip and fall accident liability.
The burden of proof is on the person who suffered the injury. To succeed in a slip and fall claim, you have to prove several things.
The property owner or a person who is responsible for maintaining the property (such as an employee at a restaurant) must have, in some way, caused the problem that results in your injury. You must also prove that the owner or a person responsible for the property knew or should have had some expectation that there was a problem present, and that this person did not take any action to fix the problem. Furthermore, an owner of the property is required to keep it reasonably safe for patrons or customers.
In some situations, the court may find that both the owner and you were both partially responsible for a slip and fall accident. That is, you may be partially to blame for the fall (for instance, if you were not paying attention or you should have seen the obstacle). This is a good reason to hire an experienced attorney to make sure your case is properly presented.
Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Cases in Charleston
Most states put in place a statute of limitations. This is an amount of time during which a lawsuit or claim can be filed for your losses. Under West Virginia Code Section 55-2-12, the state sets a two-year limit here. This means you have two years from the time of the accident to file a claim. This limit applies to both situations in which you suffer injuries from your incident or when you suffer any type of property loss. If you miss this deadline, the court will dismiss the case. You will be unable to obtain compensation for your losses.
Can You Sue If You’ve Fallen in a Store?
Yes. To file a claim or lawsuit, you must show that the other party was negligent, and therefore responsible for the losses you suffered. Under the law, these are called premises liability cases. You can file premises liability claims when an unsafe condition on someone else’s property causes your injury. If you slip and fall because of unmarked wet floors in a grocery store, that would be an example of this type of case.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident Occurs
What’s most important is getting yourself medical help right away. If you need it.
Don’t hurry to get on your way, though, if you don’t feel you need any type of emergency medical attention. Try and assess the situation and what happened. Whenever possible take photos of the area in its condition when you fell. Also, be sure to alert the management. They may write up a report of the accident that could be used as evidence later. This ensures you have documentation of what occurred.
Although it’s good to report your accident to a manager or business owner, you should be careful about what you say. Stick to the facts about what happened and don’t offer any other information. Most certainly, don’t sign anything without having an attorney review it. You could end up signing away your right to file a claim later without even realizing it.
At that point, you should call a law firm familiar with slip and fall accidents to obtain legal advice about how to proceed.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Slip and Fall Settlement?
In some situations, you may be able to file a claim right away and get the compensation owed to you right away. The key here is to understand what you’ve lost in total and then determine how willing the insurance company is to work with you. In most cases, however, the insurance company will not offer what it should. Most times, the insurance company or premises owner will not accept responsibility. Other times, you will not be offered the amount of damages you are entitled to. If you get an experienced slip and fall attorney, you are more likely to get your case settled fairly.
How Much Is a Slip and Fall Settlement Worth?
There is no clear answer to this. That’s because a slip and fall settlement will pay for what you’ve lost in the incident. For some people, this may include significant medical bills, long-term rehabilitation, loss of property, or damage to a person’s well-being, leaving him or her unable to work. Pain and suffering can be a component in some cases as well. Therefore, it is essential to work closely with your personal injury attorney to know more about what you can expect. Everyone’s situation is very different and settlements will always be customized to your situation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Your Slip and Fall Attorney
Contact Johnstone & Gabhart, LLP today to talk about your slip and fall accident. Our team of personal injury lawyers will work with you on a contingency basis, which means we do not collect payment from you until we help you obtain compensation for your losses.
If you have a valid slip and fall injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, prescription drugs, physical therapy, loss of wages, and more. You can look through the results of some of our previous injury cases. We will do our best to get similar results for you.
For a confidential and free consultation, you can contact us online anytime or call (877) 416-5457 to set up an appointment at our Charleston office. We’ll be happy to go over the details, give you an honest case review, and offer our best advice for moving forward.