Should I Sue For My Slip and Fall Injury?
If you experienced a slip and fall injury in St. Petersburg, you may be confused about what to do next. How can you get compensation for your injury, should you file a law suit? The answer to this depends on your unique situation and the circumstances surrounding your fall. However, in some cases an injury lawyer may be able to obtain a successful settlement from the property owners insurance without filing suit, and in other cases it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.
What Must I Prove?
In order to pursue compensation for a slip and fall injury, you must be able to prove that the property owner was in some way negligent, or that there was a dangerous condition which the property owner was aware of, that caused you to fall, or was the cause of your injury. Time can be especially important in these cases and it is important to retain an attorney as soon as possible to collect and preserve evidence. For example, if the hazard is clearly visible, photographs can be extremely important to preserve the evidence of the hazard which may be cleaned up or otherwise removed by the property owner with no evidence that the hazard even existed. If you slip and fall as a result of a liquid or slippery substance on the floor, you should immediately take a picture of the substance with a camera phone, because that liquid or other slippery substance will be cleaned up as if it was never there when you return to the scene to show what happened.
It is essential to note that in some states, if you were considered to be a trespasser at the time of your fall, the property owner may not be liable for your accident or injuries. In many states though, it does not matter whether you were trespassing or not. Check with your St. Petersburg attorney to find out the rules in your state regarding this matter.
Proving Your Slip and Fall Case
Of course, when you sue, the defendants (property owners) are going to do everything possible to push the blame for your fall elsewhere. One common defense for defendants is that there was not enough time to discover and fix the hazard before your accident, meaning that they were not aware of the dangerous condition. Another common defense is for them to say that it was your fault, or that the hazard was open and obvious. This is often the case when individuals trip over uneven concrete.
In many states though, even if you were partially at fault for your slip and fall injury, you may still get compensation under the theory of comparative negligence. However, the compensation you will receive may be reduced accordingly. Additionally, to make your claim, you must have some form of evidence such as witnesses, photos, police reports and/or video surveillance tapes, and medical documentation of your injury. Thus it is important to preserve the evidence by taking photos, documenting your injury with medical records, and by having a lawyer conduct a scene investigation as soon as possible. One important thing to remember is to preserve the shoes you were wearing, and do not continue to wear them. Defense attorneys will blame your shoes for causing your fall. If you continue to wear the shoes you were wearing at the time of the fall they may become more worn looking than they actually were at the time of the fall.
Forms of Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury
A St. Petersburg slip and fall attorney will seek compensation for your medical bills, transportation costs for medical appointments, lost wages due to injuries (present and future), future medical expenses (medical care and travel), pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
(damage to your relationship with your family or spouse). Furthermore, if you had a pre-existing condition that was worsened due to your accident, you may be able to get compensation for your medical expenses for that particular injury or condition.
When you choose to pursue compensation for a slip and fall injury, you must be patient. These types of cases can take a long time to settle. However, with a professional St. Petersburg attorney on your side, you can be sure that your lawyer is going to pursue the full amount of compensation you deserve