Slips and Falls: Nothing to Take Lightly
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common cause of injury in the U.S. They are so prevalent that shop owners, building managers, municipalities, insurance companies and their legal representatives have an established process for responding to an injured claimant in a way that will minimize their losses.
That is why victims who have suffered injuries from a fall that was possibly the fault of another party should not settle a claim without the advice of counsel.
Slips and falls may not seem like complicated matters, but they can involve numerous complexities that will affect a determination of liability, and any consequent valuation that a judge, jury or insurance adjuster will attach to an injury.
Furthermore, if a victim settles a case too quickly – before the extent of the injuries and the damages are fully known – then there is no second chance for supplemental recovery later, as a result of res judicata principles.
A good lawyer understands this, and can help a slip and fall victim to recognize all of their injuries, and to be compensated fairly for them by:
- Knowing all the potential parties who can be held responsible (the premises owner, the site manager, any contractors who worked on the site, the manufacturers of any products that might have made a surface slippery, etc.);
- Knowing all the legal theories of recovery (negligent maintenance of the property, failure to warn of known defects, hazardous substances or conditions on the property, product liability for cleaning agents that did not dry correctly or caused skin burns, etc.);
- Knowing how to find records and histories of similar accidents at the same location or at other locations under the same management resulting in similar injuries;
- Discovering all of the witnesses, potential witnesses and video cameras in the area through the use of court process and investigators;
- Knowing the right medical experts for a victim to see in order to diagnose injuries properly and completely, especially closed head injuries, hip or knee injuries that often present only subtle signs of latent but potentially serious damage immediately after an accident (i.e., a fall that causes a subtle change in gait can lead to premature need for artificial hip surgery);
- Knowing the medical providers who understand the best diagnostic tests to perform and the facilities that can perform them;
- Knowing how to use the law to get stonewalling or low-balling defendants to cooperate, sometimes with the help of legal hammers in the form of punitive damages, interest, attorney’s fee claims or government investigation and enforcement actions; and
- Knowing what judges and juries have paid out for similar claims involving similar damages in the past, as well as the amounts that insurance companies have typically paid to settle such claims.
These are just some of the many ways in which a good lawyer can help you to get the full compensation that you really deserve to treat and recover from all of your injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a fall, and you are not sure whether you are entitled to compensation from another party or how to obtain a fair settlement, then please do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney who can help you determine if and how you might have been harmed, and what you can do about it. You can also check out our Website for more information about our law firm, Cogan & Power, P.C.