Anyone who has been involved in a slip and fall accident knows it’s hard to prove liability beyond a reasonable doubt. While it’s certainly possible to win a slip and fall case by yourself, it’s extremely difficult. To navigate the legal waters without proper counsel to guide you throughout the entire process all while healing, is a huge task.
Not only is it incredibly hard to prove who is at fault, but it can also be difficult to negotiate a settlement if you have never done it before. Having a lawyer who can properly calculate damages, advocate for your rights, and negotiate a settlement when necessary is hugely advantageous to your case. While it is totally up to your discretion as to whether or not you feel comfortable hiring legal counsel, there are very few instances in which it is not in your best interest to do so.
What Is a Slip and Fall?
A slip and fall accident is any personal injury accident that occurs from slipping or falling and results in some type of physical injury. Typically, this type of case is caused by malfeasance or negligence on behalf of the property owner. However, not every slip and fall injury is liable to claim. Property owners may place things in the ground that are necessary for maintenance (i.e. drainage grates, sprinklers, etc.). Likewise, they are also not responsible for every uneven smooth surface or wet floor, although they do need to be cautious in ensuring they take the proper, reasonable steps to keep their property safe from injuries.
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What Constitutes as “Reasonable”?
In slip and fall cases, the verdict usually depends on whether or not the property owner or defendant acted reasonably enough to keep the property safe. Some actions which may indicate they did not go to reasonable lengths to keep their property safe include:
- A lack of regular cleaning, maintenance, and repairs of the property
- Objects that were placed (without reason) in the way of the person, causing the fall
- Broken, loose, torn, wet, or protruding areas of the ground which were previously known to be hazardous
- Poor lighting, which should have been fixed
- Not placing caution signs in front of known, dangerous areas
How Can An Attorney Help Your Case?
In short, slip and fall accidents can be challenging to prove, which is why having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can make a huge difference in your case. Other ways that an experienced attorney can prove beneficial include:
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The Lack of Financial Risk
Because most lawyers work on slip and fall cases on a contingency basis, it means that your attorney will only require payment if you win your case or receive a settlement. You will not have to pay any fees upfront, even if your case loses, so there is no financial risk to hiring an attorney.
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Legal Counsel and Representation
A lawyer can provide you with sage legal advice, helping you to determine your best options in the court process. Not only that, but it’s incredibly important to have someone who is fighting on your side and guiding you through things such as court deadlines, filing documentation, and legal technicalities. Choosing to defend yourself is a risky choice, and oftentimes it is a losing bet. Many people fail to make it through the legal process and lose what would otherwise be a winning case without a skilled attorney by their side.
As mentioned earlier, proving negligence is the most challenging part of a slip and fall case. Providing enough evidence can be tricky, so having a lawyer who understands how to collect adequate proof of negligence is vital to winning a case.
As part of holding a property owner accountable for a slip and fall accident, it’s necessary to calculate all past, present, and future damages properly. This can be difficult if you have no legal experience, so an experienced professional can help ensure you assess all damages correctly.
Negotiating a Settlement
While it’s not ideal, sometimes settling a case out-of-court may prove beneficial. However, it’s essential to accept a settlement that is the most advantageous to you, which can often be hard to do without a lawyer to review the negotiation terms with you. Having a lawyer evaluate the settlement terms guarantees that you have an advocate backing you throughout the entire process, which is essential when it comes to receiving the best deal.
Have You Been Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident? Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
While there is certainly nothing wrong with representing yourself in a slip and fall case, hiring a professional lawyer gives you the best chance to win in court. Our personal injury attorneys in Greenville, South Carolina, understand how upsetting and scary being involved in a slip and fall accident can be, which is why we are intent on helping you receive the compensation you deserve.
We’re here to answer all of your questions–– be it over the legal proceedings, your rights to settlement proceeds, or more. To learn more about how we can help, give us a call to schedule your free consultation with one of our expert personal injury lawyers.