After sustaining an injury in a slip and fall accident, it’s important to understand the legal rights you have at your disposal. The first thing that needs to be determined is who is responsible, or at fault, for the accident. After all, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to hold the property owner or another party liable for their negligence. Unfortunately, however, determining liability is often a fact specific, complex process.
Take the time now to learn more about navigating a slip and fall accident, so that if something happens down the road, you’ll know what steps are necessary for a successful claim and/or personal injury case.
Assessing Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident
Holding the responsible party accountable for any damages resulting from a slip and fall accident is necessary to build a successful case. These damages could include your medical expenses, your lost wages due to missing work, as well as the “pain and suffering” from physical trauma sustained in the accident itself.
To prove liability or fault, you will need to be able to demonstrate that the property owner was negligent in their duty to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition for those entered on it. This duty includes remedying or warning of dangerous or hazardous conditions that the property owner either knew, or should have known about.
Documenting Your Slip and Fall Injury
It is essential to document your slip and fall injury if you want to be successful in seeking compensation for your damages. Collecting evidence from the scene of the accident can help prove negligence, which will increase your chances of winning a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Photos or video are two of the best ways to show what happens if a slip and fall accident occurs. Photos or video of the dangerous or hazardous condition that may have caused your fall, as well as other dangerous conditions which might have been involved in the incident, can be beneficial for demonstrating the condition of the property at the time of your fall. It will also help combat any defenses the property owner and their insurance company may raise.
Additionally, you should:
- Take photos of any visible injuries you sustained during the fall, such as bruises or cuts.
- Keep records of any and all medical treatments related to your injury. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, medications prescribed by doctors and physical therapy sessions. This information will be needed if an insurance company requests proof that an injury occurred due to someone else’s negligence.
Contacting the police if you have been injured so that they may write an incident or accident report can also be helpful when it comes to accurately determining liability when submitting a claim with insurance companies or taking legal action against those responsible for your injuries.
Calculating Damages After a Slip and Fall Accident
When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to understand how to calculate the damages you may be entitled to.
- Medical Expenses. This refers to the costs associated with your medical treatment, and includes expenses like doctor consultations, hospital stays, physical therapy treatments, medications and more. It is important to keep all receipts related to these costs so that they can be used when calculating damages.
- Lost Wages. If your injury prevents you from working or requires time off work for recovery, then lost wages should also be considered when calculating damages. Lost wages includes both past losses due to missed workdays as well as future losses if the injury will prevent you from returning to work at full capacity or require additional time off for recovery.
- Pain and Suffering. This is a term used to explain the physical pain caused by an injury, as well as any mental anguish arising from the incident, like flashbacks and anxiety, and dealing with the injury and its effects. In some cases, non-economic damages like pain & suffering may be included in calculations of total compensation, depending on state laws governing personal injury claims.
Working with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Working with a knowledgeable attorney who understands Minnesota’s laws regarding slips and falls, as well as how to calculate the damages you are legally entitled to, will help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Here are two of the leading benefits of working with a personal injury lawyer:
- Determining liability. A personal injury attorney who is well-versed in slip and fall accidents will be able to evaluate whether a sufficient factual and legal basis exists to hold a property owner or third party liable. An attorney can also analyze the facts of the case to determine if the property owner was negligent, and whether the property owner failed to act reasonably by remedying or warning of the dangerous or hazardous condition. An experienced slip and fall attorney will also understand the defenses available to the property owner and determine whether any such defenses apply, and if so, how to counter those defenses.
- Helping you properly document your injuries. Your lawyer will help you gather evidence such as medical records, medical bills, and medical reports from your medical providers and doctors, as well as the necessary wage loss documentation. This information will be used when calculating damages related to medical expenses, lost wages due to missed work while recovering from injury, and pain and suffering. They may be able to investigate the claim and get photographs of where you fell, which will be helpful in proving liability later on.
At the end of the day, an experienced personal injury lawyer, with their knowledge of Minnesota law, can provide invaluable advice on the merits of your potential claim, as well as the types of damages available under Minnesota law, ensuring that all possible losses associated with the accident are accounted for when filing a claim against negligent parties.
Contact the Team at Nelson Personal Injury Law Firm for a Free Case Analysis
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to understand your rights and how to navigate your claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help evaluate liability, document injuries, calculate damages and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your losses. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in ensuring a successful claim is filed, resulting in justice being served.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, don’t wait – seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. The team at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC is here to help guide you through your claim with expertise and compassion, so that you collect the compensation you rightfully deserve.