How to Win a Slip and Fall Case
What Can I Do to Win a Slip and Fall Claim?
With over three times the national average, Erie, Pennsylvania gets about 45 inches of snow each year. While beautiful, snow can have its downsides. One drawback to its beauty is the incidence of slip and fall accidents on icy surfaces. Injuries are common and the cost of being laid up and treating a broken arm or leg can be high. If the mishap occurs in front of private property or a commercial business that failed to clear the sidewalks, it is possible to recover damages by filing a slip and fall claim. Winning the claim may be another matter.
Why Do I Need Help Winning My Claim?
There are several reasons why having an attorney can help. For one, property owners do not always want to admit wrongdoing. From I cleared it but it melted to other excuses, the property owner may refuse culpability and blame it on Mother Nature. Your attorney can take exception to this argument and disprove Mother Nature’s interference.
Another reason that it may be difficult for the injured party on their own to win a slip and fall claim is that the insurance will say that you were partly at fault for the accident. Pennsylvania goes by the 51-percent comparative fault rule. This doctrine says that an injured party can still obtain compensation even if they were partly to blame as long as they are less than 51 percent responsible. However, the damages will be diminished by the percent of liability attributed to the plaintiff.
Insurers Are Not Generous in Slip and Fall Claims
Insurers are in business to make money. They collect premiums and pay out as little as they can. The insurance companies have lawyers and adjusters charged with this task. To this end, adjusters will look to find fault with the logistics of the accident and whether you had a preexisting condition that explains your level of pain. If, for example, a previous back injury shows up and the plaintiff injured their spine when they fell, you can rely on the insurer saying that the person’s problems were due to the preexisting condition.
However, this is not always the case. In some situations, the current injury aggravates a previous injury that before the slip and fall was asymptomatic. So, this complicates the situation and adds additional trauma to the accident outcome, possibly resulting in additional treatment and medical expenses.
In other situations, the slip and fall accident produces a whole new set of injuries unrelated to a previous trauma. In this occurrence, the prior injury healed completely with no additional problems. In short, the current injury is a new ballgame.
Other Games Insurers Play in Slip and Fall Cases
One pivotal example of an insurance company’s greed is its attempt to placate an injured party with a meager offer. This happens every day and often succeeds. The reason for its success rests on the panic and fear over finances many people feel after a slip and fall injury.
Financial panic occurs when the injured party cannot work due to their injury and is unable to pay household bills or medical expenses. The insurer’s offer may be inadequate, but it helps to pay the mortgage, rent or other costs. A personal injury lawyer will do all they can to prevent their client from taking the offer too often.
Why Should a Client Not Take a Low-Ball Offer?
Aside from being unfair, the low-ball offer may not cover the injured person’s medical costs and lost wages. Let’s look at this in-depth. A person slips and falls on ice in front of a commercial business due to the store’s negligence. The insurer perceives this as a threat to their bottom line and makes a low-ball offer. The injured person is already in debt and sees this as a way to keep his family above water since his injuries appear to be on the mend.
However, the injury suddenly worsens, and his doctors tell him that he needs surgery or he will lose function in the injured body part. Prior to this, the person signed a waiver saying he would not hold the insurer/defendant liable in the future for this specific accident when he accepted the offer. Now, he attempts to get the defendant to pay for the surgery. Unfortunately, the defendant is protected by the waiver, and the plaintiff must pay out of pocket.
Having an Injury Lawyer From the Travis Law Firm Helps
Your slip and fall lawyer will make every effort to obtain the compensation his/her client deserves. The attorney will examine the situation, prove liability and structure a strong case on the client’s behalf. We also examine previous medical records and get expert opinions concerning preexisting conditions.
Call the Travis Law Firm for Help
The legal team at the Travis Law Firm can be contacted by calling (814) 277-2222 to schedule a free case review. We can answer all your questions and discuss your options moving forward. We can also be reached online if that is more convenient for you.