A slip and fall is a dangerous type of accident with often serious consequences. It can cause distressing injuries that could require surgery and months or years of physical therapy to heal. At worst, some Chicago slip and fall cases lead to death. Emotionally and physically recovering from a slip and fall accident can be challenging and lengthy, but the personal injury attorneys at Mike Agruss Law will guide you through the process
Business and property owners are obligated to exercise reasonable care to prevent slip and fall cases that could lead to serious injuries and to provide a safe environment for customers, visitors and employees. All property owners must anticipate that visitors to their property are not going to figure out the risks on their own, and so it is up to property owners to take care of any maintenance issues and take precautions by:
- Keeping up with routine maintenance
- Not putting obstacles in walkways
- Using grippers under carpets or slippery services
- Improving lighting inside and outside, such as replacing burnt out lightbulbs
- Providing daily cleaning to ensure bathrooms are dry, as well as other areas that could get wet
- Providing daily cleaning so staff can identify problems in tile, linoleum, or wood flooring that could lead to an injury
- Securing electrical cords and wires
- Requiring visitors to wear shoes at all times
- Being vigilant when bad weather, such as rain or snow, make a walkway or entrance area much more slippery
What’s the average payout for a slip and fall?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your slip and fall settlement could be anywhere between $15,000 and $50,000. But again, these are just average numbers taken from different cases. When you come in for your free consultation with us, you will have the opportunity for us to listen to what happened and to give you a better estimate of what you could potentially receive in damages.
How much you receive will also be based on how well your attorney will be able to negotiate the amount that the liable party would be willing to pay, taking into consideration the amount you are willing to accept.
Should I get a lawyer for a slip and fall?
Although you may have heard of people representing themselves in personal injury lawsuits, when it comes to a slip and fall case it’s best to speak with a slip and fall attorney. First, a slip and fall attorney will help establish fault, which is what you need to do in order to recover damages (lost wages, pain and suffering, etc). Another reason why you need a slip and fall attorney is that the defendant could argue that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim, thus lowering your settlement amount.
In order to prove liability, your attorney will first come up with a list of who the potentially liable parties are. Then they will work to determine how those parties were actually negligent or how they actually caused a trip and fall or should have prevented it. Your Chicago slip and fall lawyer will need to prove that the property owner should have been able to recognize that there was a dangerous condition on their property, just as any reasonable person would have been able to identify that hazardous condition. Your lawyer will also have to prove that the defendant should have removed or repaired that danger.
After you file your claim with the property owners and liability insurance provider, they will assign an adjuster to investigate the claim and negotiate a settlement based on what they find. Your attorney will deal with the insurance company and negotiate on your behalf. This process could take anywhere from a couple of weeks or even years to resolve, but you can trust that the attorneys at Mike Agruss Law are handling your case as quickly as possible for you while also being thorough and protecting your rights.
There are a couple of questions that your attorney may ask you in the process of trying to establish legal liability for your slip and fall:
- Were there steps or risers of varying heights?
- Were you distracted at the time of the accident, such as by your phone?
- Did you slip on something, or was there a defect in the step?
- Did you trip on your own shoelace or anything that was long and dangling from your person?
- Were you holding onto handrails that were provided?
Proving That You Were Injured in A Slip And Fall
In order to win damages for your slip and fall claim, you will need to establish the property owner’s liability for the unsafe area. The truth is, accidents happen all the time at other people’s property, but the question is whether or not they were negligent and thus legally responsible for your damages, such as medical bills to treat your injuries. Think about all the times you have been at someone’s house or somewhere else, and you tripped or bumped into someone because you were looking at your phone trying to follow directions. These are things that happen that are not due to the property owner’s negligence.
Premises liability lawsuits require evidence that the property owner knew of the risks on their property, whether they are a manager of a grocery store, hotel or any other business, and did not act sufficiently quickly enough to fix or correct the issue, thus resulting in a guest’s trip and fall. In order to win damages, you must prove negligence, not just bad luck.
In some cases, an employee who works at the location caused the dangerous condition that led to the slip and fall accident, such as leaving out dangerous equipment or obstacles on a walking path. A property owner, agent of the property owner, or an employee should have reasonably foreseen that someone would’ve tripped over that item and removed it before that happened, so the property owner will be liable for paying out compensation if an injury was due to a careless employee.
Some other key questions can arise in order to prove liability:
- Did the property owner have a routine where they regularly checked for potential hazards on the property? If so, is there a maintenance log or other record that proves whether or not those maintenance steps were taken?
- Were preventative measures taken, such as placing signs in areas where tripping may be more likely, such as where there is a big step?
- Are there areas that should not be accessed by the public, and should be closed off with adequate signage so guests knew not to go in that area?
- Did poor lighting contribute to the slip and fall?
How much is pain and suffering worth in a slip and fall?
In general, pain and suffering can be worth a few thousand dollars or even as high as millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances of the case. When a slip and fall injury leads to permanent disabilities, the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a limb, then the compensation for the pain and suffering that the victim and their families have experienced can be greater.
Can I sue for a slip and fall accident?
Absolutely, but you should hire a Chicago slip and fall attorney to handle your case. Insurance companies hire attorneys who use the law to the best of their abilities in order to save the company money, not necessarily to do what’s right for the policyholder. In fact, sometimes they can even be suspicious of their old policyholders and argue that the injury did not occur on the premises but instead occurred later, and the victim is now blaming it on the property owner. You simply cannot represent yourself in front of these attorneys. Instead, you need a personal injury attorney who is skilled in premises liability law and can help you get the money you deserve for your slip and fall accident.
Slip and Fall Accidents on the Job
Individuals who have been injured at work may recover their damages such as medical bills and lost wages under Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act if they were harmed while performing duties that were within the scope of their employment.
To qualify for Workers Compensation, the employee must demonstrate that their injury occurred while performing work or a work-related activity for their employer, and the employee must not have been in violation of any company policies at the time of the injury. If the worker was demonstrating misconduct or disregard for safety, then this behavior may prevent an employee from receiving their Worker’s Compensation benefits.
Workers Compensation does not quite work the same as a personal injury claim, but the attorneys at Mike Agruss Law can explain the legal process to you in more detail as it relates to your case. Give us a call today to set up your free case review.
Slip And Fall Accidents Can Happen Anywhere
While a slip and fall accident can happen anywhere, there are some places where they occur with more frequency. They typically occur in places with low lighting, uneven pavement, or other obstructions in pathways. Other times they can occur at work when employers do not provide a safe work environment. These are places where they regularly occur:
- Grocery stores
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Pool decks at hotels and private residences
- Bars and restaurants
- Malls and other shopping centers
Floors of these establishments can become wet when products are spilled or after bad weather, such as rain. They can also occur when carpeting is ripped and torn.
What should I do after a slip and fall?
In order to have a successful slip and fall case, you will need to provide documentation, so it’s important to follow these steps so that you have all the papers that you need to file your claim.
First, you should ask the establishment for an incident report or an accident report detailing where the fall happened, at what date, and at what time. Whether it’s a store manager or the property owner, there should be a supervisor, manager, or individual who will write the report.
Immediately take pictures of the injuries. You should take close-up shots as well as wider shots of the location where the slip or fall occurred, including any elements that may have contributed to your fall, such as low lighting, torn carpeting, or poor signage.
In this day and age, almost everyone has some sort of social media account, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, or any other. Unfortunately, insurance companies have been known to scour social media to find comments or posts related to accidents. As much as you may want to inform your friends and family about the Chicago slip and fall, it’s best to refrain from posting anything about it until your case is resolved. Insurance companies have been known to use posts against plaintiffs in their personal injury claims.
You will definitely need to be seen by a medical professional who can evaluate you and assess whether or not you have sustained serious injuries. Most likely, you’ll be sent to an emergency room where they will take care of your immediate needs, but you will also need to seek long-term follow-up care. Depending on your injuries, you may need to see a neurologist, a physical therapist, or an occupational therapist. You may even request to see a mental health counselor if the accident was traumatic. Sticking to your treatment plan will help your case.
Unfortunately, people are not the best at detecting their own injuries. After a fall, you may be filled with adrenaline and not feel the pain immediately. Some injuries have delayed symptoms, but a medical professional will be able to determine if you have any health concerns as a result of your fall.
Next, it’s important to give us a call immediately so we can get started on your case.
Common Injuries After a Slip and Fall Accident
Because there are many different types of falls, there are different types of injuries. However, when it comes to Chicago slip and fall cases, these injuries are the most common.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur when there has been a blow to the head that causes severe injury to the brain. This injury then leads to a number of symptoms including:
- Loss of consciousness
- Constant headaches
- Convulsions or seizures
- Nausea or vomiting
Traumatic brain injury can be temporary or permanent, severe or mild. Most times, patients with TBI need therapy and treatment to manage their symptoms. In some cases, they may need medical equipment to deal with their new disabilities.
Although broken bones are very common in slip and fall accidents, hip injuries tend to arise from these types of accidents. They are especially common with Chicago slip and fall cases with the elderly at nursing homes.
Broken Bones and Sprains
Although hip fractures are the most common types of fractures, a slip and fall accident can lead to other injuries. When a person falls, they might try to catch themselves by putting out their arms which can cause fractures in the wrist or hand, as well as sprains that affect the surrounding tissues.
Why Choose Mike Agruss Law
Although many slip and fall claims end up settling, they are by no means easy. As trusted and respected Chicago slip and fall attorneys, we have helped clients recover thousands in compensation for the medical attention that they received and the suffering they experienced. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.