Slip and Falls/Premises Liability

Liability

A property owner has a duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition. This includes keeping the floors clean, dry, and free from hazards such as holes or ice. If they fail to maintain their premises in a safe condition and you inadvertently injure yourself as a result of the condition, they are responsible for the harm that is caused.

Slip and falls tend to be much more difficult to establish liability in compared to an auto accident. Sometimes an unsafe condition can be created by a different customer only moments before you injure yourself, and in such a situation, the property owner will very likely not be responsible for your injuries, as they could have done nothing to prevent your injury. Similarly, if an unexpected ice storm strikes and the landowner did not have the opportunity to put down salt or otherwise make the premises safe, the landowner may not be held liable for your injuries.

Additionally, there is also the hurdle of juries who tend to disbelieve plaintiffs- either that they staged their injury, did not actually fall, or are making up their injuries.

In these situations we gather all of the available evidence, including photographs, 911 calls, depositions of witnesses, and accident reconstruction experts if necessary to advocate on your behalf and prove your case.

If you are not represented by an attorney, you need to be careful about giving any statements regarding the accident to insurance companies or the defendant, whose goal is to reduce the amount that they have to pay in any given situation.

Damages

You have the right to be compensated for all medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary. Insurance companies will frequently dispute which medical bills are reasonable and necessary, and can even offer you less than your medical bills to settle your case!

In addition to your medical expenses, you are also entitled to past and future lost wages. We can only obtain compensation for provable lost wages, which means that if you are paid under the table and cannot get any statement from your employer, it will be difficult to prove your lost wages.

Pain and suffering is also an element of damages in a personal injury case. There is no magic formula for determining pain and suffering. This will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. What activities are you now unable to perform? What activities can you perform, but cause you pain? What limitations do you have on your activities of daily living? What do you have to do to cope with the pain? These are the sorts of questions that will help us determine an amount to ask for your pain and suffering.

Permanent impairments or scarring also have monetary value in your case. The goal of the law is to put you back the way you were prior to the accident, but when you are permanently impaired or scarred, this is not possible. The law, therefore, tries to right this wrong by assigning monetary compensation. Other factors to consider regarding permanent impairments are how will your impairment affect your other body parts? For example, a permanent right knee impairment would increase your likelihood of falling and injuring your wrist, hip, or your other knee- all of which future injuries are traceable back to the underlying incident. Medical experts are necessary to establish these types of damages.

Be cautious of representing yourself. Even if liability is clear, insurance adjusters are always trying to minimize your damages. They will frequently contact you as soon as possible after an accident and try to get you to settle. Sometimes your injuries may not even be felt for several days after an accident, so you may think that a $750.00 check sounds great! However, you could have serious injuries and not even know it yet, which could cause you discomfort and require medical care for the rest of your life. Avoid such tragic outcomes by contacting our office to discuss your case.

Settlement or Trial?

We always try to resolve your case as quickly and easily as possible with the least expense to you. Therefore our goal is to settle as many cases as we can. Frequently, however, the insurance company is not willing to offer what your case is worth. In such circumstances, we don't want you to be shortchanged and will file suit in your case. Be aware, however, that filing suit is a long, drawn out process that requires considerable expense and effort. Lawsuits are not the easy cash that many tort reformists try to make them out to be!

It is always your decision whether you want to accept a settlement offer or continue to trial. We will advise you from our experience and the verdicts of similar cases in the region whether we think that you will be better off with an offer or whether you could do better at trial.

Statute of Limitations

There is a time limit on when you can file suit in your case. If you do not file a lawsuit within that period of time, you are forever barred from doing so. In Kentucky, you have one year from a slip and fall to file a lawsuit. In Indiana, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your injury in a slip and fall.

If your statute of limitations is drawing near, you need to contact an attorney immediately so that they have time to evaluate your case before the deadline runs.

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Anna K. Murray & Associates, P.C.
607 Watt Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130

Phone: 812-269-2095
Fax: 812-284-1113
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