People fall at home, at work, and in public places every year. Sometimes, these falls were unpreventable – a simple wrong step or a twisted ankle. Too often, however, these falls were preventable.
When your fall is the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and medical bills.
If you have fallen in Elkhart, you are not alone. Every year in the US, 6.8 million people are injured in falls. When insurance companies are reluctant to provide meaningful coverage for your injuries and losses, what options do you have?
Choosing an experienced and knowledgeable Elkhart slip and fall lawyer is the first step toward recovering from your economic damages. It can also be an important step in recovering from physical injuries, too!
- Understanding slip-and-fall accidents
- What to do after a slip and fall
- Do you need to hire an Elkhart slip and fall attorney?
- Yosha Law: Your Advocate as an Elkhart Slip and Fall Lawyer
Understanding slip-and-fall accidents
Any time a person slips or trips and falls on another person’s property, it is categorized as a “slip and fall accident.”
Here are some common causes of these accidents:
- Wet floors
- Uneven surfaces
- Poor lighting
- Cluttered walkways
- Worn or damaged flooring
- Spilled liquids or grease
- Weather hazards like ice, snow, rain
- Loose carpeting or rugs
- Damaged stairs or handrails
- Lack of warnings or signs
- Unsafe ladders or stools
- Missing or uneven mats
- Cracked or broken pavement
As you can see, these are all circumstances in which a property owner or manager either acted negligently or failed to act appropriately, and the end result was a hazardous situation.
These accidents often lead to the need for medical treatment, which may include emergency responders, transport by ambulance, surgery, a hospital stay, and a lengthy rehabilitation process.
You can always hope for a straightforward payout from the insurance of the property owner, but these companies have one goal: pay out as little as possible! Their first offer is rarely enough to cover your costs, let alone set you on the path toward healing.
The good news is slip and fall accidents are categorized as personal injury claims. This means that in Indiana, you have up to two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against the property owner.
Are slip and fall accidents serious?
In a word: yes. Slip and fall accidents can be very serious.
In the US alone, more than 1 million people are taken to the ER due to slip and fall injuries. In Indiana, there is not a single day that these accidents don’t take place, sending Hoosiers to the hospital with a variety of complications.
The severity can range from minor to catastrophic. Factors include:
- The health and age of the slip and fall victim
- The distance fallen
- What hazards are around
- Whether or not there was a head, neck, or spine injury
Fatalities are rare, but these accidents can still cause serious complications and changes to your life.
Types of compensation after a slip and fall
Some of the most common types of compensation claims include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages from missed work
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
What to do after a slip and fall
Being aware of the proper steps following a fall can assist you in assembling your case.
If your fall occurs while on the job, promptly document the event and any resulting harm. Despite not feeling the effects right away, injuries may materialize later on, which makes early documentation especially important.
For accidents that take place on commercial or government property, there should be some sort of standardized form for reporting injuries and accidents. Ask for these forms even if not presented upfront, as the records can be invaluable evidence.
Timely and accurate accounts demonstrate what transpired. Save all documentation, plus names and contact information of witnesses. Photograph the area from all angles showing potential risks. Seek medical attention, keeping track of doctor visits and expenses.
Consulting a qualified personal injury attorney helps maximize compensation. They know liability laws and use legal tools to build a compelling claim around the details. Pursuing fair restitution alone can be challenging, but proper support can make the process straightforward.
Do you need to hire an Elkhart slip and fall attorney?
It is possible to file a personal injury claim without an attorney. However, please be advised that there are risks that accompany filing without the help of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.
These risks include:
- Missing deadlines: There are strict statutes of limitations on personal injury claims that can bar you from compensation if missed.
- Underestimating the value of your claim: Insurance companies will try to lowball you. An attorney can properly evaluate and negotiate full compensation.
- Failing to follow proper procedures: There are specific documents and processes for pursuing injury claims that can get your case dismissed if not followed correctly.
- Getting tripped up by legal terminology: The law contains complex language that can be confusing for non-lawyers and lead to mistakes.
- Struggling with evidence collection: Attorneys have investigators to gather police reports, medical records, witness statements, and other evidence to support your claim.
- Lacking negotiation leverage: Insurance adjusters know they can often pressure unrepresented people into accepting unfair settlements.
- Missing viable defendants: An attorney can identify all potentially liable parties to pursue maximum compensation.
- Risking losing the case: Without expertise in personal injury law, you are at a major disadvantage against insurance company legal teams.
When you retain a personal injury attorney, you have someone who can fight for you.
Indiana statutes related to slip-and-fall injuries
There are a few key things to know about slip-and-fall lawsuits in Indiana.
- You have to prove that the owner of the property was liable for your injuries through negligence, whether that is from failing to act or acting in an unsafe way
- You have to prove that the owner bears at least 51% of the responsibility, and your own responsibility falls below 50%
- You only have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim
- If you fell in a prohibited and closed off area on someone’s private property, your own liability may exceed 50%, which would make you ineligible for compensation
How much money can I get for my slip and fall accident?
Every slip and fall accident is different. It would not be responsible for us to provide a specific answer to this question when we don’t know the specific details of your case.
For us to provide an estimate, we would need to have a conversation with you. In your free case review, we’ll get to know you, the circumstances of your fall, and how your life has changed because of your injuries.
Slip-and-fall compensation often lands in the $10-50,000 range, but there are always circumstances that could lead to a larger compensation package. For example, if you experienced permanent, life-altering injuries or have become disabled because of your accident, you are likely entitled to a higher payout.
Some record-breaking settlements have been:
- $12.2 million for a woman in Williamsburg, Virginia who slipped on a patch of ice outside of a Miller mart and fell on a patch of ice outside of a Miller Mart in Williamsburg, Virginia
- $13 million awarded for a woman in Las Vegas, Nevada who fell inside a Lowe’s Home Improvement Center.
- $15 million awarded to a woman who slipped on grease in a Walmart in Greely, Colorado.
Yosha Law: Your Advocate as an Elkhart Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you are injured in an accident in Elkhart, IN because of a slip and fall, engaging a lawyer will help you obtain fair compensation.
At Yosha Law Firm, we are committed to providing every client with our full commitment and support. We view those we represent as family, and we fight tirelessly to secure the maximum compensation they deserve.
Free case assessments are provided to examine the strengths of your claim. We will stand by your side throughout the challenges of recovery.
Our aim is for you to concentrate on healing while we handle the legal complexities. Let us take on the stress so you can focus on your health. To schedule a complimentary consultation with our experienced team, contact our office today. With diligent advocacy and compassion, we can pursue the justice you seek.