Many people have suffered serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident. These accidents account for over 1 million hospital visits nationally each year and often result from property owners neglecting their land or building. These injuries affect the accident victim’s ability to work, enjoy their everyday activities, and can even result in brain injury or death in severe cases.
You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured in a slip-and-fall injury due to someone else’s negligence. Learn what steps to take after a slip-and-fall accident and how the personal injury lawyers at Nessler & Associates can help you win compensation.
Premises Liability in Illinois
If you are a welcome visitor on someone else’s property, the Illinois Premises Liability Act states that the owner is responsible for ensuring the property’s conditions don’t put you in harm’s way. The law calls this responsibility duty of care. If the premises owner doesn’t make a reasonable effort to warn you or guard you against the hazard, they have not upheld their duty of care, and you can hold them responsible for your injuries.
However, getting hurt on someone else’s property doesn’t mean the property owner didn’t provide a duty of care. Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions 120.8 maintains that the following six conditions must apply for the owner to be held liable:
- A dangerous condition existed on the property
- The property owner was aware of the danger or should reasonably have been aware of it
- Visitors could overlook or have trouble avoiding the danger
- The property owner failed to protect against the danger by actions such as providing warnings, putting up signs, blocking off the area, or fixing the problem
- The dangerous condition hurt someone
- The injury would not have occurred if the property owner had taken steps to warn or protect against the danger
For example, simply slipping and falling down a flight of stairs does not mean the property owner is liable. However, if you slipped and fell down the stairs because the steps were slippery or cluttered and there was no posted warning, the owner may be liable for not ensuring the stairs were safe to use.
What to Do After a Slip-and-Fall Accident
A slip-and-fall injury can be quite serious, so you should always prioritize your health and wellbeing by seeking immediate medical care. However, if you plan to seek compensation for the accident, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to ensure the insurance company won’t deny your claim or it won’t get thrown out in court.
Seek Medical Attention
If you’ve sustained a severe slip-and-fall injury, get medical care immediately. Putting it off can put a slip-and-fall case in jeopardy. The property owner’s lawyer might claim that you waited to seek medical care because the injuries weren’t serious. Seeking medical attention also helps you document your injuries and show that you sustained them because of the slip-and-fall.
Document the Scene of the Accident
Evidence is critical for a successful slip-and-fall case. Once you’ve received medical care, it’s important to gather proof from the accident scene to use in your case. This could include:
- The cause or likely cause of the accident, for instance, a picture of ice or water that you slipped on
- Photographs or video/security footage of the accident scene
- Name and contact information of any witnesses
- Proof that the property owner knew of the hazard, for example, emails showing that others complained of the danger before your fall
Report the Accident to the Property Owner or Manager
Reporting the accident to the property owner preserves evidence that may be essential to your case. It also ensures that the owner is aware of the accident and can take steps to prevent similar ones.
Do not talk with the property owner except to factually report what occurred. They may use statements you make to refute your claim, so keep it brief or seek help from an attorney before notifying them.
Keep Track of All Expenses Related to the Accident
Keep track of all your expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, physical therapy, and attendant care. In addition, keep track of any potential earnings you lost because of the accident, such as lost wages or promotions.
Having a record of your expenses through documented receipts, bills, or W-2s makes it easier to pursue compensation because you can prove calculable costs.
Seek an Attorney’s Advice
Every slip, trip, and fall is different, making your personal injury claim difficult to navigate on your own. An experienced slip-and-fall accident attorney with Nessler & Associates can review your case and determine if the property owner is at fault and what compensation you are entitled to. For example, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation if your injury occurred at work.
Our law firm can handle complex or confidential information in your case. For instance, we can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf or request evidence from the property manager that you might be unable to get on your own.
We can also help you fight for maximum compensation under Illinois’s modified comparative negligence statute. This doctrine says you can’t receive compensation if you are more than 50% at fault for your injuries. Our legal team can minimize your fault based on evidence from your slip-and-fall to get you a fair settlement.
Explore Your Legal Options with Nessler & Associates
At Nessler & Associates, we don’t believe you should be responsible for bearing the burden of someone else’s negligence. In addition to helping you recover the compensation you deserve, we spare you the financial burden by not charging you anything unless we successfully win your case.
Call us at (800) 727-8010 for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your fall or trip and learn how we can help you get restitution for your medical expenses and lost wages.