If you sustain an injury in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, you may wonder about your legal rights to compensation. You may choose to manage your slip-and-fall claim by yourself. However, this decision can make you vulnerable to not understanding premises liability and getting the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses.
Contacting a slip-and-fall attorney from Nessler & Associates can help you understand Illinois’ premises liability law and who may be responsible for your injuries. Your attorney can guide you through the claims process and take legal action to get you compensation for damages you incurred.
Risks of Handling a Slip-and-Fall Claim on Your Own
Winning compensation in a slip-and-fall case can be challenging. A successful outcome hinges on your ability to prove that the defendant’s negligent actions caused you harm.
Unfortunately, without a complete understanding of establishing a slip-and-fall claim, you may lose out on a settlement to help you pay for medical bills and other accident-related expenses.
In addition to proving liability, there are several other reasons why trying to handle a slip-and-fall case on your own may not be a good idea, including:
You May Not Understand the Premises Liability Law
Under Illinois’ premises liability law, a property owner can be responsible for a slip-and-fall accident that occurs on their property. To establish liability, it is necessary to show the owner was negligent in their actions by proving:
- The property had a dangerous condition that presented an unreasonable risk of harm
- The property owner was aware or should have been aware of the hazardous condition
- The property owner’s lack of action to correct the danger led to your injuries and damages
You may also need to consider Illinois’ comparative negligence law. You could recover full or partial compensation if you are responsible for 50% or less for the accident. For example, the jury can award you $50,000 for the slip-and-fall accident. If they find you 10% liable for the accident, you will receive $45,000 as your total compensation.
However, if the defendant proves you were more than 50% responsible, you won’t earn any damages. Complex Illinois premises liability and comparative negligence laws can make it challenging for injury victims to understand how to demonstrate liability while minimizing their responsibility in the accident.
A slip-and-fall lawyer can help you understand how the laws apply to your case and your legal options. They can determine whether the property owner was at fault in the accident and what compensation should be awarded based on their actions and negligence.
You May Not Have All The Evidence for Your Claim
A compensation claim may not be successful if you cannot demonstrate that the property owner knew about the hazardous condition. For instance, a store manager may argue that their staff failed to notice the spill before you slipped despite other witnesses and camera footage.
A personal injury attorney will know how to gather this evidence to prove your claim. The types of evidence they may need include:
- Surveillance footage
- Photos and videos of the incident
- Witness testimonies
Your attorney can interview employees, shoppers, and witnesses who saw your accident. These witnesses may attest that the person responsible for the property was aware of the spill.
You May Not Receive Proper Medical Attention
If your injuries seem minor, you might consider settling your claim with the property owner’s insurance company to get a quick settlement. However, if you rush to settle and discover untreated medical issues after the fact, you may lose out on compensation. For instance, concussion symptoms, such as light-headedness and balance issues, often take days or weeks to show up.
A lawyer may recommend that you undergo a complete medical examination by your doctor. A comprehensive physical examination will ensure that your doctor uncovers all underlying medical problems. Your doctor can put together a treatment plan that includes:
- Physical therapy
- Follow-up visits
- Medical imaging tests like MRIs and CT Scans
- Assistive devices such as crutches and wheelchairs
You may also incur medical costs if you need wheelchair ramps and handrails installed in your home. If your injury requires lifelong medical treatment, a lawyer can determine future medical expenses with the help of expert medical witnesses. Your attorney can also consult your doctor to find out how long the effects of your injury will affect your family and financial resources.
These medical bills can provide leverage for your lawyer when negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. The medical documentation also serves as proof of your slip-and-fall injury for the court if your case moves forward to a lawsuit.
You May Settle for Less Than You Deserve
The insurance company may ask you to sign a release to minimize the owner’s liability in the accident. They may also offer an initial settlement for your medical expenses and other financial losses. However, signing a release and accepting payment without legal guidance may mean you lose the right to pursue further compensation.
Insurance companies are experienced in lowballing accident victims and will often try to get you to settle for less than you deserve. Your attorney can strengthen your claim by reviewing your medical bills, including emergency room records, prescriptions, and ongoing medical treatments. They can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Why it’s Important to Have an Experienced Lawyer on Your Side
Slip-and-fall accidents can be complicated, and it is essential to have a lawyer to give you legal advice. An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer from Nessler & Associates can help you understand how best to approach your claim based on Illinois’ premises liability and comparative negligence laws.
Retaining a lawyer removes the stress of a complex legal process involving the property owner and insurance company. Let an experienced personal injury lawyer gather evidence and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Contact our law firm at (800) 727-8010 for a free case review so you can start your claim as soon as possible and get the damages you deserve.