If you have a slip-and-fall accident at a restaurant, shop, public building, or even on someone else’s private property, you need to take certain steps to protect your rights. You may feel embarrassed by what happened, but if there was a known hazard, you could pursue a slip and fall lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries.
The moments following a slip and fall injury are extremely important. What you do can either make or break your case.
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You should get medical treatment promptly after your injury. You may think you’re fine, but if you decline treatment, symptoms from a hidden injury may appear.
You should also notify the business or property owner immediately. They should fill out a report to document your slip and fall, and you’ll want to have copies of it for your records.
Evidence is crucial because, in situations like these, the property owner may quickly remedy the known hazard. You should get photos and videos of where your slip and fall occurred before this evidence disappears. Getting contact information for witnesses can also help back up your claims.
There is one thing most slip and fall victims do not think to preserve in their evidence – clothing and shoes. The at-fault party may blame what you were wearing at the time for your slip and fall.
An injury lawyer who has represented clients in slip-and-fall cases will be a huge asset to your case. They can help examine the unique factors in this incident and provide valuable legal advice. They can also help you file your claim and paperwork while working to negotiate a fair settlement.
In Illinois, it’s important to know the laws that could impact your case. The statute of limitations is one of them, which gives you a time limit to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Here, you have two years from the date of your injury to put this in motion. Otherwise, you could lose your chance to recover compensation. Lawyers often encourage acting quickly, even when it seems like there’s a lot of time left to file. This is because crucial evidence fades in time, and it can make it harder to prove negligence and liability.
Adding another layer of complexity to Illinois slip and fall cases is the rule of comparative negligence. The state follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if you are found to share a certain percentage of fault, your damages would be reduced according to that percentage.
However, if you are found over 50% at fault for your injuries, you’ll be barred from collecting any compensation. It’s a tactic commonly used by defendants in slip-and-fall lawsuits to get out of having to pay. This is why you’ll want a personal injury attorney representing you and standing up for your rights.
There are certainly people who pretend to be injured in a slip and fall in hopes of winning a large settlement. There are also unscrupulous businesses that will try to argue that someone who has proof of serious injuries did it to themselves.
Often, they may shift the blame to you, saying you were in an area where customers or visitors are not permitted. When you take photos of your slip and fall accident, capturing the surrounding area is crucial to make your argument invalid.
They may try to claim you were distracted on your phone or not paying attention while walking, that the shoes you were wearing were not appropriate, or that you knew it was dangerous when you walked onto the premises. They may even try to claim they had signs warning of the hazard displayed.
With the right evidence and attorney, you can show that these arguments don’t have any foundation. It’s difficult enough to endure injuries of any kind, especially when you’re in a place that you are invited to and should feel safe. It’s even more upsetting when you’re being blamed for injuries that were caused by negligence in maintaining the property. Speaking with a lawyer lets you know where you may stand in a slip-and-fall lawsuit.