If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, then you may be tempted to settle with the insurance company of the responsible party without consulting a lawyer. This may be especially tempting if medical bills are piling up, you need the settlement money, and the insurance agents appear to be cooperative. However, it is always important to consult with a lawyer during a slip and fall case. This is because it can be difficult to get the amount of money you actually deserve after a slip and fall accident, and a lawyer can make sure you do. Below are five ways that a lawyer can help you, which you may not be able to do on your own.
Determining Who Is Liable
If you are injured on a commercial property, then there is likely more than one party who is responsible for your accident. For example, the property owner, the property manager, and the tenant may all have some responsibility in the incident. Determining every responsible party is important because it can help you reach a higher settlement. For example, if the tenant's insurance does not cover the total amount of your claim, it may be easier to try to get the owner's insurance to cover the additional amount rather than try to get the tenant to pay out of pocket.
There are several aspects involved in determining liability in a slip and fall case. You have to prove that you have injuries and they resulted from your fall. Additionally, you have to prove that your fall was caused due to some sort of negligence on the part of the responsible party, which means proving that they should have known about the circumstances that caused your fall and that they had ample time to either remedy the situation or warn you of the danger and they failed to do so. Connecting all of these things can be difficult for some individuals. However, lawyers have greater experience proving liability and know which types of proof will stand up in court.
Help Determining Damages and Fair Compensation
You may be happy with a settlement that covers your medical bills. However, in a slip and fall case, you are generally entitled to other types of compensation such as pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and incidental expenses. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine which receipts you need to save in order to be compensated and what types of compensation you are entitled to.
Knowing When to Settle
In some cases, the injured party expects too much, and in other cases they do not expect enough. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine whether you will be able to get a better deal if you refuse to settle with the insurance companies and will also help you determine if you have a strong enough case to go to court for a larger settlement. Their experience will help you get the largest compensation that you can get in the best time frame for you.
Gathering Evidence In Your Case
In some situations it may be difficult or awkward for you to gather evidence. For example, you may not want to ask the store where you fell for their security footage or you may feel strange contacting employees or witnesses. A lawyer can take over these tasks for you to make sure that all of the evidence necessary to build a strong case is gathered in a timely manner.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you decide to represent yourself, a lawyer can give you advice and more information about the value and strength of your case as well as relevant evidence.