Slip-and-fall accidents are very common during the winter season with the icy road and pile of snow everywhere. This type of accidents increases the number of slip and fall claims which may or may not be settled in court. Many plaintiffs prefer an out-of-court settlement as the aggrieved party can talk directly to the property owner where the injury occurred. By means of amicable discussions and honest intentions, both parties can agree mutually to the cost that the victim might need.
With the coming financial help, the victim can be assisted in facing difficulties encountered, such as loss of employment due to the accident. By means of US tort laws, a victim can legally claim for any injury or financial loss due to the slip and fall accident happening on the premises of another person’s business or property. As an illustration: when a customer eating in a restaurant slips or falls down because of a wet floor or uneven surface that had not been given a warning, he/she can claim payment from the owner for injuries. Because of the technical nature of slip and fall cases, most plaintiffs and defendants could not arrive at an amicable settlement so they have to go to court to judge which side wins or loses.
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For a valid slip and fall lawsuit, the conditions are present; the slip-and-fall –
1. Happened on someone property.
2. Caused physical or mental injury, monetary losses, etc.
3.Fault is due to owner or his employees. In most instances, any injury due to the fault, mistake or negligence of the property owner falls under the classification of a slip and fall case. However, the majority of slip and fall cases are settled out-of-court because there are lots of complexity involved in determining the real nature events that bring on the accident. To understand the difficulty involved in a slip and fall case.
Consider the following examples to understand the ambiguity involved in slip and fall cases. Jack slips and falls down in a Barber Shop. He sees that he slipped due to a wet floor but on closer inspect, Jack observes that only a small floor area is actually wet while the remaining area is dry. He blames the owner of Barber Shop for causing his physical injury and demanded monetary compensation. The owner the Barbershop Shop, Mr. Black, reasoned out that Jack slipped because he was negligent.
He said that he of the many customers present in his Barber Shop that day; it was only Jack who fell because he was negligent. On the portion of the floor area being wet, Black defended himself by stating that the water might have been spilled by someone who was carrying water only a few moments before Jack fell. He was quite busy doing his chore and could not be responsible for the effect of negligence on his premise. Happenings such as this are found in many slip and fall cases. In the illustration, Jack was trying to show that it is Black’s responsibility as the owner to ensure that his premises do not pose a risk to customers.
Black on his part is defending himself by stating he has not the time to clean the floor as an employee is assigned to mop the floor at regular intervals. Liability is one of the essential elements of a slip and fall claim. The plaintiff’s legal counsel has to gather concrete proofs to establish that the fall was not the negligence on his client’s part but due to the carelessness of the defendant.
Jack’s counsel must gather information about the following:
- When – Date and time the accident happened.
- Where – Exact location of the accident.
- What was the weather condition on that day?
- What kind of footwear Jack was wearing that day.
- Whether Jack was under the influence of any medication or /alcohol.
- Was Jack carrying anything at that time?
In slip-and-fall cases, the bulk of the amount of the settlement goes to medical expenditure which is payable to the plaintiff as long as they constitute the following elements:
1. A personal injury settlement is the cost of medical expenses that incurred by the injured party.
2. Damages of personal property that happen during the fall; it can be a cell phone, laptop or a personal asset.
3. Other expenses also include ambulance charges.
4. The plaintiff may also sue the defendant for loss of wages in case he is not able to go to work. Not all are applicable to the court seldom allows 100% compensation. Several ways are used to settle the amount mutually agreed or approved by the court. It can be payable in two ways – either the whole amount or structured settlement.
This type of payment is payment of the compensation over a span of time in several installments. In a slip and fall, the injured party must always hire an attorney, as he has the expertise and will assess the situation and guide the plaintiff all the way of the whole process. If you have been injured in a fall down accident, contact an experienced Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Lawyer.