Slip and fall, or trip and fall accidents, a type of premises liability case, can be devastating, both physically and financially.
If you've recently been involved in a slip and fall accident and you're thinking of filing a personal injury claim, you're probably wondering what you'll have to do to win.
Slip and fall cases are challenging because you have to prove three things, all of which are critical.
You have to prove that your accident was due to someone else's negligence, you have to prove that it directly caused your injuries, and you have to prove that your slip and fall accident injuries have direct financial costs.
There are several ways a slip and fall accident can occur.
Whether it's from a lack of signage warning about a wet floor or a failure to maintain safe sidewalks, the number of things that can cause a slip and fall accident is almost infinite.
When a property owner does fail to protect you from a slip and fall injury, it may still be difficult for you to prove your case.
In the article below, we will discuss why it can be difficult to win your slip and fall case.
What Percentage of Slip and Fall Cases Go To Trial?
The vast majority of slip and fall cases will settle out of court because defendants understand that it is typically less expensive and much less time-consuming than taking the case to trial.
But even though most slip and fall cases will settle out of court, each case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the unique circumstances surrounding your accident.
Some cases settle long before a jury trial takes place, while others can settle days or even hours before a trial is set to take place.
Many times, whether or not your case goes to trial is determined by the willingness of the insurance company to offer a fair settlement to the victim of a slip and fall accident.
How Long Do Slip and Fall Cases Take To Settle?
The time it takes to settle your slip and fall case can be anywhere from a few months to a few years. It all depends on the exact circumstances that are involved.
Victims of slip and fall accidents due to someone else's negligence have a little control over how long it takes your case to settle.
You can do things to speed up the process, but you always want to be sure you take enough time to be sure you get a fair settlement.
How Do You Prove Negligence In A Slip and Fall Case?
Every property owner has a responsibility to maintain their property and remedy any hazards as soon as possible to avoid all serious injuries.
Although it may seem straightforward, it can be quite difficult to prove that the property owner was negligent.
Property owners are likely to argue that you had some or all of the fault in your accident and that you are responsible for your injuries.
To prove that the property owner is responsible for your injuries, you must prove that they should have known about the dangerous condition, that they didn't fix it, or the owners carelessness caused the dangerous condition.
How Is Slip and Fall Pain and Suffering Calculated
There are two ways to calculate pain and suffering damages.
The first way is called the multiplier method.
With the multiplier method, you use a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on your injuries' severity. Your personal injury law firm will help you come up with this number.
The idea behind the multiplier method is that your pain and suffering is worth anywhere between 1.5 and 5 times the actual cost of repairing the injury.
Typically insurance companies will always come in a little lower than your attorney will when calculating pain and suffering damages. Your personal injury lawyer will help you negotiate your pain and suffering damages, so you get what you deserve.
There is also the per diem method. Per diem means "by the day" in Latin.
As the name implies, you will be paid a specific dollar amount each day from the time the accident occurred until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Why It's Hard To Win a Slip and Fall Case
No matter what type of personal injury case you may have, it will always rely on your ability to prove negligence.
In a slip and fall accident claim, you also have to prove all the other elements of a negligence claim.
That means you have to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, that you suffered physical and financial damages, and that the negligence of the defendant caused those damages.
In a typical car accident case, negligence can be proved with police reports and camera footage.
You usually don't have that type of evidence in slip and fall cases.
In slip and fall accidents, you generally have to rely on first-hand accounts of the accident.
As we mentioned above, you will also have to prove that the property owner or someone in charge at the property knew about the hazard and that they had enough time to repair it or remove it but didn't.
If you're lucky, there were security cameras so you have video footage of your accident and the events that lead up to it.
Or maybe you have a witness statements that can back up your claims.
In a worst-case scenario, no one was around when your accident happened, there is no security camera footage, and there is no evidence you can use to claim that the property owner knew of the hazard.
That worst-case scenario is all too common, which is why it is so hard to win slip and fall cases.