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5 Ways to Prove Fault and Win Personal Injury Settlements
The best way to win your slip and fall lawsuit is to clearly show who was at fault for your personal injuries.
Here are 5 steps you can take to show who was at fault :
1. File Accident Report
Just like you would file a car accident report if you were injured in an auto accident, you should file an accident report.
If you fell on a commercial property, speak with the manager/owner and file an accident report.
Make sure the report details where the accident happened (for example, which aisle in a grocery store) and what caused it (example: slippery floor, water spot, leaking pipe etc).
Filing an accident report does two important things for your slip and fall lawsuit. First it documents the cause and date of your injuries.
Second it helps you establish a direct link between your injuries and the accident.
For example, after your slip and fall you start experiencing severe muscle aches and joint pains.
Since you filed an accident report, it is reasonable to assume your injuries were caused by your slip and fall and not due to some pre-existing condition. This makes the the property owner liable and requires you to be compensated for your pain and suffering.
Most businesses carry premise liability insurance that will deal with your slip and fall lawsuit.
Once you file the accident report, ask the owner/manager for the name of the company that insures them.
This is the company that will compensate your injuries, lost income, out of pocket expenses and pain and suffering.
So make sure you follow up the status of your lawsuit with the insurance company.
2. Visit a Doctor
The amount of money you get for your slip and fall lawsuit is directly related to the severity of your injuries. Most people who suffer slip and fall injuries do not visit a doctor. They feel their injuries are not serious and they’re a
little embarrassed to admit they fell in public.
However, visiting a doctor is critical for two reasons. First you get the care you need for your injuries or potential injuries.
Some injuries might not be obvious and require further testing such as X-rays or MRI’s. Better safe than sorry.
Second (and most important in regards to your slip and fall lawsuit) is that your injuries are being documented and diagnosed by a medical professional.
I can tell you straight out that no insurance company will take your injury lawsuit seriously if you don’t have a medical report.
The reason is because medical reports give a more accurate description of your injuries.
Saying you suffered a leg injury is not as strong as a medical report stating you suffered a hairline fracture in your left fibula. The latter makes your injury sound more serious and legitimate.
Without a medical report it is nearly impossible for an insurance to determine the severity of your injuries and how much to value your lawsuit.
So play it safe and smart. Get checked up.
3. Track Your Medical Expenses.
The amount of your injury settlement depends primarily on the cost of your medical bills. An insurance company uses your medical bills to quickly gauge how high your potential slip and fall lawsuit might be.
Their thinking is “ If this person was really injured their medical bills would be much higher. Therefore their injuries must not be that serious and they don’t deserve a high settlement.”
This does not mean you lie to your doctor or artificially inflate your medical expenses. It just means you should be aware of which factors determine the amount of your slip and fall settlements and act accordingly.
To receive an adequate settlement you should track ALL of your expenses. This includes the cost of your doctor’s visit, pain medication, ambulance ride, referrals to any specialists etc
4. Document Your Pain and Suffering
In addition to your expenses, your slip and fall lawsuit should compensate your pain and suffering. Determining the dollar amount to your pain and suffering is not easy. It is a very subjective term. There is no magic formula that says “Your pain and suffering is worth $X.”
Despite that you can still track and express your pain and suffering to increase your chances of getting a fair settlement.
This can be done by explaining how your injury has impacted you both financially and personally.
For example, imagine you are a dancer that slipped and fell in a grocery store. You broke your ankle and will now have to miss several performances. Your accident will cause you to miss months of stable income. The injury has also crushed your lifelong dream of dancing.
Now consider the same injury happens to a stay at home wife with no children. Which story sounds more sympathetic to you?
Context is everything. In our example, the dancers story has both financial and personal setback. It does a better job of expressing the victim’s pain and suffering.
So make sure you provide an accurate description of how the injuries impacted you both financially, personally and emotionally.
5. Take Pictures/Videos:
Your next step to show fault in your slip and fall lawsuit is to take plenty of pictures/videos at the scene of your accident. Try to capture just how hazardous and unsafe the conditions were where you fell.
Look around and see if there are any clear and visible warning signs around the area. Come back after a week and see if any precautions were made around the hazardous area.
Was it cleaned up and fixed? Has the area been closed off?
If no visible changes have been made, this makes your injury claim stronger because it shows the property owner’s negligence.
Proving fault in a slip and fall lawsuit is incredibly difficult. You will need to have as much evidence as you can that shows the other party’s fault.
Follow these basic guideline so that you have a fair chance of winning your claim.
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