A Victim's Guide to Slip-And-Fall Accidents
There are a number of different factors that go into determining the outcome of a slip-and-fall case, and no two cases are exactly alike. Understanding the different aspects of a slip-and-fall case is important for everyone involved, and while a reputable attorney should always be relied upon for all decisions and information, having knowledge of the process can help you relax and know what to expect.
If you recently fell on someone else’s property and believe the owner may be responsible, Monge and Associates can represent you in a slip-and-fall case. With a strong passion for standing up for what’s right, combined with more than 20 years of legal experience, Scott Monge can help you get what you’re entitled to from a slip-and-fall settlement or trial. Call Monge and Associates today at (800) 860-8021 to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers today.
1. The First Rule of Slip-and-Fall: Contact an Attorney
This simple truth can’t be stressed enough: If you have been the victim of possible negligence that led to a slip-and-fall, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. While this shouldn’t take precedence over immediate medical attention, notifying a lawyer should be one of the first orders of business.
Many victims make the mistake of speaking to insurance companies, arguing with landowners or even speaking too much with potential witnesses at the start. This is understandable; no one wants to feel helpless. The ultimate arbiter, however, over any of the facts for a slip-and-fall case should be a lawyer.
Insurance companies often reference the “open and obvious doctrine,” which implies the victim simply wasn’t paying attention. These companies are keen on finding any piece of a story that can justify this. It’s best to allow a legal expert to handle matters with an insurance company as any information shared prior to contacting a lawyer can often harm the potential outcome of a case.
Slipping and falling, especially in a place of business, can be a very embarrassing and traumatic experience. As such, it’s understandable for victims to become angry with the management or staff. By contacting an attorney sooner rather than later, it’s a lot easier to be sure that nothing is said or done that could jeopardize the chance for a successful case.
Conversations with potential witnesses are best handled by an attorney, as well. While contact information with possible witnesses should be shared, discussing the facts of the case should be left to the lawyers who understand what aspects are relevant and what information can help win a case.
2. Understanding Invitees, Licensees and Trespassers
In slip-and-fall cases, defendants can fall under three categories. This category may influence the outcome of the case.
There are also situations when the lines between the categories are confusing, which is another reason why it is so vital to allow a lawyer to handle these matters. The three types of victims in slip-and-fall cases are:
An invitee is anyone who has been willingly invited on a piece of property. This includes customers in stores, servants, babysitters or any invited guest in a business or place of residence. Invitees are typically favored in most slip-and-fall cases as their safety is placed in the trust of the owner of the property.
Licensees differ from invitees in that their presence on the property is for their own interests. Cases involving licensees are much trickier than invitee situations and don’t always turn out the same.
A trespasser is anyone who is on a piece of property without the owner’s consent. Though there may be times when slip-and-fall cases may end in the favor of a trespasser, it is rare.
3. Evidence of Negligence
Successful slip-and-fall cases hinge on whether or not negligence was involved. It helps if the plaintiff can prove the property owner was aware of the problem that led to the fall and did nothing about it.
There are many times where falling is simply an accidental occurrence, and property owners cannot always be held responsible for every potential hazard in a given area. While information from the victim and key witnesses are always important, proving negligence is a top priority in these cases.
Slip-and-fall Cases in Atlanta, Georgia
Don’t let the negligence of others inflict more than physical pain. Scott Monge and the team at Monge and Associates can help you seek a slip-and-fall settlement.
Providing the most direct and sincere services to all our clients, Scott Monge and the other experienced and capable law professionals at the firm are dedicated to the vision of providing complete and attentive services. Call us today at (800) 860-8021.