When you visit a business or private residence, it’s reasonable to expect that the property will be maintained in a way that minimizes the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a slip-and-fall on someone else’s property and suspect negligence was at play, our Chicago slip-and-fall lawyers can help.
Steps to take after being hurt
The steps you take after being injured in a slip-and-fall accident can have a substantial impact on the outcome of your case. Keep in mind the following tips to protect your rights and stay safe.
1. Find a safe place away from the source of injury
If possible, move away from the area where you slipped and fell. This will minimize any further risk.
2. Perform a self-evaluation
Perform a physical and mental evaluation to assess any pain, discomfort, or disorientation that may have been caused by the incident. Be aware of whether you’ve sustained any cuts, bruises, or broken bones.
3. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance and the police
Whether you’re seriously injured or not, it’s important to call for medical help and the police. The paramedics can assess your injuries and stabilize you for transport to the hospital. The responding officer will create a report of the incident, which can be invaluable to your case.
4. Take notes and photos of the scene
If you’re able, document the scene of the accident by taking photos, videos, and/or written notes. This will help your attorney better understand what led to your injuries.
5. Collect contact information from witnesses
If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information. It’s important to have a record of everyone who may have seen what led to your slip-and-fall accident.
6. Keep a written or digital record of your experience in the minutes, hours, and days after the accident
Once your immediate needs have been addressed, you should begin to document the effects of your injuries. This includes recording any pain or limitations in activities that may be caused by the accident and changes to your mood or behavior.
7. Visit your primary care physician or specialist
Make sure you get a medical evaluation as soon as possible after your accident. Even if you don’t believe that the injuries are serious, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor because some injuries might not be visible to the eye but can be very serious like a brain injury.
8. Speak with an attorney
When you’re ready to move forward with a claim, you should contact a qualified Chicago slip-and-fall lawyer who can advise you on your options. From there, your lawyer can help to build a strong case for maximum compensation.
Don’t miss the deadline to file your claim
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of your slip-and-fall accident to file a personal injury claim. If you miss this deadline, known as the statute of limitations, you may be unable to receive compensation for your damages and losses. There are some exceptions to this rule, but most cases must be filed within two years of the accident.
By hiring an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney soon after your injury, you can ensure that your case is filed on time and get the best chance of recovering the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Possible damages you can claim
The goal of any personal injury claim is to receive compensation for losses suffered as a result of the accident. Known as damages, these losses are divided into two broad categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are those that have an easily calculable monetary value. These can include medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, and the cost of any accommodations needed for recovery. Both future and past expenses can be included in the claim.
Non-economic damages are those that don’t have an exact dollar value such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are more difficult to calculate but can be a substantial portion of your settlement or award.
How to find the right lawyer for your needs
Hiring the right lawyer for your slip-and-fall accident case can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim. Taking the time to find an experienced attorney with a successful track record in personal injury law is key.
Before you commit to working with any particular lawyer, ask them about their experience in handling similar cases, their success rate, and what you can expect from their services. Notice how they respond to your questions, and make sure they’re open and honest about the process.
Compassion, confidence, and a sincere desire to help are all vital qualities in a slip-and-fall injury lawyer. If these aren’t present, you should keep looking.
We’ll fight the insurance company to get you maximum compensation
Most property owners are covered by insurance policies that protect them in the event of a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies aren’t always eager to pay out on claims, and they may try to deny your claim or offer a settlement that’s far lower than what you should receive.
We’ve seen this behavior many times, but we know how to fight back. We don’t let insurance companies take advantage of our clients, and we won’t rest until you get the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
Parties who may be liable for your injury
Slip-and-fall accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, from improper maintenance to inadequate warning signs. Depending on the circumstances of your case, several parties may be held liable for your injury and the associated damages. These may include:
- The property owner
- Any employees or contractors working on the premises
- The manufacturer of any dangerous products on the premises
- A person who was responsible for maintaining the area
- A government agency responsible for public safety
When you come to us with your slip-and-fall case, we’ll conduct a thorough investigation to determine who was responsible for the accident. By identifying all liable parties, we increase the likelihood of recovering maximum damages for your claim.
How our attorneys prove liability
We can only win a slip-and-fall case if we can prove that the responsible party was negligent in maintaining a reasonably safe environment. This requires that we collect evidence to prove the property owner had a duty of care, violated this duty, and caused you harm.
When building a case, our Chicago slip-and-fall lawyers may use evidence such as surveillance tapes, eyewitness accounts, photographs and videos of the accident site, police reports, maintenance records, and expert testimony. By thoroughly examining the evidence, we can build a convincing case that demonstrates the defendant’s liability and your entitlement to damages.
Slip-and-fall lawsuit process
While each case is unique, the legal process for a slip-and-fall lawsuit typically follows a general timeline.
1. Legal consultation
The first step is to consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in slip-and-fall cases. During the initial consultation, your attorney will assess your case, determine if you have grounds to file a lawsuit and guide you through your legal options.
2. Accident investigation
If you decide to move forward with your case, your lawyer will investigate the accident to collect evidence and determine who’s liable for your injuries.
3. File demand for compensation
After conducting a thorough investigation, your attorney will file a demand for compensation with the negligent party and/or their insurance company. This is usually done in the form of a letter and may include an outline of your damages and the legal basis for your claim. This step starts the conversation between the parties and is often followed by negotiations.
Next, your lawyer will enter into negotiations with the other party in hopes of reaching a settlement. In some cases, this process may involve a third-party mediator to facilitate the discussion. The goal is to reach an agreement that achieves your desired outcome while avoiding the cost and time of a trial.
5. Take the case to trial
If the other party won’t agree to a fair settlement, your lawyer may recommend taking the case to trial. This can add many months to the process, but it may be necessary to receive the full amount of compensation that you deserve. To begin the trial process, your attorney will file a lawsuit with the court. From there, the case will enter a series of pre-trial hearings, and eventually, a jury or judge will determine whether you’re entitled to damages.
Why it’s important to visit the doctor
Medical records are an important part of any personal injury case as they help establish the extent of your injuries and link them back to the accident. That’s why it’s so important to visit the doctor – or go to the emergency room, if necessary – after a slip-and-fall accident.
Not only is the initial visit critical to the success of your claim but you should also keep up with any follow-up appointments. These visits will help document the progression of your recovery and make sure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to get better. If you miss appointments or fail to follow your doctor’s recommendations, the other party may argue that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim.
Cost of hiring a Chicago slip-and-fall lawyer
We understand that the potential cost of hiring a slip-and-fall injury lawyer in Chicago is a major factor in deciding whether or not to pursue a lawsuit. You’re dealing with enough financial burden as it is, and we don’t want to add to that.
That’s why we handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. We only get paid if we win compensation on your behalf, and the legal fee comes out of your eventual settlement. This arrangement keeps our legal services accessible to those who need them most and gives us a greater incentive to pour our resources into your case.
Why hire Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates
The Chicago slip-and-fall lawyers with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates have successfully handled injury claims for decades, obtaining record-setting jury verdicts in many cases. Our trial lawyers have been named by their peers as leading lawyers, an honor earned by less than five percent of licensed lawyers in Illinois.
Our Chicago slip-and-fall lawyers are here to help
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates has decades of experience and a successful track record handling personal injury matters.
If you or your loved one has been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, contact us for a free consultation to find out how our Chicago personal injury attorneys can help you receive the compensation you deserve after your slip-and-fall incident.
Call (800) 985-1819 to learn how we can help you on your path toward recovery.