Plano Slip and Fall Lawyer
Table of Contents
- What is Your Slip and Fall Claim Worth?
- Representation in Court
- The Benefits of Hiring a Plano Slip and Fall Attorney as Soon as Possible
- What Happens in Cases of Shared Fault?
- Proving a Slip and Fall Case
- Get Help from Our Plano Slip and Fall Lawyers Today
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2018, more than 37,000 individuals lost their lives to unintentional falls. It’s estimated that 20 to 30 percent of people who experience a slip and fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries, such as bruises, broken hips, or head injuries. Slips and falls can also result in traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and broken bones in the pelvis, spine, leg, feet, ankle, arm, and hand. Hiring an experienced Plano slip and fall lawyer is the best course of action if you’ve been injured.
A slip and fall accident can cost thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Suppose another person’s failure to reasonably prevent a slip and fall caused your injuries. In that case, you have a legal right to seek and obtain compensation for these losses. Legal representation can be to your benefit for several reasons. Your Plano slip and fall lawyer can negotiate a higher settlement, speak to the insurance adjuster on your behalf, and provide you rest as you heal.
Your Plano slip and fall attorney knows that negotiating a fair settlement begins with understanding your damages. Every slip and fall claim is unique, but many have the same damages. Your damages might include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Property damage
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
An experienced Plano slip and fall lawyer will know your claim’s value based on their experience and the applicable insurance policy limits. Familiarity with settled claims similar to yours also helps guide their negotiations with the insurance adjuster. At The Patel Firm, we do everything we can to negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf. If we aren’t able to do so, we are ready and willing to litigate your claim.
personal injury claims end up in court. However, if the insurance company isn’t offering you the compensation you deserve, we can help you litigate your case. Your Plano slip and fall attorney can advise you if your case is worth taking to court, but the decision is ultimately yours.
Here’s how a lawyer can help if you decide to move forward with litigation:
- Filing the lawsuit
- Guiding you through the legal injury claim process
- Drafting pleadings about why the other party owes you compensation
- Preparing you to testify or provide sworn statements in court
- Proving the negligence of the at-fault party
The sooner you can hire a Plano slip and fall lawyer, the better. Having legal counsel on your side right from the start can benefit your claim in multiple ways.
Meeting the Filing Deadline
First, you can ensure that you don’t miss the legal filing deadline known as the statute of limitations. For slip and fall injury victims in Texas, this deadline is two years from the date of their injury. If they don’t file a legal case within that timeframe, they won’t be successful in obtaining compensation for their injuries. When you contact an attorney shortly after your accident, you give them adequate time to prepare a robust case on your behalf. Keep in mind that if your claim is against a municipality or government entity, your filing deadline might be shorter.
Collecting and preserving evidence is also a crucial part of preparing a successful injury claim. Waiting too long to collect evidence is risky as it can be destroyed or lost. Your Plano slip and fall attorney will help you do this as soon as they are hired. Evidence might include:
- Accident reports
- Witness statements
- Video camera footage
- Pictures of the area in which you fell
- Pictures of your injuries
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Receipts for other injury expenses
Avoiding Insurance Adjuster Tactics
If you hire a Plano slip and fall lawyer to handle your claim, you won’t have to deal with the insurance adjuster assigned to your case on your own. Rather the adjuster must go through your attorney to get any necessary information and negotiate a settlement. If you ever need to speak with them directly, your attorney will be present to protect your interests.
Without legal representation, you’re vulnerable to the insurance company’s attempts at decreasing the value of your claim. Adjustors frequently call injured parties as soon as possible after they file a claim. They hope the injured person will accept a minimal settlement offer before they have the chance to hire an injury attorney and find out what their case is really worth.
Some insurance adjusters will seem overly nice, friendly, and concerned about your well-being. However, it’s likely a part of their tactics to get you to feel comfortable with them so that you might let your guard down and tell them something they can use to refute your claim.
Insurance adjusters might ask you to provide a recorded statement. While this is common in the insurance industry, it’s generally not in your best interest to oblige. During this call, they’ll try to get you to say something detrimental to your case. Adjusters are also notorious for twisting the claimant’s words and taking what they say out of context to serve their own interests.
Most lawyers strongly advise injury victims against giving any recorded statement to a claims adjuster. Claimants don’t possess the legal knowledge or expertise to understand what could be used against them. Once something potentially detrimental is said, there is no taking it back or pretending it wasn’t said.
Another insurance adjuster tactic is to delay your claim as much as possible. They want their delays to wear claimants down, causing them to accept a low and unfair settlement or give up on their claim altogether.
With an experienced Plano slip and fall lawyer on your side, insurance adjusters aren’t as likely to stall processing claims or offer unreasonable settlements. They know you’re serious about getting the monetary recovery you deserve for your damages. If an insurance adjuster contacts you after you have hired legal representation, politely inform them that you have hired an attorney and provide their contact information.
Help for Complicated Cases
Finally, if your case is complicated, it’s essential to hire an attorney right away. If you don’t, your claim could fail before it even gets started. Your slip and fall case could be complex if you:
- Lack evidence showing the property owner’s negligence (it’s your word against theirs)
- Lack evidence proving you fell and sustained injuries
- Have more than one person or party responsible for the conditions that caused your fall
- Have high-value non-economic damages for your traumatic injuries
Suppose your slip and fall case involves a minor child or is against a division of government or a local municipality. In that case, it can also be more complicated. You’ll want a Plano slip and fall attorney on your side for either of these scenarios.
Sometimes when a slip and fall occurs, more than one party could have contributed to the accident. Suppose you slipped and fell on a cement stairway approaching the entrance to a shopping center. The cement was cracked and crumbling into pieces. The shopping center owners and the company they contract with to make repairs could both have some fault.
Claims involving more than one at-fault party are typically more complex as each party tries to put more blame onto the other. Ultimately in Texas, each liable party will pay a portion of the damages. Their percentage of fault for the accident determines how much they’ll pay.
For instance, if your damages amount to $100,000, this is the total you should receive from all liable parties. The shopping center accepts 60 percent of the fault. They’ll pay $60,000. The contracted repair company will owe $40,000 for their 40 percent of the fault.
A successful personal injury claim will establish the four elements of negligence. Injured parties won’t receive a fair settlement without proving these elements:
- Duty: One party owed the injured person a duty of care—for example, a landlord noticing and fixing a broken stair
- Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached that duty—suppose the landlord didn’t repair the broken stair.
- Causation: Their breach of duty resulted in the injured party’s slip and fall and subsequent injuries.
- Verifiable damages: Due to their injuries, the victim sustained damages including pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income or wages.
Proving these points is usually best accomplished with an attorney by your side. Slip and fall cases can be more complicated than other personal injury claims to prove.
Not only do these four elements of negligence apply, but the injured party must also show that the property owner, or their agent, or employee was aware or should have reasonably been aware that a danger existed on the property. If they were unaware of the danger or couldn’t reasonably have known about the potential for danger, it’s unlikely that they will be held liable for any resulting damages.
At the Patel Law firm, our Plano slip and fall attorneys know just how devastating slip and fall injuries can be. One second you are walking and going about your day, and the next, you are on the floor waiting to be loaded into an ambulance. These injuries take you by surprise and come with many challenges.
We have access to medical experts and other professionals who can help prove your injuries and damages. Once we learn more about your injuries, we will know which professional experts to call on. With their help, your Plano slip and fall lawyer can increase the chances that you’ll receive the best recovery possible from your fall.
It’s difficult for most people to determine how much their claim might be worth. Insurance companies take advantage of this, hoping that claimants will settle for much less than what they deserve. When you work with an attorney, they’ll know what your claim is worth and use their negotiation skills to maximize your settlement.