What Should You Ask a Slip and Fall Attorney?
There's no way to prepare for a slip and fall accident. But when it comes to finding an attorney, you can and should be prepared. If you've recently suffered a slip and fall accident, continue reading for the questions you should ask before hiring a slip and fall attorney.
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?While you're attempting to locate a slip and fall attorney, you can waste several precious weeks looking for adequate representation. While taking time to heal from your injuries, months and maybe even years can pass before you know it. One of the first questions you should ask an attorney is how long you have to file your claim.
In the state of Florida, victims have four years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against a property owner. A slip and fall accident attorney can help calculate how much time of the designated statue of limitations you have left to file a claim.
How Can I Prove Negligence?Slip and fall accidents are filed under personal injury law, which have their foundation in negligence. In order to have a successful claim a victim must prove that negligence on behalf of the at-fault party caused the accident, which then led to a victim's injuries. However, proving negligence can be difficult, especially in slip and fall cases.
Ask a slip and fall attorney how they attempt to prove negligence on behalf of the premises owner of the property where you fell. This can be acquiring photographic evidence, victim statements, and even hiring expert witnesses to establish the series of events which led to your injuries. A knowledgeable slip and fall attorney will be able to provide you with a clear-cut response to what his or her method of proving negligence could tentatively be.
What If I Was Partially At-Fault?Slip and fall cases often result from obstructions in a victim's path such as a spill, an uneven floorboard, or a crack in the pavement. However, sometimes negligence on behalf of the victim can contribute to an accident. This can be a distraction such as texting, or even loose clothing or shoelaces which can impair their step.
Florida abides by a pure comparative fault system, which allows a victim to still receive a percentage of compensation even if they were partially at fault. If you believe this to be your scenario, discuss this with an attorney.
Can I Still Recover Damages If My Injuries Are Minor?Victims of a slip and fall accident should always receive immediate medical attention, even if they believe their injuries to be minor. A diagnosis can help an attorney properly evaluate your case to determine if you have a claim to move forward.
Have You Tried Slip and Fall Accidents Before?As you're asking an attorney these questions, you want to be sure that he or she has adequate experience in the practice area of slip and falls. Many times a personal injury attorney will have plenty of experience in other practice areas, such as auto accidents or motorcycle crashes, but may not be the most well-versed in slip and fall accident litigation.
Think of personal injury attorneys as doctors: you wouldn't want a heart surgeon to perform your brain surgery, and vice versa. In personal injury law, just because an attorney has experience with car accidents doesn't mean they have experience with slip and falls. Inquiring about an attorney's experience with your type of case is a critical question.
What Are Your Fees and Costs?As with any service, the assistance of a slip and fall attorney will cost money. Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency basis, meaning how they get paid is determined by whether or not you win your case. If you lose your case, you pay no fee. If you win, these fees are typically 33 1/3% of your settlement amount.
Likewise, many slip and fall attorneys will cover out-of-pocket costs as your case progresses. These costs include anything from medical recordsto the price of obtaining accident reports and paperwork. Most lawyers will include these costs as a contingency as well, and withdraw it from your final settlement amount. However, ask an attorney who will be responsible for these costs in the event that your lawsuit is unsuccessful.
There is no way to be prepared for a slip and fall accident. But when it comes to seeking compensation, finding an attorney who will uphold your right to recover damages is something you can and should be prepared for. Before you contact a trusted slip and fall accident attorney, bear these questions in mind.