Slip and Fall Injuries
Imagine walking through the local grocery store, and suddenly, you slip and fall, landing on your back, wrists, or even hitting your head. Slips, trips, and falls are more than just embarrassing – they can also lead to serious injuries or even permanent disability.
If you’ve tripped over loose or uneven flooring, slipped on an icy sidewalk that wasn’t cleared, or fallen in a store, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for damages. The circumstances of each case are different, but at The Higgins Firm, we work with each client to get them the compensation they deserve.What Should I Do After a Slip, Trip, or Fall Accident?
Right after you’ve fallen, especially if you’re in public, you’re probably eager too quickly to get up and walk it off. But, many times, your injuries may not be apparent right away. It's imperative to seek immediate medical attention after a fall, diagnose any soft tissue injuries, and have X-rays to identify fractures or breaks.
There are several steps to take in order to ensure a solid claim:
- Stay calm the best you can. It's ok to cry, but try not to start yelling or blaming others around you. Anything you say may be used to defame you and damage your case
- Seek medical attention, and the sooner, the better. If you don’t, and it turns out you did get hurt from the fall, the other party’s insurance company may deny your claim
- Ensure that the store manager fills out an accident report, which details your accident's circumstances. Ask for a copy for your records
- Contact a reliable Knoxville slip-and-fall attorney, like The Higgins Firm, to represent you
You may not be thinking about legal representation right away, but the sooner you speak to a personal injury lawyer, the better. Tennessee laws for personal injury limit your filing to one year from the date of the accident. If you file after the statute of limitations, likely the court will simply dismiss your case.Am I Responsible for My Slip and Fall?
Sometimes, people may feel that they were just clumsy. Other times, however, the property owner was negligent and therefore liable for your accident and subsequent injuries. Your Knoxville slip and fall lawyer will need to establish one of three things to prove that the property owner is liable for your claim:
- They caused the dangerous conditions that led to your accident
- They knew there were hazardous conditions at the establishment and didn't fix them
- They should have known about the conditions because a reasonable person would have noticed and repaired them
However, the other party’s insurance company may try to shift the blame back on you. This is part of the reason that you need an experienced lawyer to help protect your interests. For instance, perhaps:
- You were wearing flimsy or unsupportive shoes
- You were distracted or not paying attention to where you were walking
- You ignored signs posted warning of hazardous conditions
- You were in a hurry and rushing
Your attorney will construct a case of negligence on the part of the property owner. Proving “reasonable negligence” can be tricky, though, since it’s a subjective claim. Reasonable negligence means that a reasonable person, as a property owner, would have identified potentially hazardous conditions and fixed them in a timely manner.
Proving that there were no safety protocols in place or noting documented records of complaints of unsafe conditions is part of what your lawyer will use to build your case. They may also use industry best practices for the type of establishment your accident occurred in, OSHA practices, and often, just plain common sense.
Knoxville slip and fall lawyers also negotiate with the property owner’s insurance company on your behalf. It’s usually the insurance company that will pay out the claim, and insurance companies will try to settle for as little as possible if they don’t deny the claim outright. Your attorney knows the law and may have plenty of proof that the property owner was in the wrong. Or, if the circumstances of the case are a little murkier, then they can get the best settlement possible for you.Contact Experienced Slip and Fall Attorneys in Knoxville
Have you slipped, tripped, or fallen? If you've had an accident in a store, government building, public parking lot, or other business, you may have a case to seek compensation for your injuries. The Higgins Firm is a team of experienced personal injury lawyers ready to represent your interests. Call us today for a free consultation for your case.