When you visit another person’s home or a commercial establishment, you have the right to assume that you will be safe from harm. Both individuals and commercial property owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of other people on their property by maintaining safe premises.
When a property is not kept in a safe condition, a number of accidents are likely to occur, with slips and falls ranking near the top of the list.
Contact the Indianapolis slip and fall accident lawyers of Hankey Marks & Crider today if you have suffered from a slip and fall accident due to unsafe conditions on another person’s property.
Slip and Fall Lawsuits
Slips and falls can be caused by a number of unsafe property conditions, ranging from uneven flooring to water pooling to untreated patches of ice. All property owners are responsible for keeping their properties free of possible hazards and can be held liable if someone is injured on their property.
Rely on the experience of Hankey Marks & Crider to aid you in filing a personal injury claim against the responsible parties. The claim is filed by the victim, or if the victim is a child, then the victim’s parents or guardian files the claim to seek a court judgment of liability and damages for their injuries.
Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident
Falling down a set of stairs or slipping on a wet spot may be unfortunate, or even tragic, but this does not always imply that someone can be held liable for injuries. Typically, one of three criteria must be true for liability to be had in a slip-and-fall case.
- The owner (or an employee) must be responsible for the hazardous surface. A waiter accidentally spilling a bottle of wine on a tile floor could potentially cause a restaurant to be liable for any injury that may occur. However, if a customer spilled the same bottle of wine, the restaurant would likely not be liable, unless other criteria are fulfilled.
- The owner (or employees) must have known a hazardous surface existed and did nothing about it. If the bottle of wine that the customer spilled on the floor was not cleaned up within a reasonable amount of time despite numerous waiters noticing the spill, the restaurant could be held liable. However, the key to this criterion is “within reason”; if another customer slipped fifteen seconds after the wine was spilled, it is unreasonable to expect the restaurant to be able to clean the wine within such a short period of time.
- The owner (or employees) should have known about the hazardous surface. Not knowing about a hazardous surface does not provide complete immunity to liability. If a “reasonable person” would have discovered the hazardous surface within the usual course of doing business, they could be held liable. If no employee of the restaurant waits on the table with the spilled wine for over half an hour, it could be claimed that the restaurant was being negligent because a “reasonable person” would have waited on the table and discovered the spill.
Nevertheless, with proper legal counsel, winning a slip and fall suit is certainly not impossible. The Indianapolis slip and fall accident attorneys of Hankey Marks & Crider are here to give you the representation you need to win your premises liability case.
Compensation available for injury victims
You are entitled to seek damages for the injuries you received on someone else’s property if the owner or operator was negligent in using reasonable care to keep visitors safe while visiting the premises. You could receive both economic and non-economic compensation for your losses.
Calculating your losses can be complicated and very subjective. The devastating consequences of a traumatic accident can be emotional as well as physical. Victims and their families suffer damages that are hard to put a price on. Because there is no automatic monetary value to emotional pain, it requires a higher level of proof of liability.
The slip and fall accident attorneys at Hankey Marks & Crider can tally your losses and work to ensure that you receive every dime that you deserve for what you have suffered due to someone else’s negligence. You could be compensated for such damages as:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Associated medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future earnings and earning capacity
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
- Legal expenses
It is important to note that under Indiana’s modified comparative negligence system, your share of the blame for the accident will be considered. You may still be eligible to seek compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, even if you were partly to blame for the incident. To pursue a personal injury claim, you need to be less than 51% at fault for the slip and fall accident.
The property owners and insurance adjusters will likely argue that you were somehow, or at least partly, to blame for the accident that caused your injuries. Their goal is to reduce the amount of compensation they owe you as much as possible. Therefore it is necessary to work with a qualified slip and fall accident attorney, who understands these legal nuances, and knows how to stand up to large insurance companies, to best represent your interests.
Why Choose Hankey Marks & Crider?
The Indiana legal system can be complex and intimidating. Hankey Marks & Crider‘s legal team will work with you, discussing your case openly and honestly, and answering all of your questions. We will take you through every step of the legal process until you receive the compensation that you are rightfully owed.
Our skilled attorneys will communicate with the insurance adjuster and lawyers on your behalf and work to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If you are not offered a fair settlement, we will pursue a case in court and aggressively fight for the compensation that you are rightfully owed. Let Hankey Marks & Crider take on the legal burden for you, while you focus on your recovery.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are a wide variety of different safety issues on properties everywhere, so there could be many types of hazards on the premises that could cause injuries in a slip and fall accident. Some common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Water left on walkways
- Wet or uneven surfaces
- Insufficient lighting
- Lack of railings and grab bars
- Poor construction of steps
- Torn or ripped carpet
- Broken floors or loose floorboards
- Building code violations
- Defective sidewalks
- Parking area potholes
- Cluttered floors or debris left on the floor
Each case is unique and a professional Indianapolis slip and fall attorney can best examine the details of the case to evaluate the risks and hazards of the property and determine liability, based on the evidence. If you have slipped and fallen on someone’s unsafe property, the team At Hankey Marks & Crider is always available to discuss a personal injury claim.
Tips for dealing with insurance companies after a slip and fall accident
Insurance adjusters and teams of lawyers that represent large corporations have a goal to settle the claim as quickly as possible and to save money for their companies, not to be fair to you. They are experienced in getting victims to agree early to low settlement amounts and tricking victims into saying things that could indicate your fault in the accident.
For the best results in dealing with insurance companies following an accident, follow these tips:
- DO NOT admit fault. They will interpret this as your liability in the case.
- DO NOT speak directly with any insurance representative. They will try to use everything you say against you.
- DO NOT agree to any settlement. They typically will offer you the lowest amount possible and convince you that you don’t have enough of a case to receive a higher amount. Wait until you speak with a qualified slip and fall accident attorney.
Protect yourself from making mistakes with insurance representatives by hiring an attorney who is skilled at facing giant insurance companies. You’ve already experienced the trauma of the accident and may be facing financial problems because of it as well, so avoid the additional stress of confronting insurance representatives. Let the team at Hankey Marks & Crider communicate with the insurance adjusters and lawyers on your behalf while you recover from your injuries.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Each slip and fall accident is surrounded by its unique set of circumstances, which can leave the victim with a wide variety of injuries. They could range from minor sprains to more serious medical conditions, which could leave you permanently disabled. Some of the most common types of slip and fall injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
They are not always outwardly visible or even felt until hours or days later, but can lead to chronic pain or leave you more vulnerable to future injuries. What could look like a minor injury could actually be a medical emergency? First, seek medical attention, then contact a trained slip and fall accident attorney to discuss your personal injury claim.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to slipping or falling on someone else’s property, contact the Indianapolis slip and fall accident lawyers of Hankey Marks & Crider today at (317) 634-8565 to discuss your legal rights and options.