How to Prepare for a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Utah
With winter on its way, it is important to understand your options and what to do next if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. Simply walking down the street or going to your car, you could slip and fall on wet or icy surfaces. If the property owner failed to keep the grounds safe, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against them – but what does that mean and how should you prepare? Salt Lake City slip and fall lawyer Darwin Overson explains.
Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
In many cases, you may have options to file your case with a court or with insurance. If you were injured on a private homeowner’s property, they likely carry homeowners insurance. Alternatively, if you were injured in a store or other business, they likely have other liability insurance that covers injuries on their property as well.
If you collect money through insurance, you may be missing out on certain areas of damages. While insurance can usually pay you back for medical expenses and lost wages, it may not cover other damages. Things like pain and suffering – direct compensation for your injury – may be the highest part of your case’s damages. If you go through insurance, you may not be able to collect this.
Instead, filing your case in court opens up any damages related to the accident. This means that pain and suffering, damages for your spouse if you can’t do house work, the cost of rehabilitation, and any other expenses or harms that stem from the injury can be compensated. Often, the insurance company still covers the damages – but you make that happen by taking the property owner to court instead. Talk to an attorney about whether it’s better for you to file a lawsuit or work through an insurance settlement in your case.
Preparing for an Injury Lawsuit
Taking a case to court is a long, complex process. However, an attorney can guide you through the process. While hiring an attorney is an important step in preparing for your case, it is not necessarily the first step. You should hire an attorney as early in the process as you can – but if you are injured, your first priority should be to seek medical help.
If you were injured in a slip and fall, your first step is to get help. Have someone call an ambulance, and get yourself to the ER to get evaluated. If you hit your head, you could suffer a concussion or serious traumatic brain injury. Falling on your back can mean long-lasting back pain or spinal cord injury. Other injuries like broken bones are very common, especially for older injury victims. Get the help you need before worrying about the lawsuit.
Once you are stable, gather as much information as you can about the accident. If you have an attorney at this point, they can help talk to witnesses, ask the store to hold its security cam footage, or get other information. If police responded, they may get witness information. If you were with another person when you were injured, having them tell the jury about what happened is excellent proof of how the accident occurred.
Get pictures of the scene if you can. Having pictures of what the area looked like at the time of the injury is best – so if a friend or family member was with you, get them to take a picture. Otherwise, finding local security cameras is also an excellent way to get proof of what happened (even across the street or next-door if necessary).
Going to Trial for a Slip and Fall Case
If your case goes to trial, there are important steps you should take to prepare. Any court filings and procedures should be handled by your attorney, but you may be personally contacted by the court or the other side for various reasons. One reason the other side may reach out to you is to try to convince you not to bring to case, or to accept some settlement instead. While settlements may be appropriate in some cases, you should always talk to an attorney first.
It is important to let the other side know that you have an attorney, and they should contact your lawyer – not you – with any questions. This helps protect you from falling into any traps, such as admitting information the other side should not have or accidentally accepting a settlement.
As for your actual days in court, just relax. Your attorney can help prep you on how to act and what to do in court. There is no need to play-up or exaggerate your injuries, as your medical records, hospital bills, doctor’s notes, and explanations of your pain and suffering will speak for themselves.
Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer in Salt Lake City
If you or a loved one was injured in a fall on someone else’s property, talk to an injury attorney today. Salt Lake City personal injury attorney Darwin Overson of Overson Law, PLLC represents injury victims against the property owners that allowed them to get hurt. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (801) 895-3143.