The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published research indicating that 3 million older people require emergency room services resulting from slip and fall injuries every year in the United States. However, not only elderly people suffer slip and fall injuries, and the National Floor Safety Institute reports that a total of 8 million people visit emergency rooms resulting from slip and fall injuries yearly. Slip and fall accidents often occur at places of business or in private locations as a result of a property owner failing to remove or repair hazardous or dangerous areas on their property. If you suffered any injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, learn how a Kansas City slip and fall attorney at Fletcher Law Office can help ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Benefits of Contacting a Slip and Fall Attorney Following Your Accident
If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property and suffered injuries, you may face astronomical medical bills, surgeries, medical treatments, and the need for continued physical therapy. As you begin to recover, you may have lost wages due to your inability to return to work, as well as pain and suffering. Additionally, you may feel overwhelmed attempting to deal with insurance companies and attempt to negotiate a fair settlement agreement for your injuries and losses. The following are some benefits that victims receive when they contact a Kansas City slip and fall attorney following their accident.
In order to receive compensation for your injuries and losses following your slip and fall accident, a victim must make a determination of liability regarding the accident. Making this determination of responsibility will allow a victim to understand who they legally have a right to pursue compensation for their medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. A slip and fall attorney can help a victim of a slip and fall accident understand who they have a legal right to file a claim against under premises liability law in the state of Missouri or Kansas.
Explaining Premises Liability Law
Premises liability law requires that property owners keep their property free from any dangerous or hazardous conditions for those guests or customers that have a legal right to be on the premises. A slip and fall attorney can help you understand how these complex laws apply to your specific sets of facts and circumstances, and how you may have the legal right to pursue compensation as a result of a property owner failing to warn you of a dangerous condition, or failing to repair or replace a hazardous area on their property.
Calculating Compensation Amounts for the Victim
If you are facing medical bills and lost wages, you are likely very interested in knowing the amount of compensation you may have the legal right to receive with respect to your slip and fall accident. However, you may have a right to more compensation than you realize. A slip and fall attorney can help you determine the compensation amount that you may have the right to request in settlement negotiations, which may include the following:
- Medical Expenses (ambulance transportation, emergency room treatments, hospitalizations, doctor visits, surgeries, diagnostic testing, medical treatments, physical or psychological therapy treatments, prescription medications, in-home medical assistants, medical devices, and more)
- Loss of Wages (salary, vacation leave, sick leave, lost pension contributions, and employee benefits, missed opportunities including promotions, bonuses or training available to advance your career, and more)
- Loss of Future Wages and Earning Capacity. (available in cases where a victim’s injuries remain permanent and they lose the ability to return to work or earn an income)
- Physical Pain and Suffering.
- Psychological Trauma. (including post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life.
- Assistance with Daily Activities and Tasks. (the requirement for a housekeeper, personal nurse, or in-home healthcare assistance)
- Punitive Damages. (if the negligence of the property owner rises to an egregious or reckless level, a court may award punitive damages and compensation to a victim in order to punish the negligent property owner)
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Most cases involving slip and fall accidents settle without the need for a trial. As a result, the negotiations that occur with insurance companies are critical to the final compensation amount provided to the victim of a slip and fall accident. Many insurance companies have deceptive tactics they use to manipulate a slip and fall accident victim into receiving a much lower settlement than they deserve. For example, some of the confusing and misleading practices of insurance companies include the following:
- Contacting a victim of a slip and fall accident while they are still hospitalized or under strong medications in order to attempt to obtain an admission of guilt or some other statement that would reduce their ability to receive full and fair compensation.
- Recording conversations and only removing a small soundbite completely out of context to use against a slip and fall accident victim.
- Using “small talk” to trick a victim into saying something that they do not truly intend (i.e. a victim answers “Fine!” to the innocent question, “How are you feeling today?” Insurance companies can use this to indicate that the victim’s injuries were truly not as bad as they indicated.
- Requesting a full medical history file from the victim to attempt to discover any pre-existing conditions that could account for the present injuries developed as a result of the slip and fall accident.
- Providing a check to the victim and deceptively telling them that the check is one of many to come, when cashing the check constitutes a final settlement agreement by the victim
- Continually stalling the entire settlement negotiation process in order to either frustrate the victim into accepting a lower settlement amount or hoping the victim will miss their statute of limitations deadline to file a claim in court.
Representing a Slip and Fall Accident Victim in a Legal Trial
Most cases involving slip and fall accidents settle long before they see the inside of a courtroom. However, there are certain cases where an insurance company simply refuses to pay a fair and just settlement to an accident victim. A victim has a five-year statute of limitations deadline in the state of Missouri to file a slip and injury case in a court of law, and only two years to file a slip and fall accident case in the state of Kansas. A slip and fall accident attorney can ensure that you file all of your proper paperwork by the appropriate deadline and provide appropriate representation so that your legal rights remain protected.
Consider Visiting with a Kansas City Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you suffered injuries and losses related to your slip and fall accident, learn how a Kansas City personal injury attorney at Fletcher Law Office can help you understand your legal rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Visit with us today either online through our immediate chat service available on our website, or contact us by phone at (816) 631-2868 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.