Tips for Settling a Slip and Fall Case
The majority of personal injury cases in the United States settle out of court. Slip and fall claims are no different. However, the amount for which most accident claims settle varies from case to case and is dependent upon a number of factors, including the severity of injuries, the extent of damages, and how negligent the other party actually was (Was it negligence bordering on accidental or negligence bordering on gross?). That said, there are steps you can take to strengthen your case and put you in a better position of negotiation. At Spencer Morgan Law, our Miami slip and fall attorneys have helped settle hundreds of personal injury cases and understand what it takes to build a strong and valuable case. Below are some tips that we share with our clients.
Prove That the Defendant Had Notice of the Dangerous Condition
Proving notice in a slip and fall case is often half the battle, as it is often difficult to tell if a property owner knew about a dangerous condition or if the condition was recently created. For instance, if your accident was caused by milk that another customer spilled, and if you slipped on it within minutes of it being spilled, you may have a hard time proving that the store owner should have known about the dangerous condition. However, if the milk puddle was allowed to sit for an hour, you may have a case.
That said, you would still have to prove that the defendant had either actual or constructive knowledge of the condition, constructive meaning that it was present long enough that the property owner should have known about it. Some common ways to prove notice include the following:
- Video surveillance;
- Sworn testimony; and
- Incident reports.
If you can produce one or more of the above types of evidence, your case will be exponentially stronger.
Document Your Injuries and Expenses
Proving damages is another key component of any personal injury case. While medical records and bills are necessary for proving damages, you can elicit a greater settlement if you document how your injuries affect you on a personal level. For instance, if you cannot take care of household duties such as cooking and cleaning on your own because of your injuries and therefore have to hire a housekeeper five days a week to help out, make note of how it makes you feel as well as how it has impacted you financially.
Do Not Exaggerate
While it is important to be honest about how your injuries have impacted your life, you may do more harm than good by exaggerating your damages. Insurers can see right through these tactics. If you try to work the system for more than to what you are rightfully entitled, you may be accused of fraud and lose your right to compensation entirely.
Retain the Help of a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
Finally, hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer who understands the nuances of a slip and fall claim and what evidence is necessary to walk away with a fair settlement. Contact Spencer Morgan Law to learn more about how our team can help you.