Getting Help After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you got hurt in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, contact Bill Easterly & Associates, and we’ll help you pursue financial compensation. Property owners are supposed to ensure that their property is free from hazards that could harm their visitors, or they must warn visitors about any hazards, so they can be avoided. It’s their responsibility to perform routine maintenance, repair damage, and remove or address dangerous conditions.
If a hazard on someone’s property led to your injury, you have legal options. We believe in holding people accountable for their carelessness. Bill Easterly & Associates has the experience, resources, and knowledge to perform a thorough investigation and collect vital evidence that proves fault. When you hire us, we’ll take care of each step of the legal process, so you can focus on the important task of getting better.
Our Nashville premises liability attorneys will fight zealously for the justice you deserve. Call us at (615) 244-2222 today to find out more about how we can help.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
People typically slip and fall on someone’s commercial or private property when it isn’t adequately maintained. There are many hazards, defects, and damage that could create a dangerous situation for anyone who enters. The most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Icy sidewalk or pavement
- Lack of handrails
- Loose carpeting or rug
- Inadequate lighting
- Damaged staircase
- Loose handrail
- Wet floor
- Defective escalator or elevator
- Cracked or uneven walkway
- Pothole in a parking lot
If you got hurt because another person’s actions were negligent, you might be able to pursue compensation from their liability insurance company. Business owners usually purchase general liability insurance that covers the injured party’s expenses. Depending on their coverage amount, you could receive a settlement that compensates you for your lost wages, medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, and other expenses associated with the accident.
How to Prove Negligence After a Slip and Fall Accident
When you sustain injuries on someone’s property, you have to prove negligence existed at the time of the accident in order to be eligible for a financial reward. Negligence is the legal theory that one party’s failure to provide a reasonable duty of care led to someone’s injury and resulting expenses. There are five elements you’ll need to establish when you file an insurance claim or lawsuit:
- Duty: The owner owed you a legal duty of care to prevent harm;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
- Cause in fact: If it wasn’t for their actions, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt;
- Proximate cause: Their breach was the direct cause of your injury; and
- Damages: You incurred damages.
Unfortunately, another type of negligence rule could impact the value of your case. Modified comparative negligence applies to incidents where the victim is partially responsible for their injury. In this scenario, your compensation would be reduced by the same percentage of fault that you share.
For example, if your total damages are $100,000, but you’re 20% to blame for the slip and fall accident, you would only be entitled to a maximum of $80,000. If you are 50% or more at fault for the accident, you would not be entitled to recover any amount of compensation.
Factors Determining the Value of a Case
Damages are a key factor in calculating the amount of compensation you deserve. They include actual expenses and intangible losses associated with an accident. The damages you can seek in an insurance claim or lawsuit may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out of pocket costs
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
Besides total damages, other elements of a slip and fall case could affect the monetary value. The following might contribute to the final amount you receive:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Duration of medically necessary treatment
- Disfigurement, impairment, or disability caused by the injury
- Impact of the accident on daily routine
- Time missed from work
- Relevant medical evidence provided during the case
- Insurance coverage on the liability policy
- Emotional or psychological trauma experienced
- Total medical costs
Another type of damage only available in a lawsuit is punitive damages. Instead of compensating for an injured party’s losses, it punishes the individual responsible for causing harm. A jury will only award it if you’re able to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with malice, intention, fraud, or recklessness.
When determining the right number to award to the victim, jury members will use the following factors:
- At-fault party’s financial standing and net worth
- Nature of the actions that caused the injury
- Impact of their misconduct on the injured party
- At-fault party’s knowledge or awareness of how much harm was caused and their motivation to cause it
- The duration of the at-fault party’s actions and whether they tried to hide it from others
- Total damages the victim incurred
- If the at-fault party profited from their misconduct
Bill Easterly & Associates understands every element of a slip and fall case and how to prove that a victim deserves the maximum available financial compensation. Your Nashville slip and fall attorney will work hard to ensure the insurance company pays what they owe you and the property owner takes responsibility for their actions.
Why You Need to Hire a Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes you could make is choosing not to hire a lawyer. Many people decide they don’t want to seek legal representation because it’ll cost too much money. They already had to pay for medical treatment and other expenses. The financial burden is overwhelming and stressful. Unfortunately, individuals who don’t let an attorney handle their case end up with significantly lower compensation than those who do.
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to save money. They’re not on the victim’s side. They want to ensure they don’t have to pay out much money when someone files a liability claim. They will investigate your accident and look for any reason to deny your claim or provide a low settlement offer. You need an experienced Nashville slip and fall attorney who won’t let the insurance company take advantage of you.
We have the resources, knowledge, and skills to thoroughly investigate every case we take and locate relevant evidence that proves fault. We use aggressive negotiation tactics to recover a fair settlement, so our clients are fully compensated for their damages. If the insurance company refuses to settle for an appropriate amount, we have the experience to move forward with a lawsuit and fight with them in court.
When you hire Bill Easterly & Associates, we’ll handle each step of the legal process below:
Investigate: We will open a complete investigation into how the slip and fall accident occurred and who caused it. After reviewing the facts, we’ll determine if we should proceed with an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Evidence: We know where to look for vital evidence that increases the value of a case, such as:
- Incident/police report
- Security video footage
- Accident scene photos
- Company’s maintenance and repair logs
- Liability insurance information
- Injured party’s medical records and bills
- Names of employees working at the time the incident occurred
Witnesses: An insurance company will speak with anyone involved in the accident, including witnesses. If anyone saw what happened, we’ll track them down and ask for their version of events. If they can confirm what happened to you, an insurance company will have difficulty disputing the fact that the property owner was at fault.
Send notice: After a slip and fall accident, it’s best to mail the at-fault party a notice of claim informing them of the intent to recover compensation. We’ll also request a copy of their liability insurance policy to determine how much coverage is available.
Value of the case: After reviewing everything we find, we’ll come up with the right number to demand from the insurance company.
Lawsuit: If the insurance company denies your claim or offers an unfair settlement, we’ll move forward with filing a lawsuit.
Civil Statute of Limitations in Tennessee
There’s a strict deadline you must comply with if you want to file a civil lawsuit. It’s known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a slip and fall accident in Tennessee is one year. That means you only have one year from the accident date to file, or you’ll lose your right to sue for compensation.
You might think that’s enough time to prepare your case, but anything can happen that delays the process, especially if you’re working on an insurance claim first. Some claims take years to resolve. By then, you could lose the opportunity to sue the at-fault party.
There are two exceptions to this rule that could potentially pause the clock if they apply to your case. They include the following:
- The property owner temporarily left the state before you had a chance to file your lawsuit. The clock would pause until they return, and their absence wouldn’t count towards the one-year statute.
- You were a minor or mentally incompetent at the time of the accident. The clock wouldn’t start until you turn 18 years old or become mentally competent.
Contact Bill Easterly & Associates
Our Nashville slip and fall lawyers will stay by your side in the fight for justice. You deserve to hold the negligent party liable for the harm they caused. You won’t be alone during this difficult time in your life. We’ll provide you with the one-on-one attention you deserve from start to finish of your case.
If you were the victim of a slip and fall accident, call Bill Easterly & Associates at (615) 244-2222 for a free consultation.