Slip And Fall Lawsuits
Avoiding Slip And Fall Lawsuits
Slip and fall lawsuits seldom can be avoided altogether, as so much of what happens in terms of fault is often subjective and open to interpretation. Some victims are reluctant to bring a lawsuit while others look at the incident as a quick way to make money. The amount of money awarded by courts for slip and fall accidents can sometimes be downright scary, if not bordering on the ridiculous.
Obviously, if accidents could have been avoided and are due to inattention or carelessness, slip and fall lawsuits should not come as any surprise. It would only seem reasonable for a victim to expect to be paid for medical costs incurred as a result, and very likely for time lost from work and possibly other inconveniences. In cases of severe injuries where a person may end up being unable to work, or suffering permanent pain or discomfort, the damages sought can justifiably be quite high.
Millions of people suffer from these types of accidents every year, and several thousand die as a result. It's little wonder that slip and fall accidents provide a lucrative source of income for those in the legal profession. If you have such an accident, you'd very likely seek the services of an attorney if the result is at all serious, and it's usually in your best interest to do so. If someone else slips or fall on your private property or at your business, your first thought will probably be that of hoping the victim will not take you to court.
Give Aid And Assistance - If you are in any way liable for an accident that has happened, or even if you are not, your first course of action should be to go to the aid of the victim, and the second course of action should be to be as cooperative and as helpful as possible. You really don't know what's on the other person's mind as far as the possibly of a lawsuit being filed is concerned, and the victim probably doesn't initially know what he or she wants to do either. By being helpful, including offering to pay for any medical expenses, or doing anything else that is helpful, could pay off by avoiding a large lawsuit later on.
Write It Down - If you have any suspicion at all that there may be a lawsuit pending, and for that matter even if it doesn't seem there should be, it won't hurt to find an attorney, or consult with your attorney if you already have one. Make certain the incident is documented as completely as possible, including time, place, and exactly what happened. You may not have actually witnessed the accident, but document all when went on in any event, noting what the victim might say and especially what any witnesses might have to say.
Keep Cool - Even when slip and fall accidents are overblown or exaggerated, and they sometimes tend to be, it helps to keep one's cool and go about things in a businesslike manner as much as possible. The victim may become excitable or even threatening. When that is the case the worst response would be to meet emotion with emotion, or become extremely defensive.
Have Your Lawyer Talk To The Other Lawyer - If you receive a call from the victim's lawyer, the best thing to do is refer that person to your lawyer. Let your lawyer do the talking. You're under no obligation to say anything to the victim's lawyer. Even trying to sound helpful could do more harm than good. If anyone is going to be helpful in providing information to the other party or the courts, let your lawyer do the talking.
Cooperate With Authorities - Of course if the nature of the accident is such that police or firefighters are involved, you'll need to be cooperative with them. Refusing to talk to a policeman or a firefighter won't serve you well if the issue goes to court. Just be careful what you say, and be as objective as possible
Slip and fall accidents can have life changing effects on all involved. Be helpful towards the injured party but make certain you're watching out for your own interests at the same time. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.