When you’ve been injured in a slip and fall that was due to someone else’s negligence, you have the grounds for a lawsuit. But winning that lawsuit, and getting a fair financial settlement depends on good, meticulous work from an experienced personal injury lawyer. It must be proven that your injuries are directly tied to the slip and fall. And the scope of the financial and emotional damages suffered must have documentation to back them up. What follows are some basic steps on how to prove damages in a slip and fall case.
Medical records are essential forms of evidence used to prove physical injury suffered due to a slip and fall incident. For example, medical bills may be submitted as proof of expenses related to hospital visits or physical therapy that was necessary to recover from an accident. Doctors’ notes detailing any long-term effects of an injury can also be used when arguing for damages related to lost wages or long-term care costs necessary due to disability caused by an accident.
This is a key reason that it’s important an injured plaintiff get medical attention as quickly as possible. We know there are situations where a person might walk away from the injury. But the after-effects might show up after the fact. If medical attention was not sought right away, establishing the seamless link between accident, injury and damages can be undermined. Any break in that seamless link will either eliminate the lawsuit or reduce the financial damages.
Witness statements may also be used as evidence in a slip and fall case, when trying to prove fault or liability placed on the defendant. These witnesses can provide firsthand accounts regarding what happened leading up to an accident, and help determine whether another person was responsible for hazardous conditions on a property (i.e., if they knew about it but didn't fix it). Witnesses can also attest that the victim did not contribute in any way towards causing their own injuries (such as being distracted while walking).
Photographs taken at the time of an accident may provide additional insight into why something occurred, such as broken stairs or slippery surfaces causing someone’s fall. Photos indicating how badly someone was injured in an incident could be used during settlement negotiations with insurance companies, who are trying to evaluate claims made against them by slip and fall victims seeking compensation.
What’s above are steps an injured party can take independently, and then turn the evidence over to their attorney for further investigation and analysis. A lawyer can take further steps and subpoena information. Is there public video footage available, such as a traffic camera? If an accident was caused by a fatigued or overworked employee, the attorney might subpoena work records to prove negligence on the part of management in scheduling. A lawyer who is experienced at these kinds of investigations will understand what questions to ask and what to look for, depending on the circumstances of your individual case.
Successfully proving damages incurred due to slipping on someone else’s property requires a detailed and meticulous approach to gathering evidence that will establish the events leading up an injury. Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC can guide you through the process. Call our office today at (937) 403-9033 or contact us online today to set up a consultation.