Most of us have slipped and fallen at some point in our lives. If your bathroom floor was wet after a shower, you might have lost your balance and fallen on the floor. Or, if you didn’t notice a “wet floor” sign in a supermarket, you might have taken a spill in the aisle of the store.
If you slip and fall under circumstances that could have been avoided, you may be entitled to compensation. The negligent parties responsible for your personal injury would be legally obligated to pay you for all your medical costs, your lost wages, and even your subjective pain and suffering. Workers’ comp may cover the damages if you’re injured at work – but even then, you can waive workers’ comp to sue your employer for negligence leading to your slip and fall.
Is your slip and fall case worth suing over? And how can you tell?
The Pros and Cons of Filing a Lawsuit
The advantages of filing a lawsuit are significant. Depending on the situation, you may be awarded a settlement that more than covers all medical expenses associated with your slip and fall injuries. If those injuries were extensive, this becomes even more important. Additionally, if you don’t win the case, most personal injury lawyers won’t charge you a penny for their services; you’ll only owe a fee if you win a settlement.
However, there are some disadvantages to filing a lawsuit. For starters, it often takes a lot of time, effort, and stress to file a lawsuit – even if you’re working with a competent lawyer. Depending on the situation, it could take weeks to months to negotiate a settlement – and even longer for the case to resolve if it goes to trial. During that time, you might feel exceptionally stressed or anxious about the situation.
Factors to Consider
These are some of the important variables to consider if you’re thinking about filing a personal injury case:
- The severity of your injuries. First, you’ll need to think about the severity of your injuries. If you walked away with some minor bruising or a simple cut that’s going to heal in a week, there’s probably no need to sue. But if you ended up in the hospital, you should seriously consider a lawsuit.
- The negligence at play. How much negligence, in your estimation, was at play in this scenario? Was this an example of a store doing nothing to help their customers? Or did someone make an innocent mistake? Is it conceivable that a jury would find this slip and fall accident to be mostly your fault?
- Medical costs and your insurance status. You’ll also need to consider your medical costs and whether or not you have insurance. If you didn’t suffer much of a financial loss from this injury, filing a lawsuit may not be worth it. But if you’re facing hundreds, or even thousands of dollars of medical bills from this fall, suing becomes a more attractive option. Additionally, if workers’ comp is going to cover all your expenses, filing a lawsuit may or may not be worth your time.
- Your patience and willingness to fight. How much patience do you have? Are you willing to fight the people responsible for this negligence? Depending on the situation, this could take weeks, or even months, before you reach a full resolution.
- Your personal sentiments. You’ll also need to consider your personal feelings on the matter. If you feel like a person or organization was directly responsible for your fall and they need to be brought to justice, you might feel stronger convictions toward filing a lawsuit and following through.
Why It’s Important to Talk to a Lawyer
No matter what, it’s in your best interest to talk to a personal injury lawyer. There are several reasons for this:
- A lawyer can help you understand your case. You might be able to consider some of the critical factors listed in the section above, but a lawyer will be able to give you a more thorough evaluation of the case at hand. They’ll be able to help you evaluate the egregiousness of the case, your chances of victory, and possibly, even how much the case will be worth.
- A lawyer can help you make the decision. Your lawyer will also be able to lay out the pros and cons of filing a case, aiding you in making your final decision.
- There are no risks or drawbacks. Finally, understand that most lawyers in the personal injury space will give you an initial consultation for free. You can call them, talk about your injury, explain the circumstances and evidence, and you won’t owe them anything. The worst-case scenario is that you’ll be out a bit of time.
It’s not always worth the effort to file a personal injury lawsuit over slipping and falling, but if someone else’s negligence led to your serious injury, it’s worth at least talking to a lawyer. Make the time to evaluate your case’s chances – and don’t let your injury go uncompensated.