Three Questions to Determine If a Slip-and-Fall Injury Case Is Worth Pursuing
When you consult a lawyer about a slip-and-fall injury, there are things he or she has to consider before deciding whether to take your case. The lawyer has to determine the value of your case and the probability of winning it. To do this, he or she is likely to consider these three questions:
Who Is Liable For Your Injuries?
This is an important question because only the liable party can pay your damages; therefore, the liable party must be identifiable. After all, sometimes accidents just happen (people even fall on clear dry floors); not all injuries are caused by others' negligence. It's usually easier to discern the cause of your injury and follow it back to the person who made it possible.
For example, if you slipped and fell in a store, then your lawyer will want to know why you fell. Was the floor slippery? Were there holes on the grounds? Did the staff place items dangerously on the floor? After deducting what caused your fall, you can identify who created that dangerous condition; in most cases, he or she is the primary person liable for your injuries.
How Serious Are Your Injuries?
This is another essential question since the extent of your injuries is a major factor when it comes to quantifying your damages. If your fall merely resulted in a few knee scratches, then you may not be entitled to a sizable settlement to warrant your lawyer's involvement in the case.
The following conditions (among others) determine the extent of your injuries; the more of them you tick, the more serious your injuries are:
- You sought medical attention
- You sustained hard injuries (involving the bones)
- You took a long time to heal
- You have high medical bills
- The injuries have substantially affected your life (perhaps you cannot continue with your pre-accident work)
Can the Defendant Pay?
Once you have identified the liable parties and the lawyer has certified your injuries as significant, the next step is to determine whether the defendant can pay if you do win the case. There is no point instigating a lawsuit if there is no way the defendant can settle the judgment. This may be the case, for example if the defendant doesn't have insurance coverage, a job, or assets that can pay your settlement.
The only exception is if you wish to make a point with the lawsuit, and you are prepared to go ahead with it even if the defendant cannot pay. In such a case, your lawyer may require an alternative pay apart from contingency fee since there is no expectation of judgment collection.
These aren't the only considerations, but they are some of the essential ones. Don't forget that your attorney will need evidence for all these things before he or she can proceed. Once you start the lawsuit, cooperate with your lawyer to bolster your chances of winning. Contact a slip-and-fall attorney from a firm like Putnam Lieb as soon as possible if you don't already have one.