When to Seek Legal Help for a Slip & Fall Injury
Slips and falls happen all the time. Maybe someone drags his foot and trips over unlevel pavement. Maybe a space at a host’s home isn’t quite passable during a party. Maybe someone even trips over someone else’s foot. Regardless of the circumstance, most of the time, there’s no injury and no one really thinks twice about the incident. When someone is hurt, especially through what looks to be negligence, many people consider finding legal assistance. A potential plaintiff in a lawsuit must be able to answer a few big questions before there is an actual case for injury in a slip and fall case:
- Was there an injury? If there is no harm to the person who fell, there are no grounds for legal action. Damages must be proven for a claimant to make a legal case. A paper trail is an absolute must. Records of doctor visits, physical therapy, prescriptions, etc. are critical in making a personal injury case. He or she should get evidence of time missed from work, if possible. Photographs and eyewitnesses who can fill in the blanks as to when and how the fall occurred will help to strengthen the case, as well.
- Was there negligence? In other words, did someone (the city, a homeowner, or some other owner or responsible party for the location) know that there was a potential danger and fail to make others aware of it? An example might be a loose throw rug at the home of someone hosting a get-together. Did the host or hostess know it posed a hazard? Has it caused a fall previously? If so, the owner should have secured it by adhesives or other means, and this may be the basis for legal action. Going against an entity like a city will likely be more complicated. Has the dangerous condition existed for some time? Have others been injured? Again, any and all documentation is helpful and vital.
- Who was negligent? A fall on a sidewalk might be the city’s fault, if the walk is in poor repair, since the city is liable for the upkeep. This might be tougher to prove. Again, documentation is the key. Again, something like a witness who can provide testimony as to what happened, when, and under what circumstances, is invaluable, as are photographs of the conditions under which the fall occurred, the injuries, and anything else relevant. In some cases, a police report may be available, depending on the cause of the fall, how severe it is, the injuries suffered, and so on.
- Was a medical professional involved? Would a doctor or other medical professional (nurse, physical therapist, etc.) be willing to go on record as to the state and effects of the injury? This will probably carry more weight than anything outside of photographs.
- If someone who has sustained an injury in a fall feels that pursuing legal action is a viable course, the next question becomes one of selecting legal counsel. This is an individual decision, but in all cases, it pays to have as much information on hand as possible.
Hopefully, you will never be in a position in which you need the legal services of a slip and fall attorney in Tampa, but in the event that you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call at or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.