People who were injured in a slip and fall accident worry that no insurance company will take them seriously. These accidents are common. If you slipped on an icy driveway or on a wet floor, you should have been more careful. An Atlanta personal injury lawyer knows that this is the general approach an insurance adjuster will take if you file your slip and fall claim without legal representation.
In reality, slip and fall accidents can have very serious consequences. And the more severe your accidents are, the more likely it is that your personal injury claim will be substantial. This is exactly why the insurance company will try to dissuade you from filing a slip and fall claim. But, an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Diaz & Gaeta will fight to win the fair compensation you need.
Statistical Data Shows the Severe Consequences of Slip and Fall Accidents
As stated, slip and fall claims can be substantial, because injured persons suffer severe injuries. This is especially true for older people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that:
- Fall death rates grew by 30% in the last decade
- 20% of falls (1 in 5) result in a severe injury: bone fracture or head injury
- 95% of all hip fractures are caused by a fall
- 800,000 people are hospitalized each year for injuries sustained in a fall.
Thus, there is no such thing as “just a fall”. No matter what a store employee or property owner will tell you, the fact is that you may have suffered serious injuries due to their negligence.
What Determines the Value of a Slip and Fall Claim?
Your Atlanta personal injury lawyer will explain to you that each case is unique and there are no two different accidents with the same outcomes. The value of a claim is made up of two core elements:
- Economic damages – current and future medical care costs, lost wages, and pocket expenses
- Non-economic damages – the compensation you receive for pain and suffering as a result of your accident.
In very extreme situations, if your case ends up in court, you may also seek punitive damages – if you can prove that the at-fault party recklessly or maliciously endangered you.
In general, the factors determining the value of your slip and fall claim are:
1. Whether You Suffer from a Pre-Existing Condition
Any pre-existing illness or old injury will be used by an insurance adjuster to reduce or deny your claim. An experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer will be able to fight this issue. However, you need to have a proper medical history available to prove that you sustained specific and new injuries in the slip and fall or that the incident made your pre-existing condition significantly worse.
2. Whether You Seek Medical Attention Immediately after the Fall
When you take a fall in a commercial center or at a private property, you should never accept the suggestion to sit down for a while and then get on with your day because there’s nothing wrong with you.
And even if you believe that nothing is wrong, you should still call an ambulance or drive yourself to the nearest ER for examination. Failure to seek medical attention is one of the biggest mistakes that hurt the outcome of a slip and fall claim – or any other personal injury claim, for that matter.
Your Atlanta personal injury lawyer will not be able to prove that the injuries were caused by the fall if you see a doctor a few days later when your hip or back starts to hurt.
3. Your Condition When You Reach Maximum Medical Improvement
Maximum medical improvement is both a medical and legal term. It indicates the moment when your doctor says that further treatments would not make any difference in your condition. Ideally, this means that you are fully recovered.
However, in many other situations, the injured person is left with a permanent impairment or disability. This will affect the value of the slip and fall claim because your lawyer will help seek compensation for:
- The loss of earning potential if you are unable to return to work or need to choose a lower-paying job to accommodate your impairment
- The need to use assistive devices: wheelchair, walking frame
- The need to make modifications to your home for assistive devices
- The need to receive long-term nursing care.
4. Your Proportion of Fault in the Accident
The fault of all involved parties is determined in all personal injury cases – including a slip and fall accident. As you may expect, an insurance adjuster would want to make you mostly at fault for your fall. As per the modified comparative fault principle applicable in Georgia, you are not eligible to file a claim if you are more than 49% at fault for your accident.
Yet, even if you cannot be deemed to be mostly at fault, an insurance adjuster will try to increase your percentage of fault. The reason is that this percentage will be deducted from your total damages. There is a significant difference between 10% and 30% in a slip and fall claim worth $50,000.
This is why you need a skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer fighting for your rights – they will know how to get the balance right and decrease the exaggerated percentage of fault determined by the insurer.
Bring Your Slip and Fall Claim to a Law Firm that Gets Results
The legal team Diaz & Gaeta is ready to represent you in any valid personal injury claim. We know that no injury is trivial and that medical care costs can cripple the budget of any family.
This is why we will offer you a free case review with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. We will analyze the documents available and your description of the accident, and you will receive an honest outline of your slip and fall claim.
Once we accept a case, we will work on a contingency fee basis – meaning that you do not have to pay any upfront fees. Remember, you have the best chance of maximizing your slip and fall claim by starting it with an experienced lawyer on your side.
Call us at 678-329-9084 to schedule your initial appointment!