Slip and fall accidents are often more serious than most people imagine. A slip and fall victim can suffer life-altering injuries including broken bones, paralysis, and brain trauma. Often, slip and fall accidents are caused by a property owner’s failure to keep their premises clear of hazards. If you’re the victim of a slip and fall accident caused by someone else, you may have the right to compensation from the responsible party.
At Reaves Law Firm, PLLC, our respected Memphis slip and fall lawyers have a proven track record of helping accident victims get the recovery that they deserve. As former defense attorneys, we understand how insurance companies fight slip and fall claims, and we have the skills and resources to fight for you. Our dedicated team will help you pursue maximum financial compensation for your medical bills, missed time from work, pain and suffering, and other losses.
There is no cost for a consultation with one of our qualified personal injury lawyers. Let us be your voice in the legal process so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Call our slip and fall accident lawyers in Memphis today at (901) 352-0333.
You may have a slip and fall case if another party is legally liable for your accident and the resulting injuries. You must establish the other party’s legal liability based on negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct.
In Tennessee, a slip and fall negligence claim is based on duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. A claim may be based on the actions or the inactions of the responsible party.
Proving negligence requires showing how the responsible party had a duty to protect the safety of the victim. Business owners such as restaurants, gas stations, amusement parks, medical care providers, other businesses, and government agencies are the most common responsible parties, but many parties can have a duty of reasonable care to others.
You then must show that the party breached that duty of care, andthat breach directly caused the accident. Your attorney may prove this by acquiring surveillance footage of the accident, taking pictures of the accident scene, interviewing witnesses, and providing medical records.
The final step is showing the damages that resulted from the fall. You must have real, tangible losses in order to bring a slip and fall action. Your attorney can show these damages by providing medical bills, receipts, and many other types of documentation.
In cases of reckless conduct, the victim must demonstrate that the conduct was reckless or in willful disregard of the safety of others. The victim must also connect the reckless actions to the harm that results.
A case that’s based on intentional acts requires demonstrating the intent of the responsible party and showing the extent of your damages. Proving intent can be difficult, but an experienced slip and fall lawyer can advise you on your options and help build a strong case for full compensation.
Comparative Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
Tennessee law uses a system of comparative negligence when multiple parties may be at fault for the slip and fall accident. For example, the other party may try to say that the area where the slip and fall occurred was blocked by warning signs. They might claim that you should have been paying more attention or even that your shoes were inappropriate for the circumstances.
Even if you share some responsibility for the accident, you may still have the right to compensation. Tennessee slip and fall laws allow an accident victim to claim some compensation even if the victim contributes to the accident. However, the value of your claim may be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault.
For example, if you were texting when you slipped and fell on an unmarked spill in a grocery store, you may be found to be 25 percent responsible for your own injuries. If you are then awarded $100,000 in damages, that amount would be reduced by 25 percent, leaving you with $75,000.
If you are found to be 50 percent or more at fault, you will be barred from recovering any compensation. Insurance companies will try to take advantage of this system and argue that you are more to blame for an accident, so it is essential to hire a knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer to protect your right to compensation.
Evidence in a Slip and Fall Claim
The plaintiff has the burden to prove the elements of the slip and fall claim. Having the evidence that you need to demonstrate each element of the claim is very important. Some of the evidence that you may use to prove your slip and all claim includes:
Photographs and video: Pictures and video are persuasive evidence of dangerous conditions that may have existed. Pictures can also show the injuries that you suffered as a result of your fall. If you aren’t able to take photographs right away, returning to the accident scene as quickly as possible or asking a friend to take photos for you can help you document the scene for your case. Your attorney may also take photos or track down surveillance video from the scene.
Witness testimony: People who see, hear, or otherwise observe the slip and fall accident can offer valuable insight into how you fell, your immediate injuries, and what caused the accident.
Expert witnesses: An expert in accident reconstruction can explain how the accident occurred based on your injuries. A medical expert can explain the severity and duration of your injuries, as well as how they will affect you in the future.
Admissions of the other party: What the other party or their representatives say is often admissible as evidence against them. Depositions, written admissions, or even statements to third persons by the responsible party can prove essential facts for the claim.
Records: When a slip and fall occurs at a business or government property, there may be employment records and maintenance records that can shed valuable light on the identity of witnesses and whether the other party breached their duty of reasonable care.
Your own information and documentation: When you’re hurt in a slip and fall, you should provide documentation for medical bills, travel to medical appointments, receipts for hired help around the house, and documentation of all other expenses that you incur due to your injuries.
Our Memphis slip and fall lawyers can help you understand how to gather this evidence, or even gather it on your behalf. We are here to make this process as easy as possible on you and your family.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Responding quickly and appropriately after a slip and fall or trip and fall accident can make the claims process easier and protect your right to fair compensation. Here are the steps that you should take after a slip and fall accident:
Summon emergency help. If you suffer a serious injury, emergency medical care is important. You should call an ambulance, go to the emergency room, or visit urgent care. Emergency medical help is critical to begin the healing process, to document that your injuries are the result of the accident, and to begin to determine the extent of your injuries.
Notify the property owner. When an accident occurs at a business or on government property, there should be a procedure for making an accident report to the property owner. It’s not important to worry over every little detail in the report. Just making the report and including the main points is all you need to do in order to document when and how the injury occurred.
Take photographs. Snapping a few quick photos of the accident scene can document any dangerous conditions that may have contributed to the accident. Just a few photos with a cellphone camera can give you a great start to building the evidence in your case.
Identify witnesses. It’s not the time for long interviews, but it is important to collect contact information from any witnesses. A witness is anyone who sees, hears, smells, or otherwise observes anything related to the accident. Witness information can make it easier to follow up and gather evidence that may be critical to your claim.
Follow medical care instructions. When you seek medical help, your medical care providers should give you directions for your care. The instructions may include rest and directions to seek additional medical attention. It’s important to follow the instructions in order to show that you’re serious about your claim and serious about doing all that you can to recover as quickly as possible.
Keep records and write things down. Winning a slip and fall case depends on being able to prove all the elements of your claim. Start a file and keep any and all documentation that you receive. Your attorney can help you determine later what’s most important.
Work with skilled Memphis slip and fall lawyers. An experienced lawyer can help you determine if you have a claim and take steps on your behalf to pursue it. There are time limits to bring your claim. The sooner you call a lawyer, the sooner they can get started on your case to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.
Our attorneys want you to receive fair compensation after a slip and fall accident. Part of fighting for you is helping you take the appropriate steps following an injury. Our team can examine your case and the steps that you have already taken. We can then recommend and help you take further actions to build your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident
After a slip and fall accident, the victim may claim compensation based on personal losses. The amount of compensation that a victim receives will depend on the losses suffered, the victim’s ability to prove those losses, and the ability of the responsible party to pay the claim personally or through an insurance policy.
Compensation for a slip and fall accident includes both economic and non-economic losses that resulted from the accident. Some common types of compensation that slip and fall victims may receive include:
Medical expenses, including both current medical expenses and projected future costs
Lost wages, if you had to miss work while you recovered from your accident
Lost future earning potential, if you are unable to return to your job at the same hours or same pay
Household expenses, such as hiring a caretaker to help you while you recover
Property damage, if your phone, jewelry, or clothing was damaged in the accident
Pain and suffering, for mental anguish, physical pain, and loss of enjoyment of life
Additionally, if your family member passed away as a result of a slip and fall accident, you may be able to recover death benefits through a wrongful death claim. The compensation in these cases may include medical expenses up until the victim’s death, funeral costs, loss of income, loss of emotional support, and more.
Time Limits for Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Tennessee
In Tennessee, the time limit to file a slip and fall lawsuit is only one year from the date of the accident. Don’t be fooled by insurance stall tactics that are designed to make you miss the deadline. If you miss the time limit to file your case, you may recover nothing even if your case is obvious.
It’s important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as you are injured in a slip and fall accident.
Talk to Our Memphis Slip and Fall Lawyers Today
Our lawyers help slip and fall victims throughout Tennessee fight for justice. We offer experienced and compassionate representation for slip and fall victims and their families.
Contact us today to see what sets us apart. A consultation with our legal team is free, and we offer services with no fee unless we win money for you. Call us at (901) 352-0333 to speak to a member of our team right now. We look forward to hearing from you.