Getting hurt in a slip and fall accident and having to file a claim is not something that anyone would choose to do. However, if you must pursue your right to compensation, you want to understand the basics of the law, what happens during the claim process, and the steps that you should take to make your case as strong as possible. You also want to be careful not to make mistakes in your case that could hurt your claim and reduce what you are owed. One way to avoid these costly mistakes is to become familiar with some common myths about slip and fall cases.
10 Myths About Slip and Fall Claims
People have a number of misconceptions have about slip and fall cases and these beliefs can lead them to take actions that hurt their claims. If you have been told any of the following, don't believe it:
- I have to pay my lawyer a retainer fee. Most slip and fall accident attorneys take these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you only pay your attorney if you win your case through settlement or a trial. The attorney takes an agreed-upon percentage of your compensation as his fee.
- My attorney can tell me how much money I will receive. An experienced slip and fall attorney who has settled other cases like yours will be able to give you an approximate value of your claim. However, he cannot give you a precise figure or guarantee a settlement for a certain amount because many variables may affect how much you are entitled to as your claim progresses.
- I must go to court. It is untrue that you always have to go to court to settle your slip and fall claim. Some settlements are reached pre-litigation, and the majority of those that are litigated are settled before the case goes to trial.
- I can only file one lawsuit. Depending on how your accident occurred, there may be more than one negligent party responsible for compensating you. You want to pursue claims with any potentially liable party to increase the likelihood that you will receive all that you are owed.
- I can wait as long as I want to sue. In Nevada, there is a statute of limitations—or time limit—to file a lawsuit for a slip and fall accident. If you wait beyond this time period to sue, you will most likely waive your right to do so.
- I don’t need an attorney. If you choose not to hire an attorney, you will be at a serious disadvantage in negotiating your settlement and will most likely accept far less than you are really entitled to. An experienced attorney can investigate your claim, build your case against the negligent party, and negotiate your settlement for what your claim is worth.
- I can make another claim after I settle my case. Some accident victims mistakenly believe that they can go back to the negligent party and its insurance company to ask for more money after their settlement if they later discover they suffered additional injuries. The reality is that your settlement is a full and final resolution of your claim—which is why you want to be certain you receive what you deserve when agreeing to it.
- It will take five years to settle my claim. Most cases will be settled much quicker than five years after an injury. However, you do not want to settle your claim too quickly. You want to wait until your treatment for your injuries is completed or you have a final diagnosis so that any future medical bills, lost wages, any other amounts you could be entitled to are included in your settlement.
- I can only receive compensation for physical injuries. When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you are entitled to compensation for your pain and emotional trauma caused by your accident as well as for your medical bills and lost wages.
- Most claims are frivolous. While negligent businesses and property owners would like to think that most claims are frivolous, the reality is that most claims are brought by innocent victims who suffer injuries in these accidents. Attorneys who handle slip and fall and other personal injury cases evaluate the claims before deciding to take a case and generally will only take ones that they think they can win.
Were you injured in a slip and fall accident? Call our experienced slip and fall attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.