Why Do Slip-and-Fall Claims Have a Bad Reputation?
Slip-and-fall claims are often portrayed for laughs in the media, but the truth is that sometimes they actually cause serious injuries. Concussions, broken bones, torn ACLs, and even death can occur from the negligence of property owners failing to maintain the safety of their premises.
So why are slip-and-fall victims often treated like they are crooks or liars exaggerating the truth of their accident?
What is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
A slip-and-fall accident involves someone slipping due to negligent property conditions on someone else’s property. Dangerous conditions such as poor lighting, faulty safety rails, torn carpeting, uneven flooring, potholes, and wet floors cause someone to slip, fall, and suffer an injury. In order to be liable for a suit, the victim must have sustained some sort of physical injury to collect damages.
Proving Fault in a Slip-and-Fall
It is often difficult to assign blame for slip-and-fall accidents, so the burden of proof is high. A plaintiff must prove that the property owner failed to manage their premises. This must involve evidence that the accident was a result of dangerous conditions that the property owner took no action to correct. This includes proving that:
- The property owner was responsible for the conditions which caused the injury.
- The property owner knew about the hazard and took no corrective actions.
- The hazard existed long enough for the property owner to have corrected it.
Why are Slip-and-Fall Victims Treated Poorly
Unfortunately for actual victims of slip-and-fall accidents, there have been several well-reported instances of criminals looking to stage fake slip-and-fall accidents in failed attempts to commit insurance fraud. Take, for example, this New Jersey man sentenced to two years of probation after staging a fake slip-and-fall accident at the cafeteria he worked for. Alexander Goldinsky can be seen in the video pouring ice cubes on the floor before lowering himself to the ground and pretending to have slipped on the ice.
For many jurors, insurance companies, and lawyers, it’s easy to be highly suspicious of those who file slip-and-fall claims. People who lie about slip and fall accidents put people who do suffer real injuries in a position of embarrassment or shame for seeking compensation for actual medical damages such as broken bones, torn ACLs, or fractured hips due to dangerous property conditions.
How to Have Your Slip-and-Fall Claim Taken Seriously
Because of the stereotypes regarding the validity of slip-and-fall claims, it will be up to you and your lawyer to dismiss these harmful assumptions. Some steps you can take to ensure your case is regarded seriously include:
- Speaking with the supervisor on staff at the time of your incident and making sure you write down their name and phone number
- Writing down any additional witnesses and their contact information so that they might testify on your behalf
- Hiring an attorney who can ensure all evidence is collected and preserved
- Receiving any medical attention as immediately and saving any medical bills
- Avoiding communication with the insurance company until after you have hired a lawyer
Being injured in a slip-and-fall claim is no joke. It’s a serious matter that deserves the utmost compassion and a lawyer willing to advocate for your legal rights. However, if you aren’t careful throughout the legal process, others may think you want to make a quick buck or two off fraudulent insurance claims. That’s why taking the correct step from the moment your accident occurs is essential.
If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, a personal injury attorney will guide you through the legal process and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.