Slip & Fall

Slip & Fall Accident Lawyer Palatine IL

Everyone has, at one time or another, taken a spill on the street. You may have tripped over your shoelace or slipped on a muddy patch when running in the park. In most cases, you will just be banged up and embarrassed. However, if you land a certain way, you can be seriously injured. Serious injuries can result in big medical bills and major changes to your lifestyle. 

Sometimes fall accidents are caused by a person’s clumsiness. In other cases, fall injuries are caused by the negligence of a business or individual. If your slip and fall accident was caused by the negligence of another person, you are entitled to insurance compensation. If this is the case, you will need a Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer. The Law Offices of Jack M. Shapiro can help you get the money you deserve. 

Photo of a Man on Wet Floor

How Negligence Can Cause a Slip and Fall

Retail stores are one of the most common places where a person can suffer a fall accident. A crowded retail store has a lot going on. Jars can break, and careless employees can leave boxes of products or tools lying around.

It is the responsibility of the store manager to make sure that their property is safe for people to shop in. They must keep the aisle free of obstacles over which someone can trip. They are expected to clean up spills in a reasonable amount of time. If they mop the floors, they must put up wet floor signs. If there is construction going on in the store, they must put up warning signs. 

When a person is shopping in a store, they will have many distractions around them. For example, if they are in a grocery store looking for a jar of salsa sauce, they may look up at the shelves instead of down at the ground. A slip-and-fall accident might easily occur if something is on the ground.

A store associate might clean up a spill, only to be called away seconds later. If they do not put up “caution, wet floor” signs, a person who is looking up at the shelves may have a slip-and-fall accident.

Uneven floorboards are not uncommon in older buildings. If the owners of the property do not fix these problems, they will be responsible for any trip and fall accidents that occur as a result. 

What Causes Fall Accidents at a Private Home?

Uneven walkways are common causes of accidents on private properties. Unshoveled or icy walkways are problems in Illinois during the winter. If a person has a loose floorboard in their home or a loose stair on a staircase and someone injures themselves, the homeowner will be responsible for that person’s injuries. 

Homeowners must mark off dangerous areas of their homes the same way that business owners must mark off dangerous areas of their property. When a person owns a house, they must have a homeowner’s insurance policy. Businesses need a general insurance policy to protect themselves if someone is injured on their property. 

What to Do If You Are Injured at a Home or Business

Taking a spill is very upsetting, especially if you are injured. However, there are some things that you should always do if you fall. If you take the proper steps, you are far more likely to get compensation for your injuries. Proper compensation and healing time are key to getting all the treatment you need for your injuries.

The first thing you should do is look for whatever caused you to fall. Did you trip over your own feet, or was there something left lying in your path? Is the floor wet? Is there a sticky substance on the floor? Take a picture of the area where you fell.

Ask passers-by if they saw anything. If they tell you that they did, they are a witness. It is important to get the names and numbers of witnesses. If you are in a store when you fall, get the name of the manager. The manager will fill out an accident report with you. They must give you the company’s insurance information. 

If you fall at a private home, the homeowner must give you their homeowner’s insurance information. If you fall at an apartment building, speak to the building manager and get their corporate insurance policy information.

In some cases, you may be injured badly enough that an ambulance will be called. Never refuse treatment from the paramedics who arrived. If they tell you to go to the hospital, you should go. If you do not go to the hospital, an insurance company can use that as an excuse not to pay you. They can also deny coverage if you miss appointments with the doctor or physical therapist.

Documenting Your Expenses

It is very important to save a copy of every single medical bill that you get for fall accidents. Save bills from doctor’s appointments, and get documentation of necessary surgery. Save bills from every physical therapy appointment you have. Get your doctor to write you a report about your progress and any future treatments you need. It is important to save the bills from any alternative treatments that you may require as well.

Photo of an Injured Woman

Getting injured in an accident can be very traumatic. Some people suffer from anxiety or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after an accident who may need to go to therapy. If you do,  get your mental health professional to write you a report. Keep a journal about how your life has changed since your accident. If your accident is permanently debilitating or disfiguring, you may be entitled to money for pain and suffering.

Hiring an Attorney for Fall Injuries

When you are injured in an accident, and it is another person’s fault, you will file an insurance claim. The claim will be investigated by an insurance adjuster, and they will decide whether or not it is valid. If they decide to approve the claim, you will be offered a certain amount of money. It is very important to talk to an attorney before accepting this settlement.

An insurance adjuster’s job is to keep the company’s money in-house. They are unlikely to offer you a fair settlement. They do not want to pay what fall accidents are worth.

Personal injury lawyer Jack M. Shapiro can tell you if the settlement offer is fair. If it is not fair, they can negotiate with the insurance company for you. If nothing can be worked out and a personal injury lawsuit is necessary, he can represent you in court. Give us a call today.

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