Slip and Fall Cases - Tips for Proving Your Claim
Winter here in Wisconsin is in full swing. That means the number of calls I will receive from potential clients who have been injured in slip and fall cases will be on the rise.
Unfortunately, slipping and falling is common in Wisconsin during the winter. Many such falls and related injuries could be prevented if the landlord or business owner of the premises were more diligent in keeping the premises safe.
Historically, individuals who have sought compensation for injuries due to slipping on ice and snow have often times found it difficult to find a lawyer who will even take their case. Moreover, those who have suffered serious injuries due to a slip and fall
and received some compensation from an insurer, typically receive far less than what their case is actually worth. Under Wisconsin law, a business owner or landlord is not automatically responsible for your injuries simply because you fell and were injured on their premises. The injured party must still prove fault on the part of the landlord or business owner.
So why are slip and fall cases so difficult and what can be done to make sure those who are injured in slip and falls are fairly compensated?
As I look back on those slip and fall cases I handled successfully, a few common traits can be identified:
(1) Having a photograph depicting the condition of the property at the time of your fall is critical. In slip and fall cases, photos are everything. If you have a cell phone with you and you fall, get a picture of the area where you fell immediately. Without a photo showing the poor maintenance, successfully receiving compensation is difficult.
(2) If there are witnesses to the fall, get their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony confirming your fall and confirming the poor condition of the premises is very helpful in slip and fall cases.
(3) Report the fall to the landlord or business owner immediately. Advising the owner or controller of the premises is important. You want to document you were on the property when you fell. Get a copy of any written report, or at least, the name of the person you are reporting the fall to at the time.
(4) Get medical treatment immediately, even if you feel your injuries are minor. Seeing a Healthcare Provider immediately will insure your condition will be addressed correctly and will further prove the fact you fell.
In the absence of photos depicting the area, or eyewitness testimony, establishing the condition of the premises will be difficult. Insurance Companies know jurors in Wisconsin are used to walking in slippery conditions in the winter and that jurors are hesitant to find fault in the absence of proof of poor maintenance practices. Failing to report the incident immediately also creates suspicion in the mind of insurers and juries as to the credibility of the injured party as well.
Here's everything you need to know before filing a slip and fall lawsuit in Wisconsin:
- Determine if you have a legitimate case
- How much you can get in a slip and fall settlement in Wisconsin
- The most common injuries associated with slips and falls
- How to file a slip and fall lawsuit in Wisconsin
- Statute of limitations on slip and fall cases in Wisconsin
- You can legally file yourself - but you should consult a lawyer first