TRIP/SLIP & FALL ACCIDENT LAW
Have you or a loved one recently tripped, slipped, or fallen because of someone else's negligence?
At Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, we're here to help.
Maybe you aren't sure what to expect. Not to worry - just give us a call for a free consultation and we can assess whether you may have a case. Remember: we don't get paid unless you do! Some frequently asked questions about trip/slip & fall accident lawsuits:
How long do I have to file a notice of claim?
The sooner, the better! It is essential you get to an attorney right away to protect your interests. Time is of the essence. You even want to notify the property owner immediately of the fall so that the insurance companies don't disclaim, and in some cases (see notes below on municipal properties), there are strict guidelines on time limits for a claim.
What kind of information do I need to gather?
Photos are crucial - get a photo of the defect or ice or whatever caused you to trip and fall. Talk to potential witnesses because people disappear and memories fade - it's important to get clear statements from those who were present while it's fresh in their minds. If they/you have video, photo, or written documentation, it can all help your case.
How do I know if I have a case?
It is important in a trip/slip and fall case for the injured person to be able to describe specifically the cause of the fall. If the victim “trips on his own two feet” he will not be able to recover against the property owner because he will not be able to establish the defect as the cause of the fall.
What should I do if I trip/slip and fall?
Many people who trip/slip and fall are too confused or shocked to take a close look at the surrounding circumstances. However, this is essential to win a case. It is a very good idea for photographs to be taken as soon as possible of the defective condition because circumstances frequently change. When pictures are taken it is very important also for the injured victim to be present when the photographs are taken, if possible. Photographs of the scene should include not only the defect itself, but also surrounding areas, including landmarks, so that the defective area can be located.
What if I trip/slip and fall on a sidewalk or street?
If you are injured on a sidewalk or street owned or maintained by a municipality, special rules apply. Most municipalities (cities, towns, villages) have prior written notice laws. This means that the municipality is not liable for the defective condition in a public street or sidewalk unless the condition was previously reported in writing and the municipality then failed to correct it. Additionally, when making a claim against a municipality it is generally required to give written notice of the claim within ninety (90) days after the accident, following very specific requirements including the date and time of the accident, the manner in which it occurred, the exact location and the nature of the injuries sustained. It is important to have an attorney prepare the notice of claim.
When can I not receive damages for a trip/slip and fall accident?
Comparative negligence is always a major issue in a trip/slip and fall case. Under the law, any negligence on the part of the victim that contributes to the happening of the accident will be determined by the jury and that percentage deducted from the overall damages awarded.
You should always meet the lawyer who will actually handle your case to make sure you feel comfortable. At Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, we treat our clients like family. We are a father-daughter team with many happy clients who can speak to our integrity, our expertise, and our compassion.
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