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Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys
When you’re injured in a slip and fall due to a property owner’s negligence, our slip and fall lawyers will help you recover money for your injuries and pain and suffering. Property owners are responsible to keep their sidewalks, walkways, entryways, or stores free from slippery or wet substances. When property owners fail to do so, they are liable to customers or others who suffer injuries due to a slip and fall accident.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents often result in broken bones that sometimes require surgeries. Our slip and fall attorneys have represented clients who suffered broken ankles, legs, hips, and arms. We will seek a recovery of lost wages or business income for our slip and fall clients if their injuries cause them to lose time and money from work.
How Long Will It Take to Resolve A Slip and Fall Case?
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be wondering how long it will take to resolve a slip and fall case. A slip and fall case depends on a number of factors. Settling a case can take months or even years to resolve. Like other personal injury lawsuits, slip and fall cases go through a number of stages. The following is a typical timeline for a slip and fall settlement.
Filing a Slip and Fall Case
After hiring Parke Gordon Law Firm, your attorney will file the initial complaint explaining the nature of your claim. The state in which the accident took place will determine how much detail needs to be included in the complaint. Some states require a factual summary; others require only contain enough information to place the defendant on notice of the plaintiff’s claim.
Typically, a complaint will state the following.
- Name of all parties involved
- A brief description of how the fall occurred
- The allegedly responsible party, and
- An estimated amount of what you expect the responsible party to pay for their negligence.
Your complaint must be filed with the court where you will bring your lawsuit and you must serve it along with a summons to the party you will be suing. Within the summons will be an order to the defendant to file a response to the served Complaint within a time limit (usually 20 days).
Your defendant’s response or answer to your complaint should contain nearly the same detail as your complaint. Typically, the defendant’s answer is only required to admit or deny each allegation in the complaint. If the defendant feels there is not enough information to admit or deny a particular allegation, that must be stated in the answer.
An answer typically will also contain “affirmative defenses.” Affirmative defenses are legal doctrines that can reduce the defendant’s liability. However, the defendant will still need to prove that they are not liable.
The discovery phase of a slip and fall lawsuit is time for all parties involved to learn as much as they can about the case. Interrogation, investigations, and requests for production are done during this time. The discovery phase can take a few months or even years depending on the complexity of the case.
Motions may be filed with the court prior to trial to resolve issues. Typically, pre-trial motions are filed during the discovery phase. Some come pre-trial motions include the following
- Motion to Compel
- Motion to Dismiss
- Motion to Limine
- Motion for Summary Judgment
Mediation or Settlement Conference
Frequently, your attorney will attempt to resolve your case without a trial. Two common approaches to do this are mediation and settlement conferences. Mediation is arranged by the parties on their own. A settlement conference is usually ordered by the court and conducted by your judge.
Typically, a mediation or settlement conference will take place near the end of the discovery phase. However, if there is little dispute about your slip and fall case, a settlement could happen early on in your case. Sometimes mediation is only needed to reach a middle ground for how much a claim is worth.
Necessary Proof to Win a Slip and Fall Case
First, your slip and fall lawyer will need to confirm with you how the accident occurred. In other words, how were you injured? An accident can happen in an instant. Sometimes a person doesn’t understand how they went from going up or down the stairs to be on the ground and injured. For example, if you fell down the stairs in a public building and broke your leg. You may be able to sue for negligence. Your attorney will ask you questions such as the following.
- How did you fall down the stairs?
- Was there any slippery substance present that caused you to fall?
- Which foot missed the stairs?
- What were you wearing on your feet?
- Were you being cautious and using the handrail?
- Were you carrying anything? If so, what was it?
- Were you doing something else while walking down the stairs such as your cell phone?
- Where you looking where you were going as you walked?
Once the physics of how you fell is addressed you attorney will figure out how to hold the defendant is legally responsible for the accident. Some possibilities for why you fell may include:
- You slipped on something sitting on the stairs
- You missed a step
- You tripped over your own clothing such as a long coat or dress
- You lost your balance by reaching for something
- The risers of the stairs were of varying heights
Not all of these theories make for a good slip and fall case. The owner of the premises is not legally responsible for you tripping over your own clothing or losing your balance. However, the owner is responsible for a poorly constructed staircase or if something was sitting on the stairs for a long enough period of time that the owner should have known about it.
An experienced slip and fall attorney will examine the scene, discuss all possibilities with you and help you to come to a conclusion as to exactly why and how you fell. Next, your attorney will review the applicable state, federal, and local laws to determine if the condition of the premises violated any laws. Your attorney may also involve expert witnesses, if necessary, to testify as to the defendant’s negligence.
Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney Now
Call the Parke Gordon Law Firm in Portland at (971)373-4878 for a free consultation with a slip and fall attorney. We can usually tell you over the phone if you have a good case. We’ll fight to help you recover every penny you’re owed.
You Pay Nothing Until We Win Your Case
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