Most civil lawsuits that are filed do not go to trial, since the claim is settled amicably. Most slip and fall cases are settled through negotiations, since a court case can be quite unpredictable for both parties. The settlement amount will depend on many factors, but if you are looking for a fair amount, you need to strengthen your case. Here are some suggestions that can put you in a better position during negotiations.
Proving your injuries is not difficult, since your medical records will show the extent and nature of your injuries. However, it will be difficult to link the fall to your injuries. You will need to show that the fall was direct cause for you sustaining the injuries. For establishing cause, you could ask your doctor to provide a letter that explained the injuries that could be attributed to the fall.
This is the case because believe it or not the other side is going to dig up your past. They are going to check out your medical history as if they were getting paid for it. They are going to investigate your medical history. The other side is going to do its dandiest to convince you, the judge, or the jury that your medical condition and pain and suffering is not attributed to the slip and fall but because of some underlyng condition or because of some past injury which has not fully healed yet.
This is why you do not want to volunteer to give the other side access to your medical records because your past could be your worst enemy. Even if you have not had any past injury that would invoke this type of current painful medical situation, the opposing insurance company will try to find any smidgen of information from your medical past in an attempt to smear your case even in the slightest.
Proving existence of the hazardous condition is relatively easy, but proving that the property owner had reasonable time to discover such a condition could be difficult. There are three ways of obtaining such proof.
- Video surveillance Footage: Most places now have surveillance videos that have the time stamp. The footage from such videos will show since when the dangerous condition existed, and when you had your fall.
- Someone’s Sworn Testimony: Since your testimony will be regarded as self-serving, you could entice another person to testify about the hazardous condition that has been existing for a long time.
- Incident Report: Businesses often prepare internal reports that record instances of falls and other incidents. Such a report will describe how the accident happened, when it happened, who were the witnesses, and so on. From such reports, the time line can be gathered to prove the hazardous condition existed for an unreasonably long time.