People slip and fall all the time, and some falls can cause serious injuries. Many people who slip or trip in Duluth end up with broken bones and long-lasting muscle and joint injuries. A simple fall can cause extreme pain, require surgery, and keep you out of work for weeks. The financial toll can be enormous, but you don’t have to bear the cost of your medical treatment and lost pay. You have a right to a full financial recovery. You need to talk to a Duluth slip and fall lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, know how to get you the money you need. We have two decades of experience helping slip and fall victims. We began fighting for the rights of injured people when we were just a small law office, and we have now grown into one of the biggest and most well-known names in the state. Our Duluth slip and fall lawyers would like to sit down with you for a free consultation to talk about your claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How do I know if I have a valid slip and fall claim?
If you fell and it wasn’t your fault, it’s likely you have a claim. It’s natural to want to blame yourself or chalk your misfortune up to fate, but you probably didn’t fall for no reason. Most falls happen because there was an unsafe condition, a hazard or an obstacle. That’s not your fault, and someone else is legally liable for your injuries.
Slip and fall accidents happen for many reasons. Some of the most common ones include:
- Spilled beverages in restaurants, stores or food courts
- Uneven or damaged pavement
- Unmarked steps
- Hazardous stairways
- Poor lighting
- Unsafe windows and balconies
These types of accidents are known as “premises liability” cases. This refers to the fact that property owners are legally required to keep their property safe for people who use it or visit. When a property owner allows a hazard or unsafe condition to exist, he or she is legally “negligent.” Negligence doesn’t mean that the property owner meant to hurt you. It just means they weren’t careful, and their insurance company must pay for your injuries.
What should I do after a fall in Duluth?
After a slip and fall, try to take some steps to protect yourself and create a record of what happened. Start by getting emergency medical care if you need it, but if you don’t have to be treated right away, we recommend doing the following:
- Report your fall. If you fall at a business, tell the owner or manager, not just any employee. Make sure they understand that you were injured, and get the name and contact information of the person you talked to.
- Take photos. Pictures speak louder than words when it comes to showing the conditions that caused you to fall. Take photos of hazards such as spills, the accident scene generally, and your injuries.
- Talk to witnesses. Other people may have seen you fall, or they may have noticed the hazard that caused you to fall, such as a wet floor or icy sidewalk. Find out what they saw and get their contact information.
- Go to the doctor. It’s important to go to the doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you were seriously injured. Many slip and fall injuries are worse than they seem, and they can get even worse if you wait to treat them. Seeing a doctor is also important because it shows that you took your injury seriously. This makes it hard for the insurance company to claim that you are exaggerating your injuries.
Insurance companies look for excuses to pay out as little as they can, even when they can see that you have a legitimate claim. Never make statements that minimize your injuries, and never take the blame for your accident. Even saying “I’m sorry” can be used against you.
What if I fell at my friend’s house?
Your fall doesn’t have to happen in a public place for you to get a full financial recovery. But many people don’t want to file a claim if they fell at a friend or relative’s house because they don’t want to put pressure on the relationship or force their friend to pay steep medical bills. But a claim is not with your friend personally, it is a business matter between you and their insurance company. Your friend will not have to pay out of pocket for your injuries. In many cases, your friend will be relieved to see that their insurance can help you get the care you need.
How much time do I have to file a slip and fall claim in Duluth?
In the City of Duluth, slip and fall claims must be filed within certain state and federal deadlines known as statutes of limitations. The statute of limitations that applies to your case will depend on how and where your fall happened.
- Many people have as much as two years to file a claim
- But some people face a much shorter deadline, possibly only a matter of weeks
There’s a serious penalty for filing a claim after the deadline—the local courts will dismiss your case and you will not be able to recover any money. Even waiting until the deadline is approaching is a risky strategy because the delay can make it harder to collect evidence to build a strong case. Because of this, You need to talk to a lawyer as quickly as possible.
Talk to a Duluth Slip and Fall Lawyer for Free
If you have been hurt in a fall, you don’t have to pay for your medical expenses and lost time from work. Let John Foy & Associates put our 20-plus years of experience to work for you. We will give you a free consultation to explain your options and help you decide what to do. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.