What To Do When Looking For Slip and Fall Attorneys in Michigan
August 14, 2018
Imagine you are walking through a parking lot or down the hallway of an office building. Suddenly you find yourself on the ground. When you are finally able to get up, you feel two things: embarrassment and excruciating pain. Did you break a bone or tear a ligament? Hit your head hard enough to cause a concussion? What should you do now?
After seeking medical attention—whether that means calling an ambulance or a nearby friend or family member to take you to a doctor or hospital—you might think about hiring a lawyer. Because the laws surrounding these claims are quite complex, hiring a qualified slip and fall attorney in Michigan is highly recommended.
Here are some examples of the many legal issues that can affect slip and fall cases:
The “Open and Obvious” doctrine
This doctrine allows landowners to escape liability for injuries resulting from conditions on the land that are deemed open and obvious (dangers that an average person of ordinary intelligence would have discovered upon casual inspection). Injuries resulting from hazards that are deemed open and obvious may not be grounds for a lawsuit. However, there may be exceptions for situations such as falls due to black ice or other conditions.
Falling on government property
Any individual with a potential claim for damages against cities, counties or the State of Michigan must pay careful attention to the deadline for filing claims or notices of intent. The time allowed for filing claims or notices are much shorter, sometimes only 30 days after the date of injury. Failure to comply with the very rigid notice requirements will result in dismissal of the injury claim.
An experienced slip and fall attorney will be knowledgeable about what kinds of injuries are eligible for compensation, as well as what kinds of documentation and medical records are required to prove damages.
It takes a skilled slip and fall lawyer to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard, how long they knew about it and whether they had the ability and opportunity to fix it or provide a warning.
Causation or “Proximate Cause”
The law requires the victim to prove that the injury was a direct result of a fall that occurred because of a dangerous condition on the property. An experienced slip and fall attorney has the resources to conduct a thorough investigation, including obtaining witness testimony, medical records and other necessary evidence.
Purpose on the Property
Why the injured person was on the property is an important factor in a slip and fall case. A knowledgeable lawyer can help determine which legal category best applies to your individual situation.
Do’s and Do Not’s of Looking For Slip and Fall Attorneys in Michigan
To ensure you get the compensation you deserve, it is important to hire the right slip and fall lawyer. Here are some helpful tips:
DO hire a lawyer who understands the legal complexities of slip and fall cases.
DO hire an attorney whose firm has a proven track record for fighting and winning slip and fall cases.
DO hire an attorney with the resources to thoroughly investigate your case and gather the evidence needed to win.
DO hire a slip and fall lawyer who will treat you with compassion in addition to providing outstanding legal expertise.
DON’T sign any papers provided by the owner of the property before contacting an attorney. If you report the incident to the owner, simply report that you fell because of Hazard X, and tell them your attorney will contact them.
DON’T hire a slip and fall attorney who asks for an up-front fee or retainer. There are excellent lawyers available who do not require payment until your case is won.
DON’T hire a lawyer who is not available when you need them. After a slip and fall accident, it is important to act quickly. Find a lawyer who can respond to your call immediately and start gathering the information necessary to win your case.
Safety Tips to Avoid Falling and Tripping
- Watch where you are going. It sounds simple, but many falls occur because people are looking down at their cell phones, engrossed in conversation or are otherwise not paying attention.
- Don’t text and walk. Texting while walking can be as dangerous as texting while driving. If your hands, eyes, and mind are otherwise occupied, you might easily miss a hazard in your path.
- Wear the right shoes for the terrain and weather conditions. If the weather is wintry, wear rubber-soled boots or walking shoes and save the smooth-soled heels or dress shoes for when you are safely inside.
“Slip and fall claims can be complex, but the right attorney can make the difference between losing and winning the compensation you deserve,” said Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm.
Slip and fall law is complicated, but finding the right accident attorney is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free no-obligation consultation.