You are stopping at your favorite coffee shop on your way to work, and the next thing you know, you’ve slipped on the freshly mopped floor and broken your leg. Now what are you going to do? You don’t have the money to pay the medical expenses on your own, and besides, there was no sign on the floor saying it was wet. Read our article on wet floor signs here.
You need to do two things immediately: collect all the necessary documents to build a good case, and hire a qualified attorney.
Do You Have A Good Case?
First, you must determine if the accident was caused by you in any way. Was there a “wet floor” sign posted, and were you texting and walking at the same time, so you didn’t notice it? Assuming this isn’t the case, and the accident was not your fault, see the following criteria to determine whether or not you have a good case.
- Determine the liability: Was the slippery spot caused by the property owner or employee? Did the owner or employee know about the spot in question? If not, should they have reasonably known? Go here for more on determining liability.
- Determine your own carelessness: Were you distracted when the incident happened? Were there signs posted, warning you of potential dangers? Did you have a reason to be where the incident occurred (would the owner have foreseen your need to be in this location)?
- Determine cause of injury: It is important that you seek medical attention in a timely fashion. If you wait two days to see a doctor, the property owner may accuse you of injuring yourself somewhere else after the incident.
- Gather necessary information: If you have pictures or video of the incident or conditions surrounding the incident, this is valuable evidence. In addition to these visual aids, gather the information and statements from any witnesses to the incident.
If you have covered each of the topics above, and you were not at fault and you have strong evidence, you may have a good case, and you should begin looking for a lawyer.
Finding A Qualified Lawyer
Now that you’ve decided to move forward with a lawsuit, it is important that you take the time to find someone who believes in your case and who will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Consider the criteria below to select the best lawyer for you:
1. Does the lawyer have experience in slip, trip, and fall cases? If not, you can probably stop here, these cases are tricky and you will need someone who has dealt with them before.
2. Does he have a good track record? He may have all the experience in the world, but if he’s never won a case, it doesn’t bode well for his capabilities. Find someone who has proven his abilities in the courtroom.
3. What is his reputation? There are many resources that you can use to see the lawyer’s reviews from clients and other attorneys. If you see something you don’t like, you may not want to keep him as a candidate.
4. Does he communicate promptly? It is important that you feel you can communicate reliably with your attorney. Though busy lawyers are often the best lawyers, it is still important that lawyers treat their clients with the respect they deserve, such as calling them back or setting up meetings in a timely fashion.
5. Is your lawyer honest? You need someone to point out the holes in your case so you can be prepared for them in court. Someone who tells you everything is perfect may not be able to deliver when it comes time for the actual trial.
Using these criteria, you should be able to select a qualified attorney that you feel comfortable with and whom you trust.