All over the country thousands of people are legitimately hurt in slip and fall accidents each year. These men and women find themselves in a difficult situation, juggling a painful injury, financial difficulty due to medical bills, and a career that has been impacted as a result. They have the right to seek compensation for their losses through a lawsuit but proving that the accident caused their injuries can be difficult.
When news of a large fraud scheme involving slip and fall accidents breaks, it can make fighting for the rights of legitimate slip and fall victims even harder.
Guilty: Three Men Involved In $31 Million Slip And Fall Scheme
At the end of May 2019, a federal jury found three men, Bryan Duncan, Robert Locust, and Ryan Rainford, guilty of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
According to court records, the three men convinced homeless people to “fall” outside of various businesses. They would then make insurance claims and work with an assigned legal team to pursue lawsuits. The scheme went so far as to actually have some patients go through with unnecessary surgeries. If the surgery took place, the patient would receive an additional payment after.
Duncan reportedly recruited the “victims”, set up medical and legal appointments on their behalf, and was the overall organizer of the scheme. Locust and Rainford coached those involved and scouted out businesses where they believed it would be easy to “fall”.
The law firm involved has issued a statement and indicated that they have nothing to hide and were not aware of the scheme.
Sentencing has not occurred yet, but Duncan faces up to 40 years in prison while Locust and Rainford are facing up to 20 years.
It is cases like this that cause doctors, insurance companies, and the public to doubt the word of an actual slip and fall victim whose injuries are often invisible to the naked eye.
What Is Needed To Prove A Slip And Fall Claim?
Premises liability law is difficult and intricate. The law states that property owners and the managers hired to oversee those properties are responsible for regularly checking to see if a hazard exists. However what could be considered a reasonable amount of time between checks varies greatly from place to place since no two are exactly alike.
In order to win a case, a plaintiff must show:
- The hazard which caused the accident existed for a long enough period of time that it should have been discovered.
- That the responsible party failed to make the situation less hazardous.
- The plaintiff was not engaged in an activity that would have caused the slip and fall accident to occur.
Creating a slip and fall timeline which shows that the property owner knew, or should have known about the hazard can be difficult without the help of an experienced attorney.
Is Pursuing A Slip And Fall Lawsuit Worth My Time?
The only person who can actually answer this question is the client, however, as the legal team at Philly Slip and Fall Guys always explains, a civil lawsuit is intended to help the plaintiff obtain full compensation for any losses. Depending on the circumstances, this may mean that the plaintiff is able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, physical pain, and emotional trauma.
Even if the property owner’s insurance company has paid your claims, there will still be losses and out of pocket expenses. The only way to be fully compensated is to file a legal complaint.
How Do I Know If I Have A Slip And Fall Case?
If you suspect that you may be able to take legal action after a slip and fall, contact our law firm for a free consultation. Our lawyers will review your case, consult with industry experts, and inform you of all your legal options.