If you have a slip and fall incident and are injured, you may end up asking yourself, “how can I make a claim for money against the property owner for my injuries?” By contacting a personal injury lawyer with experience in slip and fall cases, you can get clarification about your next steps. Contact Attorney Bryan Garrett today at 405-591-3508 for a free consultation.
Reasons to Get a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Accident
One of the most compelling reasons to hire an attorney to represent you in a slip and fall accident is money. Though you can technically represent yourself, you can potentially get a better outcome with the help of an attorney. According to the Insurance Research Council, accident victims who have legal representation recover 3.5 times more money on average. And that’s after paying any applicable attorney fees.
Working with an attorney takes a lot of stress off your plate while you’re recovering, and you can potentially get a higher settlement. If you’re still on the fence, you might consider getting an attorney for the following four reasons:
1. Gather evidence. Whether you’ll be able to get any money for your injuries depends on who is found liable for your accident. Even though the evidence might seem clear-cut from your perspective, the property owner’s insurance company will try to prove that the accident was your fault, or worse, it didn’t happen at all. An attorney will do a deep dive into all available evidence to help prove your case.
2. Value your claim. There are a lot of variables that go into deciding how much your claim is worth and what type of settlement should be awarded to you. An insurance company is unlikely to consider all relevant factors because they want to pay you as little as possible. An attorney will leave no stone unturned when calculating damages.
3. Negotiate with insurance companies. Without an attorney, an insurance company will likely offer a lowball settlement and expect you to accept it with little to no questions asked. An attorney has the knowledge to evaluate whether that offer is fair and can negotiate on your behalf for a fair amount.
4. You don’t pay upfront. Many people are reluctant to hire an attorney to represent them in a slip and fall case because they think it will be expensive. What they might not realize is that most personal injury attorneys, including Bryan Garrett, work on a contingency fee basis. This arrangement allows you to get legal representation for no upfront costs. You only pay a percentage of your settlement after your case is resolved.
Even if the property owner is clearly at fault for the incident, their insurance company will seek to attribute a portion of the fault to you. The reason they do this is that Oklahoma follows a comparative negligence standard.
As a result of this standard, the amount of money you can recover will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault can be attributed to your actions. To add insult to injury, you will be barred from collecting anything if it is found that you are 50% or more at fault for the incident.
Let’s illustrate how this works with an example. Let’s say you slipped in a grocery store, and you’ve incurred $20,000 of damages. If you are 40% at fault (maybe you were talking on your cell phone and not paying attention), then instead of getting the entire $20,000, you would only get $12,000 because 40% of the total would be deducted from your settlement.
As you can imagine, determining the percentage of fault can be a subjective analysis. The insurance company will try to attribute the majority (or all) of the fault to you. An attorney will fight to minimize (or eliminate) your percentage of fault.
The Statute of Limitations
In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. If you’ve been in settlement negotiations for months, the clock is still ticking.
Retaining an attorney early on can ensure that you don’t miss any legal filing deadlines. If the statute of limitations expires, then you won’t be able to file a lawsuit.
Contact Attorney Bryan Garrett About Your Slip and Fall Case
As a personal injury attorney with over 15 years of experience, Bryan Garrett is well-versed in slip and fall accidents. He has a successful track record of recovering maximum compensation for his clients. Contact Bryan Garrett at 405-591-3508 for a complimentary consultation to discover what your case could be worth and plan your next steps.