Injuries due to slip and fall accidents caused by the negligence of another party are a common occurrence. However, considering the time and money required, filing a lawsuit may not be a prudent choice. Besides the expense and time connected with filing a lawsuit, there is also the emotional toll on litigants and their families. The pros and cons of filing a personal injury claim are discussed in the following article to provide information for making a decision whether or not to initiate a lawsuit.
Pros of Starting a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
If the lawsuit is successful, you may be awarded a sizable amount of money for damages. A judgment can compensate for medical expenses, lost wages and future expenses due to the personal injury.
After experiencing a slip and fall injury and after being assessed and treated for medical injuries, you need to consider factors such as future medical expenses, lost wages and even the possibility of disability. You may have a real need for a sizable sum to pay these expenses. Included in an award, there is usually a sum to compensate for your “pain and suffering.”
May Make Property Owners More Aware of Hazards
Some slip and fall incidents are due to an individual’s carelessness and not due to the negligence of a property owner. Others are caused by the negligence of another. A successful slip and fall lawsuit will often prompt a property owner to take steps to eliminate the potentially dangerous condition. Your lawsuit calls attention to hazardous conditions on property premises that may help others to avoid the same experience that you had.
Cons of Filing a Slip and Fall Complaint
There are many expenses involved when you file a lawsuit. There are fees for filing a complaint with the court. Expert witnesses may be needed to offer testimony either in court or at a deposition. Court reporters need to be paid to record and transcribe at depositions and court proceedings. Expenses for handling documents and letters can add up. All of these expenses are subtracted from the award payment. From this amount, your attorney will take anywhere from 25 to 40%.
You may have a long wait for your slip and fall lawsuit to come to resolution. It often takes anywhere from six months to one year or even more. It is often very difficult for an individual to have patience waiting so long to have their case finalized.
Proving Your Case Can Be Difficult
Proof of a legitimate slip and fall lawsuit can be difficult to show. Complications arise when it isn’t clear that the property owner was aware of the dangerous situation that caused your accident. Laws state that property owners have a certain amount of time to become aware of and change the dangerous condition. It may be difficult to actually prove that this time was unreasonable.
If you have filed a slip and fall complaint, you will have to appear at a deposition with the attorney of the property owner. At this deposition, the attorney asks questions about the case. A court reporter records the entire session. The litigant is under oath and the property owner’s lawyer has done his research. He may delve deeply into your medical records. You need to think about any medical records that you may not wish to divulge, remembering that you are under oath.
Is Filing a Complaint in Your Best Interest?
When considering filing a complaint after experiencing a slip and fall, think about the extent of your injuries. In the case of minor injuries such as bruises, cuts, or twisted ankle, it’s likely not worth the time and expense involved. On the other hand, if you suffered a broken bone, head injury or a back injury, or you have high medical bills or have missed a lot of work, it is probably wise to file a complaint.