Your risk of a slip and fall accident hinges on a myriad of unique factors. The weather, the conditions of the land you’re on, and other peoples’ behavior can all knock you off balance, regardless of how careful you otherwise are. While you can’t blame other people for the weather, you can hold offending parties responsible for any negligence resulting in your losses.
You can specifically assess the nature of your most recent slip and fall accident with help from Vaughan & Vaughan. Our team of experienced Lafayette slip and fall lawyers can look for evidence of misconduct at the scene of your accident. If it appears a landowner’s diligence could have prevented your accident, we can help you file a personal injury claim for damages.
Drafting a Slip and Fall Accident Claim
Indiana allows you to bring a slip and fall accident claim forward in civil court immediately following an accident. However, to initiate civil proceedings against another party, you must file a civil claim. You and your Lafayette slip and fall attorney must use your claim to:
- Identify the party responsible for your accident
- Outline the economic cost of your accident
- Demand compensation for your losses
Slip and fall accident complaints must further prove what your role on another person’s property was at the time of your accident. You must use evidence to indicate whether you were someone’s invitee and/or licensee at the time of an accident and thus protected by the landowner’s duty of care.
Trespassing and Your Right to a Slip and Fall Accident Claim
If you were trespassing prior to your accident, you might not have the right to file a civil claim against this party.
That said, Indiana makes allowances for minors who suffer slip and fall accidents while trespassing. The attractive nuisance doctrine allows minors and their representatives to take legal action against an offending party in the wake of an accident, regardless of the minor’s role on the landowner’s property.
Proving Liability After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you want to establish liability for a slip and fall accident, you have to look at the evidence available at the scene of your fall. You can specifically reference any combination of the following evidence when you move to name a particular party responsible for your recent losses:
- Video footage of your slip and fall accident
- Photo footage of your slip and fall accident
- Social media posts detailing the nature of your accident
- Bystander statements
- Expert witness opinions on your accident
- Slip and fall accident recreations
- Physical conditions at the scene of your accident
You do not have to be the party responsible for gathering this information if you want to bring your losses to the attention of a civil judge. You can instead turn to an attorney. Our team can return to the site of your accident and bring forward data to assign liability for your losses.
It is specifically our responsibility to help you prove that a particular party owed you a duty of care at the time of your accident. We can then use the aforementioned evidence to indicate that a named party breached that duty and subsequently bears responsibility for your losses.
How to Calculate Your Possible Slip and Fall Damages
Your slip and fall complaint also needs to outline the economic value of your accident’s losses. To find this value, you need to find the sum of your accident-related bills. In most cases, this means that you can demand damages equivalent to the sum of your:
- Medical expenses
- At-home care
- Property restoration/replacement
- Lost wages and/or opportunities to work
You can further modify the value of your slip and fall case by considering your non-economic losses. Our team can use Indiana-approved multipliers to represent losses like post-accident stress and pain and suffering.
If a slip and fall accident results in the unexpected passing of a loved one, you can also request damages to compensate for that wrongful death. A liable party may further be responsible for helping you cover the cost of a loved one’s funeral. During an initial consultation with our team, you can discuss how a wrongful death impacts your right to compensation.
Reacting to Settlement Offers After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, the landowner may reach out to you with a settlement offer. You may receive a settlement offer while still in the hospital or before you’ve had the opportunity to discuss your circumstances with an attorney. These offers may seem appealing at first glance, but make sure you consider them carefully.
Settlement offers made by an offending party can often undervalue the cost of your slip and fall accident. You need to make sure that an offer addresses the full breadth of your losses before you accept an offer. Accepting a slip and fall settlement offer can often bar you from future legal action, even if duplicitous behavior on the offending party’s part later comes to light.
Fortunately, you can bring a slip and fall settlement offer to the attention of the slip and fall accident attorneys in Lafayette, IN. We can compare a liable party’s settlement offer against our own estimate of your possible compensation. Our attorneys can then negotiate for a more substantial settlement on your behalf if doing so seems appropriate.
How to Bring a Slip and Fall Complaint Forward in Civil Court
Once you’ve established fault and calculated the value of your slip and fall complaint, it’s time to present your claim to a civil clerk. You must get your complaint to a county clerk within Indiana’s personal injury statute of limitations, or else you may lose your right to damages.
Indiana outlines its personal injury statute of limitations in Indiana Code §34-11-2-4. This statute states that all injured parties must bring their concerns to a county clerk within two years of their accidents.
Fortunately, our attorneys are used to working on tight deadlines. We can get your complaint to a county clerk before your statute expires, even if you need a substantial amount of time to recover from your slip and fall injuries.
Hold the Right People Accountable for Your Slip and Fall Losses
Victims of slip and fall accidents can often trace their losses back to a landowner’s negligence. If you’re in the process of recovering from a recent accident, consider having an attorney assess the nature of your circumstances. Our team can tease out your loss’s complexities and make sure you have every opportunity to pursue justice for any wrongs done to you.
You can learn more about your right to a personal injury lawsuit by consulting with Vaughan & Vaughan. If you’re ready to schedule a consultation with our Lafayette slip and fall accident attorneys, you can contact our office by calling during operating hours or submitting information about your case via our online contact form.