The law varies from state to state regarding the requirements an accident victim must meet to successfully pursue a slip and fall claim. This guide deals specifically with Pennsylvania law.
I slipped and badly injured myself; don't I get money no matter how it happened?
Not every case is a good case. There are numerous elements that must be proved by the accident victim to win such a case. Cases involving ice and snow are some of the most complicated from a legal standpoint due to something called the “hills and ridges doctrine”. This doctrine is so complex many lawyers do not fully understand it. For this reason, it is critical to have a lawyer who is experienced in this type of case. If you do not prove the necessary elements you will lose the case.
What must I prove to win my case?
In short, you must prove the business or property owner was negligent and his negligence caused your accident and your injury. There are four specific elements you must prove and most non-lawyers would not understand how to do that to win a case.
Do I need a lawyer, or can I just handle it myself to avoid paying legal fees?
Most cases are too complicated for a lay person to handle successfully, but not always. You certainly don't want to “wing it” hoping to save legal fees and then end up getting nothing at all. That is penny wise and pound foolish! In addition, most people have no idea that in PA you must REPAY your health insurance carrier for the bills they paid relating to your injury IF and only if you pursued a claim against the property or business owner and received some kind of settlement or financial award. Your health insurance carrier will file a lawsuit against you if you do not protect their interest which is contained in the policy of insurance (that nobody ever reads!). A good and experienced personal injury lawyer will know this and make sure you do not get sued by your own health insurance company.
How do I find a good lawyer for my slip and fall case?
Methods of picking just the right lawyer for your case include searching for someone on Avvo.com, asking a family member or friend who had a similar case and was pleased with the lawyer, calling your local bar association to request a referral to an experienced personal injury lawyer.