If you have been a slip-and-fall accident victim and are about to hire an attorney to handle your case, we have listed a few things you need to know consulting a personal injury law firm in New York.
1. Choose an attorney who has practical expertise in the slip and fall cases
In a slip and fall accident, the victim (plaintiff) has to show how the opposite party (defendant) created a dangerous condition that caused the accident. Or the victim has to prove how the defendant had a clear opportunity to give notice of any impending danger but failed to do so, which led to the accident. Therefore, when selecting an attorney for this type of case, it is essential to choose a professional slip and fall attorney in New York. Another essential part of these cases is that the New York Statute of Limitations has prescribed a period of three years as the total time to file this type of action in court. Hiring an attorney who knows these procedures is crucial for your case
2. Choose a lawyer who has extensive knowledge of the applicable laws
Slip and fall accidents may not be as simple as they sound. Various case laws and statutes apply when developing, leading, and concluding this type of case. For an instance, your attorney must know the difference and the requirements of a ‘Constructive Notice’ and an ‘Actual Notice,’ which are very important to develop the early stages of the victim’s case. Hiring an attorney with sound knowledge of the compensation awarded to the victim is also essential. Most New York Slip And Fall Attorneys often plead types of payment ranging from medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering to mental anguish and loss of future earning capacity. But, there is also the possibility of pursuing funeral costs and loss consortium costs. Picking the right attorney with the proper knowledge is key.
3. Choose an attorney who is willing to prioritize the client
Resolving a slip-and-fall accident case involves much preparation. It is not a mere legal strategy but goes to the extent of investigating where the accident occurred either through witnesses’ accounts or by observing surveillance footage, taking professional photographs of the condition which led to the fall, getting police reports, finding and getting previous records of slip and fall accidents in the same property and a lot more work that goes into the case. Additionally, a considerable amount of paperwork must be done when instituting this type of action in court. Therefore, choosing an attorney willing to put in efficient pre-litigation work by collecting evidence in various ways depending on the nature of your case and then proceeding with the most feasible legal strategy.
4. Choose a layer who is willing to negotiate terms with insurers
Most slip-and-fall accidents don’t go up to courtroom litigation. But, proving this type of case is no easy task. Even if the matter doesn’t go up for litigation, it is important to hire a lawyer to negotiate terms with the insurers. While it might be alright to negotiate for a settlement on your own, it is common for the victim to get the shorter end of the stick. Lawyers rely on their judgment and strategic legal action to decide how to prove your case and how much compensation to demand, which makes it very important to have a lawyer negotiate the terms of your case on your behalf.
5. Choose an attorney who has expertise in courtroom litigation.
One other essential skill New York Slip and Fall Attorneys should have is the ability to conduct strategic courtroom litigation. For example, there can be situations where the opposing party’s insurer would be unwilling to settle for fair compensation. In such a situation, the matter would have to go to court, and you must have an attorney with the skill to plead your case in front of a judge to the court’s satisfaction. Therefore, at times, getting fair compensation for a slip and fall accident can be very tedious, and you must choose an attorney who is up for the task.
But, on the flip side, what could potentially go wrong if you don’t hire slip and fall attorney? Firstly, most of these cases are overlooked, and so is the damage sustained by the victim. Damages range from minor injuries to ones as severe as spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, depending on the nature of your accident. Whether you sustain minor or significant damage, it could hinder your daily life activities, income capacity, and many other hassles. In addition, not hiring a slip-and-fall attorney means you may not receive any form of compensation for the injuries you sustain, or at times, you may not receive fair compensation. In these cases, it is often in the hands of the victim to prove the negligent actions of the opposing party and prove that the accident happened due to wet floors, torn carpets, and many others on the victim. If you don’t hire an attorney, chances are that the burden of finding the necessary evidence to prove your case falls on you.