Slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of injuries in workplaces. Slip-and-falls contribute to a wide range of traumatic injuries such as spinal cord traumas, head injuries and bone fractures. Quite a number of employees are permanently or temporarily disabled as a result of slip and fall workplace injuries. When this happens, most employees will file for workers' compensation benefits. This is a type of insurance that remunerates or covers employees who’ve been injured while on the job. One thing to note is that it’s quite a long and overwhelming process that will require you to be in the know zone on all the things you need to do for a smooth settlement.
While negotiating your settlement, it may at times be hard to prove your slip and fall accident because in most cases, insurance companies like to place the blame on the victim. It’s therefore imperative to have the necessary proof, from the reporting documents to the hospital records. Also worth noting is the fact that it may be extremely costly to treat and recover from a slip and fall injury. There are, of course, medical expenses to incur, not forgetting the financial burden that may result from being out of work as you get treatment and recuperate or due to a disability in the aftermath. These are all the more reasons to file for worker’s compensation benefits claim.
In this article, we’ll be looking at various ways on how to negotiate the best possible settlement in a slip-and-fall-case.
1. Present the Necessary Documents
While negotiating for the best settlement in your slip and fall case, you’ll need to provide all the necessary documents that will show proof of the accident. Your word alone will not be enough to convince the insurance company. They will need sufficient proof of the economic damages you may have suffered, and this will be provided by the documents you provide when filing your claim. This means that when filling the claim forms, you’ll also need to attach documentation for medical history, the doctor’s report, outpatient expenses, and lost wages, just to mention a few. Remember, the settlement needs to be based on the economic damages you suffered following the slip and fall accident.
2. Arm Yourself With An Injury Attorney
When filing the claim forms, ensure that you have an attorney’s backing as well as that of a financial analyst, and if need be, the opinion of an additional expert. Some insurance companies will, by all means, want to refute your claim for one reason or the other. They are also in business, so they might try to keep their offer as low as possible during the negotiations.
Lindsay Sewekow, from an experienced personal injury attorney at Console and Associates, says that most workplace injury victims do not have a clue about how the claims process works, neither do they have an idea on how to deal with insurance companies when making claims. This makes it important to seek a good attorney from law firms that can help with slip and fall injuries before even thinking of negotiating a settlement with a particular insurance company. A personal injury attorney will have your best interests at heart and will work diligently to ensure that you have the best possible settlement. With a good injury attorney by your side, the chances of getting a fair settlement that you deserve are higher.
3. Calculate The Losses Suffered From The Accident
Of course, it’s important to have a positive mentality of what to expect in the settlement. Nevertheless, you also need to calculate the losses you’ve suffered. Whatever amount you receive from the settlement, you’ll need to deduct a bunch of costs and expenses from it. For instance, your personal injury attorney will have to deduct their fees as well as other expenses from the settlement, once you receive compensation. It’s also important to include non-economic damages that you’ve incurred from the slip and fall accident, such as emotional anguish, pain, and suffering.
When it comes to slip and fall cases, or any other personal injuries that happen in workplaces, the insurers will use a claim adjuster to calculate the best settlement for you, and this makes it important to find out how they calculate the damages. It’s another solid reason to learn what a personal injury attorney does and work with an experienced one in this area since they’ll guide you on what to expect and give you an estimate of how much your case is worth.
4. Consider the Limitations
It’s always important to have a different perspective, especially when involved in a slip and fall case. Different states have different statutes of limitations when it comes to workplace injury lawsuits. If you’ve been hurt in your place of work as a result of slip and fall accident, your state has laid-down time limitations on when you need to report the injury or file the lawsuit. It’s therefore imperative to consider the timelines provided for in your state if at all you want the best settlement in your slip and fall case. Also, while the law will “always” work in your favor and may not affect the settlement negotiations, it’s important to know what to do if the settlement negotiation doesn't come out as you’d wish. It could mean filing a lawsuit against your employer, the property owner where the slip-and-fall accident occurred, or their insurance companies if you don’t reach an amicable agreement with the insurance company.
Finally, you need to realize that settlement negotiation is a common phenomenon in personal injury cases. However, in most cases, the outcomes are not in the best interests of the victim. This means that you need to be well represented legally if at all you want the best settlement for your ordeal, pain, and financial turmoil that may have come along with it. Hopefully, the above tips will go a long way towards helping you settle your slip and fall case.
Published by Daphenee Plaisir