In the last two years I have seen a big increase in the number of calls and contacts on the website regarding accidents where people trip or slip and fall. Many personal injury lawyers don't like these cases but I can say that my firm actually has developed a concentration in this area. I think that with an aging baby boomer population it is critical to know an attorney that understands this area of law.
Statistics reveal that almost all of us will get into an accident in which we sustain an injury. Many of us will sustain a serious injury and as the baby boomers get older we can expect a significant increase in these accidents. While not all accidents occur because of someone's negligence, many timesa slip and fall occurs because a property owner fails to take reasonable care of their property. When looking for a lawyer who handles slip and fall accidents (or premises cases) keep the following checlklist in mind:
- Experience Counts- Sounds simple enough but many lawyers simply are not forthright and some can be dishonest. Ask the lawyer how many 'fall" cases he has handles in the last two years. If he handled 10 twenty years ago and only two in the last two years that may tell you that he may not be completely up on the latest decisions involving these cases. The law changes rapidly and if you do handle these cases often enough you could be missing some new and important area of law affecting a case.
- Complex Cases- Don't kid yourself. These cases for the most part are difficult. Generally speaking they involve owners, tenants, mamagement companies and sometimes construction companies and additional vendors(maintenance companies, snow removal companies,landscaping ,etc.). These cases involve contracts and leases. They could involve buiding codes,municipal regulations and other ordinances. Understanding what lies ahead is imprtant for any lawyer who handles these cases. What can you do? Use your common sense. Talk to the lawyer about your case. Ask him if this will be an easy or complex case. Be wary of the "easy" answer. Ask him if he thinks any of the other parties that I mentioned may be involved. See if he stumbles in his answer since most of the time there are "other players" involved.
- Get The Green Out- Many times an expert is reqiuired to help soldify the case. Expert engineers wether electrical, mechanical or one of a hundred different kinds can very costly. We have has bills from experts for 3,4 and sometimes 5 thousand for an on sit inspection. Many times these accidents require an on site inspections(especially if they are indoors or on private property)and a court order is necessary. Ask your potential lawyer if he is prepared to hire somebody immediately to inspect the area and will a court order be necessary. If he says no get another opinion. Many lawyers don't have the funds to start this type of litigation or just don't want to lay out the money.
- In sum it is critical for you to know somebody who you can call when an accident from a fall occcurs. Similar to having a good estate lawyer in your contacts you should have a good slip and fall lawyer. Ask for our FREE report on how to hire an accident lawyer. Visit the Goldstein and Bashner website for more information.