Wisconsin Slip and Fall Guide
The Wisconsin Slip and Fall Guide was created by Keberle, Patrykus & Laufenberg, LLP to help residents who have been injured in an accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
If you have been seriously hurt in a slip and fall in Washington County, you are likely seeing compensation for your damages and injuries. This is likely an unsettling time for you. Our Washington County slip and fall lawyers are here to help you seek a fair result from the liable party’s insurance company. After you have read about how slip and fall cases work, please do not hesitate to call our office today to set up a free initial consultation.
Washington County Slip and Fall Injuries
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, it is likely due to some hazard with which you came in contact. For example, you might have been on a faulty escalator, tripped over a broken sidewalk, slipped on an uncleaned substance, etc. If you have been harmed in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, then you are going to be eligible to receive compensation.
Do not feel like you shouldn’t bring a case if you fell on the property of someone you know. You are not personally suing them. Their insurance company is going to be responsible for your compensation. If you fell at a mall or public property, then the insurance company for them will be responsible for your injuries. It is important that you get into contact with a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible to get on the right track for compensation.
If there was negligence involved in your slip and fall, the liable party must answer your request for compensation. It is because of them that you have been harmed, and you should not have to suffer without compensation because they were careless.
How Washington County Slip and Fall Compensation Works
Wisconsin has to follow rules for compensation, known as shared fault laws, when it comes to personal injury cases like a slip and fall. If you get blamed for the accident by the insurance company, your compensation will be affected but not necessarily eliminated. When you are found partially at fault for the accident, you get to collect reduced compensation.
For example, if you are getting compensation for $100,000 for your slip and fall and you have been found 10% at fault for the incident, your award would be reduced to $90,000. Our job is to stop this from happening to you. We want to ensure your full and fair compensation award.
Avoid Making a Mistake That Might Ruin Your Case
If you are seeking compensation in a full and fair amount, you need to know that there are things that you can do to ruin your case that you should avoid. If you have been injured, you will most likely receive a call from the liable party’s insurance company. They are the ones who are responsible for covering your damages. Their goal is to protect themselves. They will ask you to give them a recorded statement. This is not in your best interest to do. They want you to give them a statement because they are trained to get answers from you that will absolve them of the responsibility to compensate you in full.
They want to save their company money. They achieve that by scuttling your chance of getting the compensation that you deserve. They will use your recorded statement as a means to protect themselves, if they can get you to answer in an unfavorable way. As such, you should avoid talking to them until you can talk to a lawyer first.
Determining the Value of a Slip and Fall Claim
In Wisconsin, what is the value of a trip and fall/slip and fall case? As with all cases, it’s very difficult at the beginning to determine value because there are all kinds of factors involved. Typically, in these types of cases, if the injury is serious, as opposed to maybe a soft tissue injury where you strained your neck or something like that, it’s going to take a much longer time than other types of cases. Why? Because we have to get doctors involved, and we’ve got to get reports from them.
While it’s a difficult question to answer, at some point, as in all cases, we’re going to give you a range of value. We’re going to say we have enough information at this point to put it within a range. At some point, you are going to know the number because before I put a number nto a settlement demand to an insurance company, you are the one that has to give me the go ahead. I have to come to you and say, “Is this what you want me to ask for?” I’ll tell you why I think it’s a correct number, but, at the end of the day, you’re the client, so you get to choose the number if you like.
The bottom line is, when we have enough information, you’ll have that information. If you have a case like this, give us a call and we can help.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Slip and Fall Injury Claim?
I was talking to one of our clients that we signed in a trip and fall/slip and fall a couple weeks ago. He called me and asked me the question that most clients ask – how long is this going to take? While we can’t give you a specific time, there are a number of things we can do to speed up the process. If you have a non-serious injury – let’s assume that we have a soft tissue case, and you’re going to be treating for about six month— at that point, it’s unlikely that your doctor is going to give you a permanency. As a result, I would think we could get that case to the insurance company in about nine months to a year.
If you have a serious injury – broken bones, head injury, etc. – and it looks like it’s going to be a permanency case, where you’re going to be permanently injured in that part of your body for the rest of your life, then we need to get the doctor involved. The doctor’s not going to give us that type of opinion for at least a year from the date of the accident or the crash. Even worse, if this is something that resulted in a surgery, then it’s going to be one year from the surgical date to the date he’s going to give you the permanency opinion. We know those parameters, and we can tell that to our clients.
What’s really going to determine how long it takes is what the insurance company says when we give them the claim. They can only say two things. Number one, they can say, “We agree with you; here’s your check,” and that’s the end of it, or they can say, as their want-to-do, “We’re not paying.” Because you know that you’ve hired a team of trial lawyers, that’s exactly what we do. We say, “Well, we think you’re wrong, and we think you’re going to regret this decision, but it’s time to go to war.” That’s what we do for you.
Partial Fault Slip and Fall Accident
In Wisconsin, in a trip and fall/slip and fall case, if you are partially responsible, do you still have a case? The answer is yes. Wisconsin is a contributory negligence state. For instance, if a jury would find that a store, let’s say, was 51% negligent, and you tripped over something as a result, you still get to claim the 49% of your damages. There’s an interesting side to this. It’s typically our practice, if we try a trip and fall/slip and fall case, to assume some contributory negligence because the jury is going to assume it anyway. We know that the defense will never assume any negligence on their part, so it’s kind of a win-win.
Seeking Medical Treatment After a Slip and Fall Injury
What should you do after a trip and fall/slip and fall situation and you end up in a doctor’s office? Number one, tell him or her everything. If you don’t, and you miss something, it can come back to hurt you down the road. For instance, if it turns out later that you find out you have a torn rotator cuff, and for the first three visits to the doctor you said nothing about shoulder pain, they’re going to use that against you, even though it’s very likely that the trip and fall/slip and fall caused it.
Number two, do not embellish. They write down everything you say, and if it turns out that something you say isn’t true, and if we find out that’s the case, we’re probably no longer going to represent you. If another lawyer represents you, they’re probably not going to win.
Selecting a Slip and Fall Attorney
When you’re looking for a trip and fall/slip and fall lawyer, you’re looking for several things. First, you’re looking for experience. Second, you’re looking for trial experience. Third, you’re looking for a trial lawyer. When you come to us with one of these cases, the first thing we do is investigate and make sure that we’re ready for trial whenever it’s going to be trial time. We have to assume every one of these cases is going to go to trial.
Trip and fall cases, for a lot of lawyer, are off-limits. They don’t want to take them. Why is that? Because insurance companies undervalue these cases, they get bad offers on them and they dump the case. Here’s what we do. If they give us a bad offer, typically 50% of the value, we say no, and we try the case. Because we’ve investigated a case, we have the tools to win.
In the past several years, we’ve had some good results on these types of cases and they’re getting better. If you’re looking for a slip and fall/trip and fall lawyer, look for a trial lawyer, look for experience, and give us a call.
Slip and Fall Insurance Adjuster
If you have a slip and fall/trip and fall case, should you talk to the insurance representative? The insurance representative is most likely going to be the insurer of the particular business that’s involved. They are trained to get information from you, they are trained to get you on tape. They are also trained to walk you into situations verbally that would make it appear it’s your fault, even if it wasn’t. You have nothing to gain and everything to lose by talking to these people. What you should do, whether it’s my firm or some other qualified firm, is find a trial lawyer. Find one that tries cases, find one that wins cases, and hire them. They’ll tell you more about what not to do. If this is the type of situation you have right now, give us a call. We can help.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Injury
If you’ve been involved in a trip and fall/slip and fall, what should you do immediately? You should pull out your phone and start taking pictures because, typically, it’s going to involve a hazard. If you get a picture of that hazard, pictures are worth a thousand words. Number two, find out in your community if you have a trial lawyer that’s worth their salt. Trial lawyers try cases; settle and sign lawyers don’t try cases. Ask around, ask who tries cases, and ask that particular lawyer how many trip and fall cases they’ve tried and what their success rate is.
Why do you need a trial lawyer? These cases often go to trial. Why is that? Because insurance companies devalue these cases. They think that a jury is going to be persuaded that the person who was injured tripped over their own two feet. That’s not what happens in these cases. These cases go to trial at a higher percentage than other cases.
Finally, do not ever talk to an insurance company. They’re going to pretend they’re your best friend; they’re not. They’re out to save their client or their company money. If you do all those things, I think you’re going to be okay.
Will My Slip and Fall Case Go to Trial?
The question is this: In a trip and fall/slip and fall case in Wisconsin, how do you know that you’re going to have to go to trial? The answer is you already know. The reason is, because you’re the one that, at the end of the day, makes the decision, but you may change your mind after we go through the process. You’re going to be deposed –someone is going to take your deposition. Before that, we’ll prep you. If it takes days to prep you, to get you comfortable, we’re going to do that; because when you sit down at that table and you look at that defense attorney, you’re going to be ready. Same thing with trial. We’re going to make you ready. You have to be comfortable, otherwise we don’t let them depose you that day.
If push comes to shove and you’ve got to make the decision, and we think you’ve not been fully and fairly compensated, we’ll probably tell you that. In fact, we’ll certainly tell you that. It’s your call. The reason is because it’s your case. If you have a case like that, give us a call. We can help.
Call Our Washington County Slip and Fall Lawyers Today
Our lawyers are eager to offer their expertise to help you get the results that you deserve. We can answer your questions and go over the details of your case right off the bat to help you understand how these cases work. We can help you move forward and get the justice you deserve.
We will be doing intensive research to calculate the right move for your case. Our resources, experience, and staff makes us the right fit for a slip and fall case like yours. We will fight tirelessly to do your case justice.
Please call our Washington County slip and fall lawyers today to get your free initial consultation and get the answers you have been searching for. We are waiting for your call.
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