August 9, 2022
Slip and Fall Accident in Michigan: When Should You Contact a Lawyer?
The most dangerous accidents are the simple ones you don’t expect; the ones that can happen anywhere. Slip and fall accidents can take place anywhere and during any season. From winter ice to slippery floors indoors to hazardous obstacles you don’t see until it’s too late, there are many ways for slip and falls to take place, and they can happen to anyone. We’re here to walk you through the steps you should take immediately after one of these accidents and what you need to do to make sure your rights are fully protected.
What You Should Do Immediately After a Fall
If you’ve just experienced a slip and fall, you should seek immediate medical assistance for any significant injuries. Make sure when speaking to EMTs, nurses, and/or doctors, you are honest and detailed about how you received your injuries. Keep a record of any tests and treatments you receive as well as—if you can—the names of the medical professionals who assist you.
If you are still mobile post-accident, do your best to gather as much evidence at the scene as possible. (If you are heavily injured or no longer mobile, ask family, friends, or someone nearby to quickly capture what you need.) Especially if this is a busy public area, slip and fall accident scenes are often cleaned up very quickly, sometimes as a way to conceal evidence, but most often to prevent other slip and fall accidents from occurring. If you can, be sure to capture photos and/or video, gather the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses, and document the accident via an incident report. An incident report should be filled out regardless of how severe the injuries may be.
Finally, you should call a slip and fall accident attorney. Whether you’re overwhelmed with the paperwork or you’ve been asked to sign something that could threaten your rights, an accident attorney will be able to walk you through the process, step by step, and make sure your rights are being represented.
How Do Slip and Falls Occur?
As we mentioned, slip and falls can occur in a wide variety of settings. Broken stairs, uneven sidewalks, broken handrails, slick residue on floors –all of this can result in a dangerous (and painful) fall. Michigan, in particular, is known for ice-based slip and falls in the winter. But how do you know if you have a case? That’s where a slip and fall accident attorney comes in.
An attorney knows all the steps in a slip and fall lawsuit and can best advise you on what your next move should be. Some attorneys may even invest in a private investigator to help gather evidence on your behalf. Lawyers frequently also have more pull with business owners and other professionals who may be hesitant to hand over evidence, like security video, to a victim.
How Much Does a Slip and Fall Pay?
This will depend on a number of things such as the severity of your injuries, the severity of the at fault party’s negligence and whether there are economic damages such as medical expenses or wage loss. Because this amount is highly case-specific, your slip and fall accident attorney will be the best person to walk you through the potential numbers.
Additional Things to Keep in Mind If You’ve Been in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you are considering litigation to remedy the negative impact of a slip and fall accident, keep in mind that these accidents do have a statute of limitations. In the state of Michigan, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If it has been longer than three years since your accident, you no longer have legal precedence to pursue this option. Consult with a lawyer to see what steps you can take.
You should also be aware that a large part of your case will be proving the responsible party’s negligence; essentially, you need to prove that they were the ones at fault. In a similar fashion, you can absolutely expect that they will be attempting to prove that the accident was your fault or that you held at least partial responsibility for the slip and fall (which can influence how much they, in turn, are held responsible). Michigan’s “modified comparative negligence” rule states that the victim cannot receive compensation for damages if they are more than 51% at fault for the accident in question.
Do you have questions about slip and fall accidents? Are you in need of a slip and fall lawyer? Our team of dedicated attorneys are here to answer your questions and assist you in determining if your case warrants a lawsuit. Call us today to set up a free consultation—if you can’t make it to us, we’ll come to you! Get help now.