We hear the phrase all the time, but what really constitutes a slip and fall lawsuit? Like any other type of civil suit, these types of cases have a long process ahead of them and it is useful to understand the law when it comes to these types of accidents. The Huerta Law Firm has experienced slip and fall accident lawyers that will understand how best to pursue your case.
Duty of Safety
Any establishment that opens itself up to the public has a legal obligation to build and maintain reasonably safe premises for their customers. This rule extends to grocery stores, small shops, restaurants, department stores, malls, and other private businesses. A person might have a case if it can be proven that the fall happened due to negligence and/or bad conditions in the establishment. For example, if a person falls in a restaurant because of a spilled soda on the floor, then the suit must demonstrate how the employees and managers neglected to act in a reasonable manner to clean up the spill—according to policy and safety measures—which led to the fall. A big part of these cases rests on what the establishment or employee knew and whether it could be shown that they were in fact aware of the situation and did nothing to stop it.
So what happens next? The first step would be to speak to a professional slip and fall accident lawyer that can carefully advise you on how to proceed depending on particular circumstances of your case. These cases can easily derail if they are handled carelessly by an inexperienced attorney.
The Summons & Answer
Once you speak to your attorney, he will begin filing a lawsuit and will draft up the summons or initial complaint. This document contains the details of the accident, how the fall occurred, who was involved, and the injury claims, and quantity being sought. The defendant will then file an answer, or response, to your summons. Here they will either accept or deny the allegations.
The Discovery and Pre-Trial Motions
Discovery is called such because it is the phase of the case where both parties learn as much as possible about the other. There are a series of questions exchanged between both attorneys and each party must answer and provide all the necessary documents to comply with the question. For example, defendants in these cases will usually ask for a full copy of medical records from the victim. This is to see if the victim had any prior falls, injuries, or health problems that could potentially conflict with the victims new injuries. Plaintiff’s will normally ask about store policies and any statements from employees or camera reels that might have captured the incident.
During this process parties might also file different Pre-trial Motions that can include a Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgement. The former refers to a request to dismiss the case, while the latter asks for a final judgement based on lack of or false evidence. Parties will usually try to resolve the matter in a Mediation and avoid taking it to trial. A Mediation can lead to a negotiated agreement and settlement that compensates the plaintiff.
Get a Trustworthy Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
The Huerta Law Firm has vast experience in dealing with these types of cases and knows how to handle them in a professional and efficient manner. We have in-depth litigation knowledge and are dedicated to all of our clients and their specific cases. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve. When it comes to experienced slip and fall lawyers, call the Huerta Law Firm and get justice for your injury.