We at the Groth Law Firm are no strangers to harsh Wisconsin winters. Collectively, our law firm has weathered decades upon decades of snowy Wisconsin weather. Accordingly, we know the dangers of walking around outside in icy, slippery conditions. “Black ice” refers to transparent ice that can be difficulty to see, and easy to slip on. Although most such falls result in little more than embarrassment and inconvenience, some slip and falls can have disastrous, life-altering consequences. While bumps and bruises are one thing, fractures, head injuries, and other trauma should be treated as the serious injuries they are. Since insurance companies are in the business of often denying slip and fall claims, you need skilled legal assistance to help you fight for the compensation and justice that you deserve.
Slip and fall accidents are broadly defined as accidents that occurr when you are walking in an area that has a dangerous condition, like snow or ice, that causes a fall, and then subsequent injuries. Oftentimes, we see these accidents occur in un-shoveled parking lots, inadequately salted sidewalks, and in other places of business where the owners are negligent. State law requires both homeowners, and businessowners alike to keep their premises free from dangerous conditions that may cause such accidents. Although Wisconsin weather is un-predictable, the law still requires people to keep their property safe. A failure to clear snow and icy can give rise to a valid claim against their homeowner, or business insurance. If you are involved in a slip and fall type accident, there are a few facts you should be aware of.
Like the old adage states, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Due to the inherently temporary nature of ice and snow, documentation of hazards conditions can be the difference between having a case, and not having a case. Even though snapping a picture after a bad fall, may be difficult, or in some cases, impossible, try to have a trusted family or friend photograph that hazardous condition as soon after the fall as possible. After reports of a fall, or multiple falls on their premises, many business owners will quickly seek to address the hazardous condition so that it appears as though they were not negligent in the first place. Act quickly and take pictures of unsalted, uncleared walkways and sidewalks immediately when possible. Beyond this, if your fall occurs at a place of business, you should report the incident to management. Many times, when we reach out to negligent business owners due to a fall that occurred on their property, this is their first notice of our client’s injuries. Making a full and complete accounting of your fall to management or staff can help preserve early evidence of your claim.
Slip and fall cases are based on a foundational principal of civil law. The principal is that of negligence. In order to establish negligence, you must prove that a property owner had a duty to exercise reasonable care to you; that this duty of reasonable care was breached; and that the breach of the property owner was a direct and proximate cause of the slip and fall that resulted in your injuries. If you are able to prove the aforementioned, then you have a strong claim against the property owner. Once liability is established through this framework, the Groth Law Firm can fight for you and maximize your compensation. Through a valid claim, you are entitled to various forms of compensation as an injured plaintiff. Typically, an injured person can recover compensation for, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, future care costs, and any other expenses that the injury and your recovery from the injury incur. If the injury you receive from the slip and fall requires care in the future, or is permanent, you will want to consider the cost of that future care as part of your claim. The Groth Law Firm has experience in helping injured people prepare for future care by fighting for additional compensation for you. Experience matters; you want an attorney who litigated complex, multi-layered cases to ensure that you are receiving every dollar you are entitled to.
In addition to maximizing your compensation, Groth Law Firm utilizes a team of investigators throughout the state. This advantage can make a critical difference in your slip and fall case. If you are injured as a result of a slip and fall or other accident, do not hesitate to call the day of the injury. Some evidence needs to be preserved immediately, and we can send someone from our team to the scene of the injury the day of. In addition to preserving evidence, there are often challenges associated with finding the correct defendant in these cases. If you slip and fall in a large parking lot of a mall for instance, who is the responsible party? Is it mall ownership? The store in front of where you fell? Perhaps it’s a snow removal company that you’ve never heard of before. These challenges are common to slip and fall cases in the winter. This challenge is compounded by the possibility that you may have been injured on a public owned or government property. If that is the case, certain notice documents must be filed. Many such notices are extremely time-sensitive, and if you do not file in the required time period, you may be forever barred from receiving any compensation, no matter how negligent the defendant may be. Some entities may be so complex or hidden that you may have to name a “John Doe” defendant in a potential lawsuit. Experience matters in these cases. You want to hire a law firm that is skilled, dedicated, and has a proven track record in slip and fall cases. Your case needs individual and prompt attention. At Groth Law Firm your case is not just another number. You can expect daily access to a full staff of attorneys, paralegals, investigators, and law clerks.
Accidents happen, but negligent accidents can be prevented. If you are involved in a slip and fall accident and do not know where to start, let us help you. The Groth Law Firm staff is available any day of the week and offers a free consultation regarding your potential case.