If you have been seriously injured in a slip & fall accident in Milwaukee, then you have a lot on your mind. Although your first concern should be getting better, you may also be worried about how you and your family are going to recover financially. Sky-high medical bills and missed work can add up to a family financial crisis and you may need to pursue a legal recovery with the help of a qualified and professional Milwaukee slip and fall lawyer. Thankfully, the attorneys at Hupy and Abraham have more than 170 years of combined experience defending personal injury victims in Wisconsin, with a specialty in slip, trip and fall accidents.
But before we dive into whether or not you need an attorney, and how our experienced slip and fall lawyer in Milwaukee WI can help you if need be, we’d like to discuss some of the most common causes, injuries and locations of these types of accidents, as well tips that can help make your slip & fall case as strong as possible.
3 Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Milwaukee
In order to recover damages after a slip and fall accident, you are going to have to prove that the property owner or manager was negligent. In other words, you are going to have to prove that the property owner or manager was at fault, and knew or should have known about the condition that caused you to fall.
Before you can do that, however, you are going to have to know why you fell and you are going to need to be able to present evidence to prove it.
Often, Milwaukee slip & fall accidents occur because of the following:
- Snow and ice have accumulated. Specific local ordinances and unique factors about how and where the snow or ice accumulated will impact your potential recovery. It is important to know whether the icy conditions were caused by weather conditions or unnatural accumulations, for example.
- Property owners have failed to maintain their properties. The failure to fix what is broken, to clean what is dirty or slippery, or to warn people of a potentially dangerous condition before it can be fixed can result in dangerous slip or trip and fall accidents.
- There was a design defect on the property. Sometimes a property may be dangerous from the time it was built. According to our Milwaukee slip and fall lawyer, this can occur if not enough lighting was installed, if the building was not constructed in accordance with the local building code, if the drainage is insufficient, or if there is another dangerous condition caused by the design of the property.
You will need to convince the insurance company or the court that you fell because of the property owner’s or property manager’s negligence. The evidence that you present to support your argument will depend on many factors including why you fell, how badly you were hurt, and where you were hurt. Some of the evidence that may be available includes:
- Surveillance video
- Witness testimony
- Maintenance records
- Design plans
- Medical records
Many cases do not have all of these different types of evidence available, so you shouldn’t worry if you are missing some of the evidence described above. However, you should take action as soon as possible to protect your recovery.
Injuries to Watch for After a Slip and Fall Accident
The injury that you suffer in a Milwaukee slip and fall accident should only be diagnosed by a doctor. In order to protect your physical—and your legal—recovery, it is important to see a physician as soon as possible after you fall and to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms. Below are some common injuries you should watch out for.
- Brain or head injuries. Traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures can be life-changing. They require immediate medical attention to prevent the injury from worsening. Headaches, loss of consciousness, changes in vision, changes in behavior, or changes in cognitive skills may be signs of a traumatic brain injury or head injury.
- Spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury may be partial or complete. Every spinal cord injury is medically significant and requires immediate care. Complete spinal cord injuries result in permanent paralysis below the point on the spinal cord that was hurt. If you have any numbness, paralysis, pain, tingling or other potential symptoms of a spinal cord or back injury, then it is important to get prompt medical attention.
- Broken bones. Any broken bone can be a serious injury that limits your mobility, interferes with your work, and impacts your everyday activities. Any pain, limitation in mobility, or disfigurement should be immediately reported to a doctor.
- Dislocated shoulder. If you experience swelling, numbness, weakness, bruising, or difficulty moving your shoulder, then you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Eye injuries. Falls are the most common cause of accidental eye injuries. After a fall you should watch for any pain, changes in vision, or bruising and see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you exhibit any of these symptoms.
- Facial and dental injuries. Any bone in the face or mouth may be broken in a fall. If you experience any pain, discoloration or disfigurement in your nose, cheeks, lips, chin, or mouth, then it is important to be evaluated by a doctor or dentist as soon as possible.
Additionally, a fall injury can be deadly. The elderly are at a higher risk of dying from a fall injury. However, anyone who falls may be at risk particularly if they suffer a brain, head, spinal cord injury, or other serious injury in a fall.
Where Do Milwakuee Slip and Fall Accidents Happen Most Often
A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere, at any time. However, it is important to know where falls commonly occur so that you can use extra caution in these places and so that you know to talk to a slip and fall lawyer in Milwaukee WI if you are injured.
Below are ten of the most common places these types of accidents occur, according to our slip and fall lawyer in Milwaukee.
- Supermarkets. Slippery floors, broken shopping carts, poor maintenance and tripping hazards can make a routine trip to the grocery store end with a significant slip and fall injury.
- Stores. Retail stores with wet floors, torn carpets, poor lighting, clutter, and other hazards can create serious fall risks for customers and can cause serious injuries.
- Restaurants. Restaurants are busy places full of potential slip and fall hazards. Food and drink spills, wet floors, uneven flooring, and other conditions can put restaurant patrons at risk for slipping, falling and getting hurt.
- Hotels. Hotel managers could prevent some serious slip and fall accidents if they routinely and adequately inspect the hotel property, clean the hotel property and repair any dangerous conditions.
- Gyms. Wet floors, uneven flooring, broken equipment, and poorly placed electrical wires can create slip or trip and fall risks.
- Sidewalks. Icy, snowy, uneven, or broken sidewalks may all create slip and fall hazards.
- Playgrounds. Children and adults may slip and fall on a playground, and it may just be an accident for which no one is liable. However, if the equipment was broken or poorly maintained and the visitors were not warned of the potential risks, then the owner of the playground could be legally responsible.
- Amusement parks. Unsafe rides, trip hazards, and slippery conditions may result in fall accidents.
- Hospitals. Patients and staff aren’t the only ones at risk of being hurt in a hospital fall. Visitors who are hurt in a fall should immediately report the accident.
- Elevators or escalators. Malfunctioning elevators or escalators can cause people to trip and fall.
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall in any of these places, then it is possible that the property owner, manager, or maintenance company is liable for your injuries.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Slip and Fall Case in Milwaukee
You have the right to seek justice after a slip and fall accident in Milwaukee. If you are hurt in the state of Wisconsin, you may be able to recover damages for the following:
- Medical expenses. This includes things such as hospitalizations, surgeries, doctors’ appointments, rehabilitation therapies, medications, and assistive medical devices.
- Lost income. Wages, benefits, and income from being self-employed may all be compensated.
- Out-of-pocket expenses. If you had to pay any costs, such as for extra childcare, transportation, or cleaning help because of your injuries then these things may be included in your recovery.
- Pain and suffering. Your physical pain and emotional suffering don’t have easy-to-identify costs, but they are significant and you deserve compensation.
According to our Milwaukee slip and fall attorney, you're generally entitled to past damages (from the time of your injury until the time of your recovery) and future damages (as reasonably anticipated by your doctor and other experts).
What Goes Into Determining the Value of Your Slip and Fall Settlement?
Do You Need an Experienced Slip & Fall Attorney in Milwaukee?
Many slip and fall injury victims need an attorney to help them get the fair damages that they deserve. Insurance companies have adjusters and attorneys working for them to minimize the compensation that they need to pay you and others who have been hurt in these types of accidents. An experienced Milwaukee slip and fall attorney can make sure that all of your rights are protected and that you get the fair financial recovery that you deserve while you concentrate on your physical recovery without the stress of handling your own legal claim. Additionally, many people who have been hurt are able to resolve their slip and fall cases for more money than they would if they handled their cases on their own.
How to Find the Best Milwaukee Slip and Fall Lawyer
The Milwaukee slip and fall lawyer that you choose could determine the outcome of your case. Before you hire anyone, it’s important to do your due diligence and consider the following:
- Asking friends, neighbors, and co-workers for advice. Referrals are a good place to start, but they don’t take the place of research. Your friend’s case may have been very different, so learn more before making sure you interview potential slip and fall attorneys before making a final decision.
- Choosing a slip and fall lawyer with experience. If you were sick, would you trust a doctor who has only read about your illness? Experience is important. You want to know that your attorney will be able to take your case to trial if that’s what it takes to get a fair settlement.
- Choosing a lawyer who bills on a contingency fee basis. Under a contingency fee agreement, the attorney receives a percentage of your settlement. This means that if you don't win your case, you don’t have to pay.
- Reviews, Reviews, Reviews. Much like the first bullet point about asking friends, reading reviews from sites like Google and Yelp, to see how past clients’ experience with their attorney was is very important. Lots of (good) reviews is a great place to start.
How an Attorney Can Protect Your Recovery in a Slip & Fall Lawsuit
An slip and fall accident attorney can investigate what happened and gather evidence to prove the cause of your fall and the cause of your injuries. An attorney can also:
- Make sure that your legal rights are protected by ensuring that all legal deadlines are met. This includes making sure that a complaint is filed in court to formally begin a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Once you are represented by counsel, the insurance adjuster should be communicating with your lawyer and not with you.
- Help you understand what your case is really worth and what you can realistically expect to recover in a settlement or lawsuit. Fair damages may include compensation for your past, current, and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages.
Contact Our Experienced and Qualified Slip and Fall Lawyers in Milwaukee WI
If you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident in Wisconsin due to another person’s negligence, our experienced Milwaukee slip and fall lawyer at Hupy and Abraham can help you understand what your potential damages may be so that you can have realistic expectations when you file a lawsuit, and recognize a fair settlement should one be offered by an insurance company.
Contact our office now by giving us a call at 1-800-800-5678 to discuss your case during a free consultation.