The last thing anyone wants to do is to slip and fall. You might only suffer from a few bruises and cuts, but you could take a bad fall onto something or in such a way that you sustain extensive damage.
In Duluth, people slip or trip and fall in stores, on sidewalks, in friends’ homes, or anywhere a hazard may exist. When you fall, and another person’s negligence caused the accident, you may be able to recover damages for your related losses. Contact the Duluth slip and fall accident lawyers at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today to discuss your legal options.
Common Duluth Slip or Trip and Fall Accident Causes
You could slip or trip and fall anywhere. In general, there are many potential situations that could cause a fall, including:
- Slippery floors that are caused by spills, mud, sleet, snow, or simply because the floors are naturally slippery, such as some types of tile or glass floors.
- Stairs with broken or cracked steps or broken handrails.
- Clutter on the floor, whether in a private home or a retail establishment.
- Uneven surfaces, such as lifted and cracked sidewalks, uneven pavers or bricks, a carpet with a lump in it, or with a lifted edge.
- Potholes in roads or walkways.
- Areas with poor lighting.
- Ladders and scaffolding that are placed in unexpected places.
- Weeds that are growing through poorly maintained sidewalks.
Nicolet Law no longer handles Disability or Bankruptcy cases.
Various Rights Our Duluth Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers Can Protect
If you tripped or slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you could have the right to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages if the property owner, occupant, or manager was negligent. For example, if you slip on an icy sidewalk while it is snowing, you most likely cannot recover damages. However, if the property owner does not clean the sidewalk within a reasonable amount of time after a snowstorm, the court could find that the property owner was negligent and award you damages.
Premises liability accidents such as slip or trip and fall accidents are often complicated cases. An experienced Duluth personal injury attorney can help you determine whether you have a case. Contact Nicolet Law for a free consultation to discuss your specific circumstances today.
Premises Liability Claims Depend on Your Legal Status on the Property
In general, you could recover compensation for a property owner’s negligence if you have a right to be on the property. For example, if you were invited to the premises, or if the property is a retail establishment, and you slipped and fell during normal working hours, you have the legal right to be there. However, you would have a hard time recovering damages if you were trespassing and did not have the legal right to be on the property.
A trespasser enters a property uninvited and/or without permission. Thus, the property owner is not legally obligated to keep the property free of dangerous conditions or warn a trespasser of dangerous conditions. However, most laws do require the property owner not to intentionally or willfully injure a trespasser. Different rules apply if the trespasser is a child.
Slip and Fall Accident Injury Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of five falls causes serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries or broken bones. Hospitals admit over 800,000 people per year because of slip or trip and fall accidents. Of those, 300,000 are older people who usually suffer hip fractures. The CDC also states that falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries.
If you suffer injuries from a fall caused by someone else's careless behavior, and you need a lawyer for your slip and fall accident, contact Nicolet Law today to discuss your legal options.
Common Types of Fall Injuries Our Trip and Fall Attorneys Handle
If you slip or trip and fall, you might be lucky enough to sustain minor injuries, such as a couple of cuts or bruises, but in many cases, people sustain severe or even catastrophic injuries.
Some of the injuries you might sustain include:
- Bumps, bruises, scratches, and cuts.
- Road rash and scrapes.
- Simple and/or compound fractures.
- Face and eye injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Strain, sprains, pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries.
In addition to the initial injuries, you could also suffer from secondary injuries, such as infections from open wounds. The open wounds could happen during the initial incident but could also be because of surgery to repair accident injuries.
Fall injuries, including secondary injuries, could worsen existing conditions and injuries. The negligent party may also share in the responsibility for exacerbating those conditions and injuries since you would not have had that extra pain and suffering if not for the defendant’s negligence.
Additionally, your initial and secondary injuries could lead to the amputation of a digit or limb or could lead to excessive scarring and/or disfigurement that could prevent you from gainful employment or affect you emotionally.
What is Your Duluth Slip or Trip and Fall Accident Claim Worth?
The amount of damages you might recover after a trip or slip and fall accident depends on the severity of your injuries. You could recover economic damages and non-economic damages.
Special damages, often referred to as economic damages, have a documented monetary value. The court can order the defendant to pay these in an attempt to make you whole again.
Economic damages can include:
- Medical Expenses. You could recover the costs for medical expenses you incurred because of the incident, including future medical expenses—those you incur after a settlement or a trial award. Medical expenses include the initial expenses to treat slip and fall injuries, follow-up appointments, additional surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive and other psychological therapies.
- Lost Income. If your injuries prevent you from working, you could collect lost wages or other forms of income until a settlement or a trial award. You could also collect future lost income if you are not able to work at all or you cannot make the same salary or hourly rate after a settlement or a trial award. If you lost a loved one because of a trip or slip and fall incident, you could also collect compensation to make up for the lost income resulting from the loss of your loved one.
- Damaged Personal Property. If the incident destroys or damages any personal property, including phones, clothing, computers, or other personal items, the defendant may have to pay to replace or repair those items.
- End-of-Life Expenses. If you lost a loved one because of a trip or slip and fall incident, you could recover funeral, burial, cremation expenses, and other expenses related to the death of your loved one. You might have probate court expenses and other administrative expenses in addition to funeral expenses.
General damages, often referred to as non-economic damages, have a monetary value, even though you cannot produce a receipt for pain and suffering or these other types of losses and damages. Non-economic damages may include:
Pain and Suffering. If your injuries cause long-term or permanent disabilities, you could recover compensation for the pain and suffering you experience, including emotional distress now and in the future. Some injuries require physical and/or occupational therapy, which shows that you are most likely in pain.
Additionally, some people suffer from depression and anxiety because their injuries and/or long-term or permanent disabilities prevent them from working. They might also become afraid of falling again and become withdrawn. Accidents often cause post-traumatic stress disorder, though that is more common in traumatic vehicle accidents. Often cognitive and other psychological therapy helps with feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and depression. The defendant may bear the responsibility of emotional therapies since you would not have these issues if not for the defendant’s negligence.
Loss of Quality of Life. Some injuries cause long-term or permanent disabilities that might require you to take medications or use ambulatory aids for the rest of your life. Others cause amputation, a permanent limp, or other issues that decrease the quality of your life.
Loss of Companionship and/or Consortium. Sometimes accident injuries cause disabilities that prevent you from enjoying time with your family. If you cannot take part in family activities and events, including something as common as sitting at the dining room table for dinner with your family, you could recover compensation for the loss of companionship.
Additionally, if you can no longer have a physical relationship with your spouse, you could recover compensation for loss of consortium.
Loss of Use. Some slip and fall accidents could cause you to lose the use of a body part, such as a hand or foot. And some could cause the loss of use of bodily functions, such as your eyesight or bladder function. These injuries could be direct or indirect. You might damage the body part or function in the incident, and doctors might not have the ability to repair the damaged body part or function. You could receive compensation for these types of injuries, especially if doctors believe they are long-term or permanent.
Disfigurement and Excessive Scarring. If you fall on a rough surface, you could sustain a road rash that might scar you. Burns can also cause disfigurement and excessive scarring, especially if doctors remove the skin from another part of your body for a graft. If the excessive scarring or disfigurement is visible or it impedes your ability to work, you could receive extra compensation for these injuries.
Inconvenience. Some people do their own shopping, house cleaning, home repair and maintenance, lawn maintenance, and other chores. Some disabilities you sustain in a trip or slip and fall incident could prevent you from doing these chores, which means that you have to hire someone to do them for you.
Should you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, you could recover compensation to reimburse you for the money you now have to pay to have someone else do these things for you.
Partner With A Duluth Trip or Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer to Resolve Your Case
Always retain an attorney when you are injured and need to seek compensation because:
- Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, which means that they may be mostly concerned with their bottom lines. Every claim they pay means less money in their executives’ pockets.
- Insurance companies may protect their interests over yours, even if you are trying to recover damages from your own insurance company. It does not make a difference that you were loyal for many years or that you paid your premiums on time.
- Most insurance representatives will use several tactics in an attempt to deny your claim or offer you a pittance. One of the most well-known tricks is to twist your words to use what you say against you, laying the blame for the accident or incident on you. This gives the insurance company a reason to deny your claim or make an offer that might not even cover your medical expenses.
- The attorneys for the insurance companies know that the average person does not know personal injury laws and insurance regulations. They can use this against you by convincing you that the compensation they offer is the highest amount they can “legally” pay.
- Most people who use an attorney recover up to three times more compensation than those who do not retain an attorney.
Additionally, the insurance company also knows that you are more likely to abandon settlement negotiations sooner and go to litigation if you have an attorney. Insurance companies do not like to go to court because of the increased risk of paying a significant amount more than a fair and reasonable amount you might have settled for.
Can You Afford a Duluth Slip and Fall Accident Attorney?
At Nicolet Law, our initial case evaluation is free. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that you do not pay attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. When we meet for your initial case evaluation, we will go over the potential expenses for a trip or slip and fall case. We do not hide any expenses and will let you know the cost of depositions, expert witnesses, investigators, and filing fees and answer all your questions.
Duluth Slip and Fall Accident FAQs
Why Should I Hire a Duluth Slip and Fall Lawyer?
When you hire a slip and fall accident lawyer in our Duluth office, you immediately boost the chances of a favorable outcome in your case. From the moment you partner with us, you know an experienced legal professional is handling your case.
Here are some other top reasons to hire one of our personal injury lawyers. We promise to:
- Prepare a compelling case: Our experienced lawyers can collect and organize evidence to support your claim and maximize your settlement.
- Keep track of key deadlines: Meeting critical deadlines will keep your case on schedule to secure a successful outcome.
- Handle intimidation tactics: Our lawyers are skilled in handling corporations, property owners, and insurance companies who resort to unethical tactics to pressure injured people.
- Negotiate on your behalf: Our skilled lawyers can professionally negotiate the settlement you deserve with minimal stress or hassle.
- Receive legal support throughout your case: You can count on your lawyer to support you from start to finish as your case moves forward.
The best way to learn about the benefits of hiring a slip and fall lawyer is to schedule a complimentary consultation with our award-winning personal injury law firm in Duluth.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Two of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in Duluth are wet floors and trip hazards. However, many other variables can contribute to slips and falls.
Most slip and fall accidents occur due to one or more of the following conditions:
- Excess Cleaning Residue: The cleaning process may make floors more slippery, primarily from using the wrong tools or cleaning solutions.
- Loose Throw Rugs: While they might be easy on the eyes, unsecured throw rugs can cause people to slip. Non-skid rugs are a safer alternative.
- Cluttered or Dirty Walkways: Slipping is more likely to occur in hallways, aisles, and stairwells littered with dust and debris.
- Spills and Puddles: Duluth’s snowy and icy weather can cause moisture to accumulate on floors as people enter and exit buildings.
- Dim Lighting: Poor lighting prevents people from seeing moisture on floors or wet floor signage that might be in place.
- Uneven Flooring: Floorboards can become loose and warped over time, eventually leading to an uneven surface that can be a trip hazard.
- Missing Hand Rails: When supportive hand railings are not present, people are more likely to slip and fall, especially on slick stairs.
What Types of Injuries Are Linked to Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents can cause injury to bones, internal organs, nerves, and soft tissue. Falls can lead to partial or complete paralysis and even death in rare cases.
Some of the most common types of injuries include the following:
- Wrist Sprains: When people extend their arms to cushion their bodies during a fall, the impact may cause sprains or fractures to the wrists.
- Broken Bones: Falls often result in fractured and broken bones in the legs and arms. Falls can also lead to broken collarbones and hips.
- Concussions: Head injuries such as concussions are among the most severe injuries a fall can cause. Other brain injuries may also occur.
- Back Injuries: A fall can cause vertebrae in the back and neck to fracture. Slipped or bulging discs may also develop due to a fall.
How Do I Know if I Have a Strong Case?
One of our experienced personal injury lawyers can listen to your story to see whether you have a strong case. While you may feel that you deserve compensation, it is difficult to determine if you have a solid claim without extensive legal analysis. Our lawyers have the skills needed to evaluate your claim and determine if you have sufficient evidence to prove that another party’s negligence caused your injuries.
Do I Need an Attorney to Handle My Slip and Fall Case?
Yes. Your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve are much higher if you hire a lawyer. Unless you are an experienced Duluth lawyer, it is easy to be overwhelmed by Minnesota’s complex slip and fall laws.
Here are some other reasons why it makes sense to hire our slip and fall lawyers to handle your case:
- A legal case is too expensive for many people. When Nicolet Law handles your case, we cover many costs you may not foresee.
- You are likely to encounter obstacles gathering evidence on your own. Doctors, witnesses, and police officers are more responsive to lawyers.
- Your lack of legal experience is likely to hurt you. Even if you have a great case, you will likely not match up with skilled opposing lawyers.
In addition to these factors, you need to consider your time and health. Building a compelling case requires time, effort, and energy. If you are incapacitated or busy with rehab, you may lack the physical fitness to build a solid case. When you hire Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, they will conduct the research and legal legwork. This assistance allows you to focus on your recovery and daily responsibilities.
What Is a Legal Consultation, and How Can I Prepare for One?
A legal consultation is an initial meeting with a lawyer who could potentially handle your slip and fall case. Some law firms offer complimentary consultations, while others may charge a modest fee. You can expect an initial legal consultation to last 30 to 60 minutes, though some consultations may be longer or shorter in length.
There are two key reasons to participate in a legal consultation:
- To determine whether you feel comfortable hiring a law firm to handle your slip and fall claim; and
- To determine whether you may be eligible to receive compensation for the injuries sustained during your slip and fall accident.
To prepare for a legal consultation, you should organize the details surrounding your fall and make a list of any questions you have. This strategy will allow you to maximize your time with a prospective lawyer.
While each consultation is different, here is what you can expect during your meeting:
- You share your story: The firm may ask you to provide a summary of the events and conditions surrounding your slip and fall accident.
- The lawyer reviews your case: A skilled lawyer will determine if you have a solid legal claim based on the details you share about your fall.
- Review payment terms: Our firm handles cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will not have to worry about paying upfront costs.
- Sign an agreement: If the lawyer determines you have a solid claim and you feel comfortable hiring them, you then sign an agreement.
When Is the Optimal Time to Call a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Duluth?
Reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible following your accident while the circumstances and factors contributing to your fall are fresh in your mind. When you wait longer to contact a lawyer, it will be harder to reconstruct the conditions of your fall. In general, seek treatment for your injuries, then call a slip and fall lawyer.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Duluth Slip and Fall Lawyer?
You do not have to pay any up-front costs when you hire a slip and fall attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers. In contrast to other law offices, we will take your fall accident case on a contingency basis. This payment structure means you won’t have to pay an advance payment or retainer fee. Nicolet Law will cover the cost of any expenses during your case and will receive a percentage of your settlement or verdict once we resolve your case.
Here are the benefits of working with our lawyers on a contingency fee basis:
- You don’t have to make any advance payments. This delayed payment can be a huge relief, especially if you cannot work due to your injuries.
- Your odds of receiving compensation are high. Lawyers working on a contingency fee basis often won’t take cases that look weak.
- If you lose your case, you will not owe any fees. Your lawyer assumes the financial risk upfront.
How Do I Hire a Duluth Slip and Fall Lawyer?
At Nicolet Law, we make it easy for you to get the legal support you deserve. In just three simple steps, you can rest easy knowing one of our experienced slip and fall attorneys is fighting for your rights.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Step one: Contact us for your complimentary consultation. You can reach us by telephone or use our secure online chat.
- Step two: Tell us your story. We will review the details of your slip and fall accident to determine whether you are entitled to compensation.
- Step three: Review and sign an agreement. If we determine you have a valid case, we will prepare an agreement to sign and immediately start working on your claim.
Our Duluth office is conveniently located at 306 West Superior Street in Suite 606, and we can meet here. We can also visit you at home or another location if you have a medical condition that prevents you from traveling to our location. To explore these options, simply call us.
Connecting with our legal team is a crucial step to receiving the compensation you deserve. We look forward to serving as your slip and fall lawyer in Duluth.
When You Need a Duluth Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer, Trust Nicolet Law to Protect Your Rights
You have enough on your plate as you attempt to put your life back together after an injury. The last thing you need to do is spend your time and energy fighting with the insurance companies or gathering evidence.