Every accident and lawsuit is different, but there are some basic steps to building a slip and fall claim:
- After a slip and fall accident in Rhode Island: What you do and say after a slip and fall accident in RI has significant impact. You need evidence photos of the area and names, addresses of witnesses to the incident, and avoid saying or doing anything that indicates you were not injured or that the accident was your fault! If you are injured in a large business or grocery store, their insurance adjusters, employees, or attorneys may require you to fill out incident reports or answer questions, and it is important that you stick to the basic facts of the accident every time. If possible, decline to comment at all, until you have spoken with an attorney.
- Value of a slip and fall accident lawsuit A lay person cannot determine damages or value their own claim without an experienced RI personal injury attorney.
- Conditions that limit liability: If you should have been aware of the dangers of the area where you slipped before your accident, then you may not be able to collect any or all of the damages you claim. A defendant can point to posted warning signs or obvious hazards in an effort to cast blame on you.
Winning a slip and fall lawsuit in Rhode Island or negotiating a favorable settlement takes legal expertise. A Rhode Island slip and fall attorney can counter liability defenses and give you the best chance at getting the money you deserve. Many Providence premises liability attorneys offer free consultations and do not get paid unless you win the lawsuit or accept a settlement.
Never Sign Any Offer Until Your East Providence Accident Attorney Approves
If you intend on pursuing a slip and fall lawsuit in RI, be aware that signing any settlement offer will prevent you from taking legal action in the future.
Time Matters in Slip and Fall Claims
A slip and fall lawsuit must be filed within a given period of time called the Statute of Limitations (SOS). If you snooze on the deadline, you lose the right to sue, even though you have an otherwise valid cause of action. Generally, for a slip and fall matter, the SOL would be three years. The Statute of Limitations in Rhode Island for trip and fall or slip and fall is 3 years.
Exceptions to the above are:
- If you are injured in a large business,
- Public or private school,
- government building, or
- public place,
In the above instances, you have additional deadlines to file notice of the incident in order to preserve your slip and fall claim. These deadlines are short, so contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Suing the Government for Slip and Fall
Making a claim against a government body has different rules, varying according to laws or ordinances. Many government entities require you file a “Statement of Intent to file a lawsuit” before doing so. The time frame is shorter than the regular Statute of Limitations.
If your Providence attorney states there is a lengthy period of time before a lawsuit must be filed, use the time to gather all your information:
- medical care and treatment,
- photos immediately to justify your claim;
- get contact information
- confirm witness statements. Realize they move, memories fade, and evidence can disappear.
Do not rely on opposing parties, insurance adjusters, or their attorneys to help you at any point during the slip and fall claim. You need an attorney to achieve the compensation you deserve.
Checklist of Reminders to Take to Personal Injury Attorney Conference:
· 1. File your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. The statute of limitations varies from state to state, but is three years in Rhode island and Providence Plantations.
· 2 Prepare for the lawsuit by assembling all information, medical care and treatment expenses. Take photos immediately to justify your claim and value.
· 3 Acquire all the contact information and statements from witnesses immediately, so you have their testimony secure.
· 4 Determine owner of the accident property for your slip-and-fall accident. Show the property owner caused the unsafe condition, usually by spilling something and not cleaning it up or by leaving something on the floor in a heavily traveled area.
A wise client cooperates and assists his RI slip and fall lawyer to further his case. Compilation of financial records, medical statements and witnesses should be supplied by you in a timely manner. “ Be at his service when required and stay out of his way when not,” is the best rule of behavior for a client. Remember your personal injury attorney in Rhode Island is working for your best interests.