No, you do not necessarily need to hire a lawyer for your Lafayette slip and fall case. You have a legal right to represent yourself during an insurance claim, settlement negotiations, or a personal injury lawsuit. However, working with a lawyer could provide you with many benefits.
Understanding the steps involved in a slip and fall case and the support a lawyer could give may help you decide whether to proceed with or without representation. Many victims find that working with a personal injury law firm allows them to focus on getting their life back to normal and recovering from their injuries.
Understanding the Steps to Take to Recover Compensation After Fall Injuries
You must navigate many steps to secure a payout in a successful slip and fall case. This typically includes:
Collecting Evidence to Prove Negligence and Liability
Even if the other party is clearly at fault for your accident, their insurance company may not offer you a fair settlement without hard evidence to show their policyholder’s negligence and liability. This evidence could come from:
- Surveillance or security footage of the accident
- Statements from witnesses
- Photos of your injuries or the accident scene
- Your relevant medical records
If you work with a Lafayette personal injury law firm, your lawyer will seek, identify, and collect all of this evidence on your behalf. You will not have to worry about uncovering and documenting the proof of what happened to you.
Documenting Your Related Expenses, Losses, and Other Damages
This critical part of your case involves identifying and proving the value of the losses that you have a legal right to recover. Depending on the details of your case, your damages may include:
- All past, current, and future accident-related medical care
- Property damage
- Lost wages for the income you missed due to your injuries and recovery period
- Reduced earning capability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Some of these damages come with a bill, receipt, or other documentation, while others do not. A lawyer from our firm will know what evidence to use to assign a value to each of your damage types, including non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Without such supporting evidence, the insurance company may refuse to pay you a fair amount.
Handling Communication and Negotiations with Other Parties
A slip and fall case will likely require you to speak with the other party’s insurance agent on multiple occasions. You must be careful when doing so, as they might be able to use your statements as evidence against you and reduce the value of your claim.
When you have a lawyer from our team represent you, they will manage all of the communications on your behalf. This includes answering questions, providing your side of the story, demanding a fair payout, and negotiating a just settlement agreement.
Preparing and Submitting Paperwork
The paperwork in a slip and fall case needs to be submitted accurately and on time. If not, it could jeopardize your right to recover compensation. Your attorney will prepare and submit paperwork to the insurer or a Lafayette Parish civil court if needed. They know how to file claims and lawsuits and will do so under the necessary time constraints when possible.
The Louisiana Statute of Limitations on Premises Liability Injuries
The most significant deadline you should be aware of is the statute of limitations, or legal time limit to sue. In Lafayette, CC Art. 3492 sets the general deadline for personal injury lawsuits at just one year following the date of the injuries.
Even if your goal is to receive a settlement and avoid a lawsuit, you must keep this timeline in mind. If the insurance company stalls or refuses to make you a fair offer, you may need to rely on a lawsuit to try to compel them to pay you. If you wait too long and lose your right to sue, you may lose your negotiating leverage against the insurer, too.
Accordingly, you should monitor the statute of limitations in your case and act without delay. A lawyer will help you do this. They can also help you prepare, submit, interpret, and review all paperwork in your case. You can feel confident that you understand what it means and that it is accurate.
Our Slip and Fall Attorneys Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
Some people wish to avoid working with a lawyer out of fear that they cannot afford their services or may get stuck with a sizeable out-of-pocket bill. Because most personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis, you should not have to worry about this.
Unlike when you hire a family law or criminal defense attorney, injured victims of a personal injury accident do not need to pay a retainer to hire our law firm. There are no upfront payments in this arrangement. Instead, our attorneys get paid only if we secure a financial recovery for the client.
When a lawyer works for a contingent fee, it means their payment comes as a predetermined percentage of your court award or settlement offer. If you win your case, the check goes through your lawyer, who will deduct their portion and send you the remainder. If you do not win your case, your lawyer will not bill you for their services.
Learn More About What Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Can Do for You
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we are a customer-focused firm. If you trust us to represent you, we will make sure you feel informed and supported throughout your case. We help slip and fall victims in Lafayette and operate on a contingency fee basis.
If you would like to learn more about the legal process, your options, and our services in a free case review with a member of our personal injury team, you can reach our Lafayette office today. Call (337) 777-7777 to get started.
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