Slip and fall cases are increasingly common and can lead to severe personal injuries. When you slip and fall, you lose your balance because of a hazard and fall. Often, slip and fall accidents result in injuries including but not limited to: broken bones, cuts, strains, sprains and tears, spinal damage, and more. Unfortunately, these injuries can also lead to undue financial hardship because of medical expenses, lost work, and other accident-related costs.
Accordingly, you should know that if a person and/or company is responsible for your injuries, you may have grounds for a slip and fall lawsuit. But before filing your lawsuit, you should understand how many slip and fall cases go to trial and the likelihood of your case seeing a court date.
For a free case evaluation and more information, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-516-342-2200!
How Is a Slip and Fall Case Classified?
In the New York State legal system, slip and fall cases are most often classified as personal injury cases. Therefore, if you were to slip and fall due to the negligence of another person, you could sue them for damages to cover the cost of your medical and rehabilitative bills, lost and/or destroyed property, and other expenses related to your accident and injuries.
Negligence in such cases is proven by:
- Showing that another person or party had a duty toward your safety
- Showing that the negligent person or party ignored that duty
- Showing that said ignorance contributed to or caused your injuries
For example, imagine entering a restaurant to eat with your family. However, you slip on a wet spot on the floor, falling and breaking your wrist. If the restaurant did not put up a “Wet Floor” sign or otherwise try to prevent the accident, they would likely be found negligent and liable for your injuries.
A successful slip and fall personal injury lawsuit could result in compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost income if your injuries resulted in you having to take time off work
- Property that was damaged and/or destroyed in the accident
- And more!
In all likelihood, however, you’ll only receive this kind of compensation if you have knowledgeable, experienced attorneys on your side.Schwartzapfel Lawyerswill fight for you both in and outside of court whether your case goes to trial or is resolved through mediation or arbitration. Contact us today online or at 1-516-342-2200 for a free case evaluation and/or consultation.
So, How Many Slip and Fall Cases Go to Court?
While it’s possible to sue a negligent or at-fault party for slip and fall injuries, very few of these cases make it to court. In fact, according to the Department of Justice, only about 3.5% of all personal injury cases go to trial.
The vast majority of all personal injury lawsuits:
- Settle out of court
- Are dropped by the claimant for one reason or another
Of the personal injury lawsuits that do go to court, some are settled by a jury trial while others (~1%) are decided by a judge.
Therefore, even if you have evidence proving another party is responsible for your slip and fall injuries, you should not expect your lawsuit to result in a court trial under most circumstances.
Why Do So Few Slip and Fall Cases Go to Trial?
Very few slip and fall cases go to trial primarily because of the time and costs involved for both sides. Moreover, the evidence for slip and fall cases is usually fairly accessible; thus, it’s often easy for lawyers on both sides of a dispute to determine whether one party, the other, or both were at fault or negligent.
Given these tendencies, most slip and fall cases are settled out of court. For example, the accused party may offer to pay the lawsuit claimant a certain amount of money in exchange for not dragging the matter out further. Alternatively, the accused party might discover that they were partially at fault for the accident and decide not to proceed with a lawsuit.
Court trials take a long time to resolve, even if they concern apparently open and shut cases. This increases the costs of legal assistance and court fees for both sides of a dispute. Since both parties want to walk away with as much money as possible, it’s often more profitable – and timely – to settle out of court.
When Should Your Case Go to Trial?
Now, there are times when your slip and fall case may go to trial. Your lawyers will advise you on this point. Possible scenarios here include but are not limited to:
You Have an Ironclad Case
Your slip and fall case might benefit from going to trial if you have a large amount of evidence supporting your story. For instance, if your lawyer can secure video evidence proving the negligence on the part of the accused, you might have a much greater chance of securing maximum compensation from a jury or judge trial.
You can get evidence to prove negligence, such as:
- Video footage from security cameras
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical notes and other information from doctors proving how your injuries were sustained
Note: In many cases, your lawyers can secure this evidence for you while you recover from your injuries.
You Need as Much Compensation as Possible
In other circumstances, you may find the initial settlement offer to be too low to cover your medical bills. When this happens, pursuing a court trial could be a way to maximize your compensation.
If the at-fault party was grossly negligent in their duties, you might secure more damages or compensation than you would from a settlement offer or arbitration meeting. Your lawyers can help maximize your monetary compensation payout by providing compelling evidence, presenting it effectively in court, and possibly showing malicious intent on behalf of the at-fault party.
As well, your lawyer may be able to estimate how much money you might receive from a favorable court outcome. That said, you should know that no lawyer, no matter their experience, can predict with 100% certainty what you’ll receive from a successful trial.
You Want to Make a Statement
Sometimes, it’s not about the money. It might be more about showing the at-fault restaurant owner, business owner, or another party that they can’t get away with their negligent behavior. To this end, your taking them to court can make a statement in public that can’t be ignored.
For more on this and related topics, speak with an experienced Schwartzapfel Lawyers trial attorney now at no charge. Simply dial 1-516-342-2200 and allow us the honor and privilege of assisting you in your legal endeavors.
When Should You Pursue an Out-of-Court Settlement?
While there are situations where pursuing a court trial is advantageous, your attorneys may advise otherwise depending on things like: your personal needs, the circumstances of your personal injury accident, and/or the severity of your injuries.
Your Attorneys Say It’s Wiser
If your attorneys tell you that it is smarter to pursue an out-of-court settlement or to accept a settlement offer from the negligent party, it is wise to listen to them. Attorneys with experience in trying slip and fall cases will be able to tell, based on the specifics of your claim, whether your lawsuit is likely to reach trial or eventually be successful.
This is important because a lawsuit that appears likely to result in a major payout may not be so airtight upon closer examination. Put differently: Whereas a layperson might see things one way, a judge or jury may not. Furthermore, some evidence may be more compelling to you than it will be in court. But you shouldn’t worry; here and elsewhere, your lawyers can assess whether this is the case and, consequently, will advise you of all viable options going forward.
Bottom line: If your personal injury attorneys recommend that you accept a settlement offer, you should heed their advice.
You Are Partially to Blame for Your Injuries
It may also be better to pursue or accept an out-of-court settlement if you are partially to blame for your injuries. Most slip and fall cases follow rules of pure comparative negligence. In essence, some personal injuries occurred due to negligence or inattention on the part of both parties, not just one.
Say that you slip and fall in a restaurant, as with the earlier example. In this instance, however, there is a “Wet Floor” sign – it’s just small and somewhat out of the way. The restaurant owner can make a good argument that you should have seen the “Wet Floor” sign even though it is a little smaller than other signs.
Here, the judge may rule you both partially responsible for the injuries sustained. Under the rules of pure comparative negligence, you could be held partly liable for your damages. This may reduce the monetary compensation you receive from your case or prevent you from getting any compensation whatsoever.
You Want a Faster Resolution
Lastly, it could be better to enter into mediation or arbitration, or simply settle out of court, if you want the matter resolved quickly and/or cannot wait the several months to years it may take for a court trial to finish. Note: The same holds true of most court trials even when you as the plaintiff have the evidence on your side.
And so, if your financial burdens are piling up and you need money fast, it may be wise to accept any satisfactory monetary offer provided to you early on by the negligent party. You may even be able to negotiate it into a larger sum with your lawyer’s assistance. In any event, keeping things out of court accelerates resolutions for everyone involved.
Depending on the circumstances of your slip and fall incident, the right move may be to either push for a court trial or settle out of court using a process like mediation or arbitration. The best way to know which is the better path for you is to contact knowledgeable slip and fall attorneys right away.
As experienced New York slip and fall lawyers, Schwartzapfel Lawyers is ready and able to take your case and will provide you with sound legal counsel from the start, all the way through the finish. Our lawyers can take a look at the facts of your case and tell you whether your lawsuit has a good chance of going to trial, or if the at-fault party is more likely to attempt a settlement.
You don’t have to go through the legal process alone, so don’t. Instead, have Schwartzapfel Lawyers help you recover all that you are entitled to by calling us at 1-516-342-2200 or contacting us online for a free consultation.
But you shouldn’t delay, as your window to file a claim may soon close forever. Your health and financial future are too important. Act now and save yourself miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the line. Dial 1-516-342-2200 and allow Schwartzapfel Lawyers the privilege of fighting – and winning – for you!