Were you or a loved one injured in Mississippi and have questions about what to do after a slip and fall injury? Give us a call for legal help.
1) Choose The Right Attorney
When it comes to choosing the right attorney for a slip and fall case in Mississippi, the recommendation that I make to folks is not that different from what I tell people looking into other types of cases. A slip and fall claim is going to involve injuries, most likely. If the injuries are substantial or if the defendant and their insurance carrier are looking to fight liability or coverage on the claim, it’s going to lead to litigation.
One of the first things you want to be looking for in an attorney to represent you on a slip and fall personal injury claim is an attorney who regularly does litigation— an attorney who handles personal injury claims, hopefully on a daily basis or very regularly, and who does litigation of those claims. It’s not just a matter of picking up the phone and telling them how much you want. You need an attorney who is willing to go to the mat and fight for your claim to get you what you’re due and what is fair. The insurance company, the insurance adjuster, and the defense counsel on the other side (assuming your case goes to litigation), are going to have a lot more respect for someone who works those claims regularly and who they know are willing to litigate.
You need an attorney who regularly does personal injury claims and regularly litigates those claims. Ideally, what would really be to your benefit is an attorney who has particular expertise and experience in slip and falls, or what we would legally call premises liability cases. If they have worked those cases and have experience on that particular type of case involving claims for injuries arising from premises liability, then they’re going to have an understanding of the law in that particular practice area. They’re going to have some experience of understanding how to work up the case, what kind of evidence is needed to properly prove the case, what pitfalls there are, both in terms of evidence and legally, in a trial on working that particular type of case. If you have an attorney who has litigation experience working personal injury claims, has experience specifically with premises liability or what we call slip and fall cases, and has had success with those, then you’re getting on the right track to getting the right attorney for your claim, whether that is in Mississippi or anywhere else.
Here at Brad Morris Law Firm, we have extensive experience with premises liability claims and with injuries that arise from slip and falls and other premises injuries, and we’re here to help. Just reach out to us through our website, give us a call, and we’ll try to get you on the right track and get you the help you need.
2) Determine Liability
A common question that comes up is, “If I got hurt falling on the steps or faulty stairs or a faulty handrail over at my friend’s house but the friend doesn’t actually own the house, she rents it,” it could be a house or apartment, “is there potential liability against the landowner on that?” The answer is potentially yes. If the injury happened as the result of someone else’s negligence – in this instance it would be negligence concerning faulty stairs, faulty steps or a faulty handrail, or some other defect in the property – yes, the owner of that land is potentially liable for that.
The way these claims usually would play out in that scenario is there would be some form of landlord insurance policy or landowner insurance policy that would cover personal injuries on the property where there’s liability. There would be liability if there was knowledge of that danger and it wasn’t corrected, or some other form of wrongful conduct that created that dangerous situation and lead to the injury. There’s also potential, always – and we see it not uncommonly – if there had been some construction there, whether it was new construction or if there had been some form of recent renovations. Sometimes, injuries are caused because of a defect in the workmanship or construction of those stairs or handrail. That potentially is liability on the third party who did the construction or who did the renovations, sort of flowing through the landowner or property owner to that third party who actually did the work and who actually – their error or misconduct or faulty work created that situation.
It’s fact-dependent. Even if you’re over at a neighbor’s house or apartment or a friend’s house or apartment and they don’t own it, there is certainly and frequently liability there just the same. It all boils down to wrongful conduct and whether or not somebody, through their wrongful conduct, cause that injury. If they did, they’re responsible for it. Typically, there is some form of either landowner insurance or professional liability insurance.
You need competent legal counsel in order to be able to pursue those. It’s important that you have legal counsel that has experience with premises liability claims and personal injury claims so that they know what they’re up against and they know how to best workup those claims to get full value for the client. Here at Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC, we have had experience with those. We’ve had success representing people who are injured in premises liability claims as a result of someone else’s negligence, and we’re here to answer your questions. Reach out to us through our website or call us on the phone and we’ll do what we can to get you pointed in the right direction and get you the help that you need.
3) Avoid These Common Mistakes
There are several common mistakes that people make with regard to premises liability claims, such as slip and falls, that we see from time to time as potential clients approach us about representation. Let’s run through just a few of those in the context of premises liability claims, or what we often call slip and fall cases. A number of these common mistakes really could apply to all kinds of personal injury cases or just legal claims in general.
Looking through some of the big ones, probably the single biggest mistake that people make with regards to a legal claim is just waiting too long to bring that claim. The law has very strict deadlines for which a person can bring a personal injury claim. In the state of Mississippi, for instance, the general statute of limitations deadline, which is what we call these time limits for bringing a claim, is three years here. There are certain factors or circumstances where that statute of limitations can be significantly shorter than three years. For instance, if it involves a public entity like a school, a city or county government, or the state government, or any subdivisions of them, that could be reduced to one year in Mississippi.
There are also instances, however, where that three-year period could potentially be expanded, such as when a person is incapacitated or when the claim involves minors, but there’s still very strict limits on the time period for bringing those claims. You cannot play around with the statute of limitations periods. If you wait too long and the statute passes, the claim is barred and you can’t re-bring it up, you can’t say I’m sorry, and the claim is just forever barred and you will never get compensated. The biggest threat and mistake that people make is waiting too long. It’s not just waiting too long until that statute passes, but it’s also waiting too long to consult an attorney. If you show up the day before the statute has run up, or in some cases even a week or month or two before, there isn’t always time for the attorney to do what they need to do to prepare that claim and really protect your rights. Don’t wait.
Another big mistake that people make with all sorts of personal injury claims, but it certainly applies to premises liability or slip and fall claims as well, is not getting the medical treatment that they need. They’re focused on getting back to work or taking care of the family, or this or that, and they don’t put a priority on getting the medical treatment. Part of that is psychological. We all do it. We want to believe we’re going to be okay. We don’t like admitting that we’re injured or need help.
Medical treatment is scary. If you’ve been injured, one, just from a health perspective, it is so important to get that injury treated. Do it as soon as you know you’re injured and follow the doctor’s and other medical professionals’ advice on continuing treatment, whether that be physical rehab or follow up appointments. Listen to them. They’re there to help you. Follow their advice, go to the follow-up appointments, and go to the other appointments that are designed to help you recover. For one, you’ll be healthier as a result of it, but, from a legal perspective, it also helps with the claim because it’s providing documentation.
A big part, oftentimes, of what’s involved in proving and supporting a claim and getting maximum value for that claim is the documentation. It’s not just documentation that an injury happened, it’s also documentation of the treatment, of the diagnosis, of how that injury is impacting the person over the course of treatment and recovery. If the person is getting the medical help that they need and the treatment that medical professionals are recommending, it’s not only helping them physically, but it’s also providing a detailed record of all the different ways that this is intruding on their life, physically, mentally and in terms of daily living. That information becomes very helpful in terms of pursuing and proving the legal claim.
Finally, a big mistake people make is trying in the beginning, or sometimes longer than the beginning, to pursue the claim themselves and trying to deal with the oppositional insurance company on their own. Not getting competent legal counsel on these claims is a big mistake, as is reaching out to legal counsel who doesn’t actually have experience working personal injury claims or litigating personal injury claims. Don’t try to do it yourself. Get competent legal counsel involved. Don’t just go get your divorce attorney or the attorney that does your land deeds. Reach out to an attorney who actually does personal injury litigation on a regular basis— ideally an attorney with a track record of success and experience on premises liability and slip and fall cases. Rest assured, the outcome is going to be better and you will be more aptly represented if you do that.
Try to avoid these common mistakes if you have a premises liability or slip and fall case. Try to avoid these mistakes on any personal injury claim that you have. At the Brad Morris Law Firm, we are available through our website and through our phone, if you have further questions about your premises liability or slip and fall claim. Call us and we’ll try to answer your questions. We’ll do our very best to get you pointed in the right direction and get you the help you need.
4) Understand Your Timeline
A fairly common type of personal injury claim is the premises liability claim or what a lot of people commonly refer to as slip and fall cases. Whenever we have one of those cases, clients often ask how long it’s going to take for their premises liability claim here in Mississippi to wrap up. Typically, on these types of personal injury claims, you’re looking at around three to six months from the time you get an attorney involved. If the insurance adjuster for the other side is being reasonable and the insurance carrier for the defendant is genuinely interested in resolving the case for a fair amount, and if the extent of the injuries are pretty clearly defined and there’s not a lot of disagreement in terms of putting a value on those, and if fault is very clear, then there’s a decent chance the case could get resolved and get you a fair settlement within three to six months of hiring an attorney.
Now, if any of those factors are off – in other words, say there’s a lot of damages or a potential recovery in controversy or liability is disputed— that could contribute to having to go to litigation and file suit and extend the time period that it takes to pursue that suit.
With most cases, once you file a lawsuit, you’re looking at anywhere from six months to eighteen months. More complicated cases are going to take longer, such as with cases with higher damages at issue, serious questions or challenges about fault and liability, or just unique legal issues that may have to go up on appeal. All those things could factor in to that case take longer. Typically, if a case is going to resolve before suit is filed or there’s not a lot of controversy, three to six months is what it will take. If suit is filed because different issues are being contested or the case is complex, you’re looking at typically six to eighteen months, but that number could stretch out to 24 or even 36 months on more complex litigation.
The most important thing is to have legal assistance involved to help you along the way. That’s typically going to result in a quicker, fairer resolution. Here at Brad Morris Law Firm, we’re available to answer questions and try to point you in the right direction on your premises liability or slip and fall claim. Just reach out to us through our website or give us a call.
Were you or a loved one injured from a slip and fall in Mississippi and have questions about what to do after a slip and fall injury? Contact the experienced Mississippi slip and fall injury attorney, Brad Morris, today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Our goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve.
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