Lawsuits Whenever You Are Hurt By a Business, We Make It Our Business to Help.

Slip and Fall Frequently Asked Questions: Lawsuits

LAWSUITS -- IS IT NECESSARY TO FILE A LAWSUIT EVERY TIME

  1. What’s the difference between making a claim and filing a lawsuit?

No, it is not necessary each and every time. But, we have found that filing a lawsuit in a premises liability case is usually a good idea to maximize your recovery. Insurance companies only pay large amounts of money when they are afraid of losing more. A settlement demand does NOT make an insurance company scared of losing money; a jury verdict does.

  1. When is it a good idea to file a lawsuit rather than just make a claim for money?

Generally speaking, it is always a good idea to file the lawsuit when your injuries are more severe or permanent. The investigation done prior to paying a settlement is very similar to that done in a lawsuit anyway – so it just makes sense to do both at the same time and put fear into the insurance company of future risk.

Also, we must file a lawsuit when responsibility for the injury is denied by the landowner or business insurance company. Otherwise, there is no way of forcing a settlement.

  1. Must I file a lawsuit if I hire you? The idea of a trial scares me.

No, it is not necessary, unless responsibility is denied by the landowner or business for your injury. But, it is often a good idea to file a lawsuit if your injuries are severe and we are seeking big money settlement.

Remember, 98% of all our cases NEVER see the inside of a court room. Most cases settle out-of-court.

  1. Do I actually sue the business landowner or its insurance company? I don’t want to go to trial.

This is a tricky question – although we must name the business or landowner as the “official” defendant in a premises liability case by law (not the insurance company), you will see it is actually the insurance company that hires the lawyer and decides upon any settlement or litigation strategy.

This arcane law is based upon the idea that naming the insurance company officially in paperwork would prejudice a jury against that insurance company and the business that purchased that insurance. Dumb law, but for now, it stands.

  1. If I file a lawsuit, does that mean it must go to a jury trial?

No, almost 98% of all of our cases do NOT ever see the inside of a court room at any time. And most of our cases settle for money out-of-court.

  1. If I do file a lawsuit, can I still settle my case?

Yes, you can still settle your lawsuit at any time during the case prior to trial. In fact, the Court will require you to attend a settlement conference with the opposing side before allowing a case to proceed to a jury trial. Also, we have settled cases the day before or the day of a jury trial, too. It all depends.

  1. If I file a lawsuit, am I suing the business or its insurance company?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Will I be hurting the business or any employee if I file a lawsuit?

No, just like you have automobile insurance, almost all business landowners purchase insurance to provide coverage for persons injured on its land. Some companies are so large they are self-insured or must pay a large deductible and that sometimes hinders our ability to effectuate a fair settlement as it comes directly out of their pocket.

LAWSUITS -- DOES FILING A LAWSUIT TAKE LONGER

  1. Will filing a lawsuit mean a settlement takes longer?

Not necessarily. Litigation always takes a little longer because big money is involved and insurance companies will commit to an extensive investigation before they decided to pay bigger money for a settlement. Money transactions always take time.

Also, courts tend to set deadlines far in advance and attorneys use all of the available time for each stage of a case (ask me about the typical stages of a lawsuit).

  1. Who pays my medical bills while I am waiting for a settlement? Won’t I get sued by my doctor?

Some business landowners have a separate insurance policy covering medical payments for bills of people injured on its land regardless of fault. It is rare, but it does exist. We ask whether this coverage exists in every single claim or case we handle for you. If it exists, we can get SOME bills paid up to the amount of the policy limits owned by the landowner/business quickly.

Indiana premises law (law when somebody is hurt on another’s land) does NOT require any business or landowner to pay your medical bills.

Nobody is found responsible before it is proven that they were “at fault” or responsible in some way for the injuries caused by acting unreasonably under the circumstances. Just like an alleged criminal is presumed to be innocent in a criminal court of law, a landowner is presumed to not be responsible for anything – including medical bill payments – until it is proven.

There are two ways to prove it and get your medical bills paid: (1) a settlement and (2) a jury verdict.

We will try to contact your medical billers and see if they are willing to delay collection until your case is over.

Or we will see if a litigation lender is willing to lend you money with your case acting as your collateral.

  1. Why does it take so long to investigate what happened, I already told them how I fell?

Whenever big money is involved (and this includes settlements), the insurance company want to make certain it is deserved. They will check for fraud. They will check and see if your injuries can be blamed on something that happened in your past; or something that happened after your fall. This includes poring over your medical records before and after your fall. It might include talking to your doctor or another reviewing doctor to look over your records

They will want to ask why you fell.

And they will want to see if the business landowner truly did something unreasonable that caused your fall. That includes talking to witnesses.

All of this takes time. And your patience. But, if you hang in there, most people find it was worth the wait.

LAWSUITS -- WHAT AM I REQUIRED TO PROVE TO WIN

  1. Why does everybody keep talking about “fault?” Wasn’t this just an accident?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Why is “fault” required to be proven by us rather than them?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What is the difference between “fault” and “negligence?”

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. How can they blame me and say I was at fault in any way for my own fall when they didn’t see it?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. How do I prove it was the fault of the landowner or business where I fell without a witness who saw me fall?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Who determines who is at fault? The attorneys? The Judge? The jury?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Why do I get less money if it was partially my fault?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What happens if I am not sure why I fell?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What is “notice?”

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What is “standard of care” owed to me by the business or landowner?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. How do I prove the business or landowner knew about the danger beforehand?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. It was snowing or raining at the time of my fall. Does that mean the business or landowner escapes “fault?”

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. If there was no warning signs or cones in the area at the time of my fall, does that mean I automatically win?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. If there was a warning cones or signs in the area at the time of my fall, does that mean I automatically lose?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

LAWSUITS -- WHAT AM I REQUIRED TO DO BY YOU

  1. What does “cooperating” with you mean exactly? Must I agree to whatever you say?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Do I have any say in the settlement amount?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What if we disagree about the settlement amount, what do we do then?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

LAWSUITS -- WHAT AM I REQUIRED TO DO THEM

  1. What can the other side force me to do during a lawsuit?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What are interrogatories? Why must I answer written questions, I hired you to do that?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What is a deposition?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Will you prepare me before I give a deposition?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Will the Judge or jury be there at the deposition?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Why can they force me to give them my medical records?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Why can they force me to identify and give them old medical records that have nothing to do with this case?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Can they see my mental health or rehab records?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Why can they force me to see their doctor for an examination?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

LAWSUITS -- WHAT AM I REQUIRED TO DO BY YOU

  1. Why do I get less if I had arthritis before I fell? It wasn’t hurting me before I fell?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What are my choices if I do not agree to the settlement amount you recommend?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What about my lost wages or income?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Will I be able to get more money later after a settlement if I need a future surgery or treatment?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A SETTLEMENT CHECK IS RECEIVED

  1. Who gets the settlement check? Do you mail it to me?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. How long will it take to get my money after the check is received by you?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. How do I get my portion from you?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. How long will it take to get from you?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What if the settlement amount was less than I expected?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Can we renegotiate your attorney fee when the check comes in?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Why must I pay back my health insurance company for paying my medical bills?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Will I know the amount I am getting in my pocket before I agree to a settlement?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. You make this sound too easy, it must be too good to be true?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Why would an insurance company adjuster lie to me over the phone?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Is my settlement money taxed by the IRS? Why not?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

PARTICULAR TYPES OF FALLS

  1. Can I sue my landlord for something that happens in my apartment or parking lot even though I live there?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Can I only hire an attorney for a slip and fall? What other types of injuries can I sue a business landowner for?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Does it matter if I fell backwards or forwards? What if I hurt myself without actually falling to the ground?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What if I fell at a friend’s house? I don’t want to sue my friend, can I still get a settlement?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. Can I sue my employer if I fell at work? What is worker’s compensation?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What if another person hurt me on business property, can I still sue the business?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What if I fell off the business property like in a parking lot next door, can I still sue the business?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

  1. What is meant by damages? Is it more than just bills and lost wages?

See our previous link (here) for what to do immediately after a fall to help get a settlement fairly and quickly.

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  • I Told Him He Now Felt Like a Member of Our Family More Than Our Attorney.

    “Mr. Shaw told me from the beginning that he would be willing to help me and my husband get justice. Through every step of the way, he explained what was happening and why.”

    - Stephanie B.
  • Your Law Firm Is Number One in Indiana. You Receive an A+ in My Book.

    “I was very satisfied with the outcome. Your law firm is number one in Indiana. You have a very kind, professional attitude that's full of compassion. You receive an A+ in my book. Thanks again for all your help.”

    - April H.
  • Mr. Shaw Was Incredibly Helpful and More Than Willing to Explain

    “Mr. Shaw was incredibly helpful and more than willing to explain how he was thinking each step of the way. His diligence in returning my communications and exploring my legal options was greatly appreciated.”

    - Michael R.
  • Wonderful, So Very Helpful and Thoughtful

    “Thank you so much for all your expertise concerning my fall. I really do not know how I could have settled matters without you. I really appreciate the check. You have been wonderful and so very helpful and thoughtful. Again, my sincerest thanks.”

    - Dominique P.
  • Mr. Shaw Was a Complete Professional

    “We were clients of Shaw Law Offices with Mr. JJ Shaw as our lawyer. We would like to take this opportunity to tell you what a thoroughly outstanding job that he did for us in our personal injury case.”

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  • $750,000 Settlement in Indianapolis, IN

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  • $605,000 $605,000 Verdict in Valparaiso, IN

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    $500,000 Verdict for Woman Slip and Fall in Domino's Pizza Restaurant on Water (Reduced to $375,000)

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