What You Need to Know to Win a Case
5 Things to Know about Slip and Falls in Indiana
- Slip and Falls are considered “torts” or “personal injury cases: This means it is a private lawsuit that one person brings against somebody or some company. It is not a criminal case; no one is going to jail. You are not required to prove the business that hurt you did something “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In fact, you only need to show that the business “probably” did something negligent (unreasonable) that directly led to your injury. Oftentimes, the Judge will refer to this “burden of proof” as “more likely than not” or “by a preponderance of the evidence.” All of these legal terms mean the same thing — that your side is probably telling the truth about what happened.
- You Must Prove Your Case: In order to recover in Indiana, you must prove the Defendant did something wrong or failed to do something right that breached a duty owed to you. (See Types of Cases We Handle above for an explanation of “duty.”) That failure or action must be at least 50% of the reason for your injury or else you cannot recover a single dime.
- You Must Prove you were Damaged: This means you have to prove you actually suffered some type of harm that you can be monetarily compensated for. The damage or injury must be as a direct consequence of the negligent conduct by the Defendant.
- You Can Recover for a Pre-Exisiting Injury if It was Made Worse: even a pre-existing injury can be compensated under Indiana law by a jury if it was made worse by the Defendant’s negligent conduct. A jury must simply decide what the value of the worsening condition was.
- You Can Recover for Pain and Suffering (Even If You Did Not Suffer a Direct Impact or Fall): This is a difficult concept to understand for some people. But, an injured party can recover for mental anguish (often called pain and suffering) for any instance that caused a direct injury by impact (such as a fall or car crash). Additionally, Indiana law says a direct impact is not required (the Schaumber v. Henderson case) if the injury-producing result would naturally cause mental anguish reasonably in most people (such as seeing a loved one hit by a car).
- The Amount of Recovery Including Pain and Suffering Is Left Up to a Jury and is Not Required to Be a Strict Mathematical Calculation: This is a law the insurance companies hate in Indiana. A jury must reasonably compensate the injured person if negligence is proven, but it is not required that a mathematical calculation be done first. A jury must use its common sense in determining a fair amount.
- Your Recovery Can be Reduced or Eliminated If You Contributed to Your Own Fall: In Indiana, a jury can determine you were partially at fault or should have seen what was happening. Your award can be reduced by the amount of your own fault. A jury “divides” or apportions fault for both the defendant and the injured person (and any other potentially “at fault” person or entity) and starts at 100%. Anytime the injured person’s fault exceeds 50%, there is no recovery whatsoever. If the injured person’s fault is only 25%, for example, then the entire jury’s award figure is reduced by 25%. So, if a jury decides there was a $1,000,000 (One Million Dollar) injury, but the plaintiff was 25% at fault, the final verdict in plaintiff’s favor would be $750,000.
- Slip and Fall Injuries Can Occur Anywhere: Most often, slip and falls occur in stores or other public places. However, sometimes they happen when you are invited into somebody else’s home and sometimes when you are at work. Even if you have worker’s compensation paying for your bills and think you cannot sue your employer, sometimes there is another company that was responsible for maintenance.
- Your Damages will be Based on the Extent of your Actual Injuries and Can Include Medical Bills and Permanent Injury and Emotional Distress: The more severely injured you are, the more monetary compensation will be appropriate to pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering or emotional distress.
- Most Slip and Fall Cases Settle Out of Court: Despite what you might hear, most slip and fall cases do settle out of court. But, if it won’t, then you need an experienced attorney with established results like Shaw Law Office to help. We’ve never lost a slip and fall trial. Not one in nearly 30 years of practice.
Anytime you are hurt by a business, there’s only one law firm to call.
Call Or Text Now For A Free Consultation