When you are out and about running errands, heading to or from work, or rushing to class, you expect your walking path to be safe. You take for granted that parking lots, sidewalks, and aisles of stores are clean and litter free. However, there are times when walkways and paths are not as clean or safe as they should be. You could encounter a hazard and end up suffering injuries due to a slip and fall. You may be put in the position of having to figure out who is responsible for your injuries while facing the immediate consequences, including medical care, bills, and time away from work or school. In this situation, you need the skilled legal help of the slip and fall lawyers from Studinski Law, LLC on your side.

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, call the experienced Wisconsin premises liability lawyers at our firm right away. We have the years of experience, skills, and resources you need to determine your right to compensation after getting hurt on someone else’s property. Call us today at (715) 343-2850.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slips and falls are extremely common. You may have slipped or tripped due to an object or condition that should not have been there.

Some of the most common conditions that cause slip and fall accidents include:

  • Standing water or snow on pathways
  • Icy sidewalks and paths
  • Cords or debris in walkways
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Loose or ripped carpeting
  • Poor lighting
  • Uneven, broken, or loose stairs

Slip and Fall Injuries

If you are lucky, you can brush yourself off after a fall. You may have a few scrapes and bruises, but only your pride really suffered. However, in many circumstances, falls cause moderate-to-serious injuries. If you land the wrong way or fall a significant distance, you may suffer:

  • Wrist or arm fractures
  • Shoulder injuries, including dislocation
  • Hip fractures
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries, including skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
  • Overly stretched or torn muscles, ligaments, or tendons

Is Someone Else Responsible for Your Fall?

After suffering an unexpected slip and fall in public or at another person’s home or business, you may have questions. Was it really your fault? Or is someone else to blame for the hazard you encountered?

If you were not behaving in a careless or reckless way, and you slipped or tripped on a hazard you could not have seen or avoided, then the owner or manager of the property may be responsible for your fall. That owner or manager may also be responsible for compensating you for your injuries.

Another issue in slip and fall cases is whether you were lawfully on the property. If you were a personal guest, customer, or visitor to the area where you were hurt, then the owner or tenant may be responsible for your injuries. However, if you were trespassing and should not have been in the building or on the land where you were hurt, you may have a difficult time pursuing compensation. Our slip and fall attorneys can help you determine your options after a slip, trip, or fall.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents | Studinski Law LLC

Premises Liability for Slips and Falls

Under Wisconsin law, owners and occupiers of premises are required to maintain their properties in a way that protects visitors from an unreasonable risk of injury. Whether it is a private house, apartment building, office, public parking lot, hotel, or any other type of building or location you may visit, the owner or current tenant needs to:

  • Reasonably inspect it for hazards
  • Protect against found dangerous conditions, including putting up warning signs or blocking it off
  • Repair dangerous conditions as soon as possible

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident and you believe the owners or tenants of the property made no effort to learn of the dangerous condition or knew about it and failed to correct it, call us today. We will look into the accident and gather evidence of the owner or occupier’s responsibility for the hazard, your fall, and your injuries.

Proving a Premises Liability Claim

Proving a premises liability claim can be difficult. However, we are up to the challenge. We will conduct an in-depth, independent investigation into your accident, including gathering:

  • A police or business’s accident report
  • Eye witness’s statements
  • Pictures or video of the area where the accident occurred
  • Any video footage of the accident, such as from nearby surveillance cameras
  • Information regarding how the owner or tenant of the property handles inspections, common maintenance, and repairs

Through our inquiry, we will seek to prove that the owner:

  • Knew of the dangerous condition, or
  • Reasonably should have known of the dangerous condition, and
  • Did not protect against it or repair it in a timely manner.

Slip and Fall Compensation

A slip and fall lawsuit can be complicated. However, if we are able to prove the property owner or occupier was negligent in maintaining their premises, which led to your getting hurt, then we will seek compensation for your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Wage loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Property damage, when applicable
  • Punitive Damages, when applicable

Contact Our Wisconsin Slip and Fall Lawyers Today

If you were injured because someone did not take care of their property and keep it safe for visitors, then call us at Studinski Law, LLC right away. A slip, trip, or fall can be embarrassing. However, it is not something to keep quiet. When you cannot simply brush off your injuries, it is appropriate to hold the property owner or tenant responsible for their actions.

With offices in Plover and Marshfield, Studinski Law, LLC helps clients throughout Wisconsin to hold negligent property owners accountable, including in Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, and Waupaca. To contact our experienced slip and fall lawyers, call (715) 343-2850 to schedule an initial consultation of your case.

Slip & Fall FAQ

What Is the Average Payout for a Slip and Fall Accident?

The average payout for a slip and fall case depends on a number of variables, such as the severity of the injury, the cost of care, and the impact the injury has on the victim’s life.

For example, a blow to the head after a slip and fall could lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This type of serious injury can affect your ability to move, communicate, and earn a living. A traumatic brain injury can even change your personality, which could impact your personal relationships and quality of life.

Your slip and fall settlement should include compensation for your monetary losses as well and your pain and suffering. If you suffered a severe injury, your pain and suffering may be several times the amount of your financial losses. For example, if you slipped down icy steps, breaking multiple bones and now must walk with a limp for the rest of your life, your pain and suffering may exceed the cost of your medical bills. However, if you fell on a wet floor at a restaurant, sprained a wrist, and were fully recovered in a few weeks, your pain and suffering may be considerably less than your medical expenses.

It’s important to note that not all injuries are immediately apparent. For example, a TBI may not be immediately diagnosed. Because of this, it is crucial to consider future injuries when negotiating compensation in your slip and fall claim.

How Long Does It Take To Settle a Slip and Fall Accident?

A slip and fall lawsuit can take a few months or a few years to settle, depending on the specific details of the case. A slip and fall case involves a series of steps, including:

  • The complaint/summons: This is the document that explains the nature of your claim. It typically identifies the parties involved, the cause of the slip and fall accident, who is allegedly responsible, and what you want the at-fault party to pay for their negligence.
  • The defendant’s response: After being served with a complaint, a defendant typically has either 20 days or 45 days in which to respond.
  • Slip and fall lawsuit discovery phase: During this stage of a slip and fall case, both parties involved find out as much as they can about the case. The written discovery phase involves interrogatories (questions that must be answered in writing and under oath) and requests for production (requests to produce documents or other things related to the case). The discovery phase can take a few months or several years, depending on the court’s schedule, the duration of your medical treatment, and the complexity of your case.
  • Pre-trial motions: Prior to trial, and usually during the discovery phase, each side may attempt to resolve issues by filing certain motions with the court. These pre-trial motions may include a motion to dismiss (usually when the lawsuit fails on the basis of a legal technicality), a motion to compel (a request for the court to order another party to do something), or a motion for summary judgement (a request for a final judgement, based on a lack of facts to support the other party’s claim).
  • Mediation: During mediation, you, your attorney, and a representative of the other side meet with an objective third party, who is responsible for keeping the conversation on track. The mediator cannot force the other side to pay a fair amount, and it cannot make you accept an inadequate settlement offer. Mediation can occur during the early stages of a lawsuit, when there is little dispute about liability, but the parties cannot agree on the value of a claim. However, mediation usually takes place at the end of the discovery phase.
  • Trial, if necessary: If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation or mediation, it may be in your best interest to go to trial. Once the discovery phase is closed, your case will be set on a trial docket with the court. Cases appear in court in the order they appear on the trial docket. Depending on the judge you draw and the complexity of your case, your trial will likely take two to five days. Because slip and fall cases are generally complicated, they often conclude in about three days.
  • Collecting judgment: You won’t take a check home from court after prevailing at trial. Losing defendants typically have a prescribed period of time to pay a judgment, or to file an appeal. If you don’t receive your judgement within this timeline, your attorney may take additional steps to force collection.

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall?

If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall accident through no fault of your own, you should consider contacting a lawyer. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can explain your rights, determine the true value of your claim, and pursue the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled under the law. You should consider hiring a lawyer when:

  • You are seriously injured: If you only suffered a twisted ankle that didn’t otherwise affect your life, it may not be worthwhile to spend the time and effort on a lawsuit. However, if you suffered serious injuries that impacted your health, finances, and quality of life, you should contact a lawyer to discuss the merits of your case.
  • Liability is disputed: Insurance companies and their lawyers know how to deny and reduce valid claims. They will do everything possible to cast doubt on your side of the story. An experienced slip and fall attorney will determine liability in your case and hold the responsible parties accountable.
  • Your settlement offer is too low: Insurance companies strive to pay as little as possible to settle your claim. Initial settlement offers are notoriously low. A knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer will know what your case is really worth and recognize when an offer is low – even if it seems like a large amount to you at the moment.
  • You need to go to trial: Most slip and fall cases are resolved before going to court, but if negotiations fail between your lawyer and the insurance company, trial may be your best option. Slip and fall cases can be extremely complex, and require the knowledge, skill, and resources of an experienced lawyer. A seasoned attorney will ensure all court deadlines are met and your best case is put forward.

When Do I Have a Slip and Fall Case?

Certain factors must be established to determine whether a property owner is liable for your slip and fall. Slip and fall accidents fall under the umbrella of premises liability. You must prove the property owner failed in his or her duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors. The elements that must generally be proven in a slip and fall case include:

  • A dangerous condition existed: Slippery floors, loose handrails, and poor lighting are just a small sample of the countless ways a property owner’s negligence can create a hazardous condition on a property.
  • The property owner failed to address the dangerous condition: By not fixing the dangerous condition or failing to sufficiently warn people that a hazard existed, the property owner failed in his or her responsibility to maintain a safe environment for those who visited the property.
  • The property owner’s breach of duty directly led to your injury: Whether the property owner knew, should have known, or caused the dangerous condition, his or her failure to sufficiently address the problem caused your injury.

Can You Sue if You Slip on Ice?

Property owners in Wisconsin have an obligation to keep sidewalks in front or alongside their property clear of snow and ice. Specific rules for snow removal vary, depending on the city or municipality. Generally, property owners must remove snow and ice from walkways adjacent to their property within a certain number of hours. For example, property owners in Milwaukee have 24 hours after snowfall ends to clear their sidewalks, while property owners in Waukesha have only 12 hours to clear their sidewalks after snowfall ends. It is the responsibility of every property owner to know the ordinance in his or her area and remove snow promptly.

If you were hurt on someone’s property because of snow or ice that had not been removed properly, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner and his or her insurance company. Time is of the essence in these cases, so it is crucial to contact an experienced slip and fall attorney right away after your accident.

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