Should I hire a lawyer for my slip and fall case? 41 Answers as of February 17, 2012

Should I get a lawyer if I slipped and fell at an auto part store and broke my kneecap? They said that after investigation and doctors have released my injuries they would contact me with a settlement, and what if I am not satisfied with their settlement is it too late to get a lawyer at that time?

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Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, LLP
Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, LLP | Matthew Shipman
It is hard to tell whether you have a case or not based on the limited facts that you have provided. Every state has a different statute of limitations which may or may not bar your claim. You should immediately contact an experienced attorney to assist you in making these determinations.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 5/25/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Yes, you should hire a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/19/2011
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
No, it would not be too late to hire an attorney at the time you reject the settlement offer, but you are more likely to get a satisfactory offer during the first round of negotiations if the company is aware that you are represented by counsel.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 5/6/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
You can get a lawyer up until the statute of limitations expires. That varies state to state. Look in your state law books or call a lawyer for a free consultation. The statute in Virginia is two years.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 5/5/2011
The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
I would recommend to hire an attorney in the case like that. In my experience., insurance company do not make reasonable offers to unrepresented people. Feel free to call my office.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/5/2011
    Ciccarelli Law Offices
    Ciccarelli Law Offices | Lee Ciccarelli
    Insurance companies have refined and perfected the game of taking advantage of the unrepresented victim. A billion dollar company can afford to hire representatives superbly trained to manipulate and cajole a victim to take less than a just settlement. Consider speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer. Our office provides a free initial case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    I think you should speak with an attorney no matter what. Further, I will be surprised if they make an offer of any legitimate value without you having an attorney. I bet they will deny liability. Go talk to a lawyer about your case. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Whatever settlement they offer will normally be paltry by comparison to what an attorney will recover for you. Attorneys charge 1/3 of the recovery, so you can figure that an attorney has to recover more than an additional 1/3 to justify his/her fees. No, it's not too late to hire an attorney if you don't like their offer. However, remember, you only have 3 years in which to start a law suit after the injury or the statute of limitations expires and you can't do so any longer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Statute of limitations is two years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Allegretti & Associates
    Allegretti & Associates | James L. Allegretti
    You should certainly talk to one to determine if the facts surrounding your fall support a cause of action. A broken kneecap is a serious injury. In the mean time, do not give any further statements to the insurance company or the store.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    Yes, you need an attorney to protect your rights. The store's insurance company will try to settle for the bare minimum needed and allowed within their policy. Do not be fooled by their tactics. Consult an attorney today.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    As long as your statute of limitations has not run it is never too late. Hire someone now.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    If you wish to hire counsel we do that kind of work. Part of our job would be to file a lawsuit within the appropriate time period in order to preserve your claim. If you have any questions you can contact the firm.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Dearbonn Law Offices
    Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
    No, it would not be too late to hire a lawyer at that point in time. You can still hire a lawyer to negotiate a larger and better settlement for you as long as you are not satisfied with their offer and have not accepted any offer of settlement. I also wanted to inform you that my office handles personal injury cases including slip and fall should you decide to move forward with hiring a lawyer. Thank you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
    I recommend always hiring a lawyer, however, you have the right to negotiate on your own behalf and get a lawyer if that does not work. You have 2 years to file a lawsuit in Texas on a slip and fall case, therefore, do not wait beyond that period of time.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    It is not too late to get a lawyer after an offer has been made. It is too late only after you accept a settlement offer. If the injury causes some permanent impairment or pain and suffering, I would get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    David B. Sacks, P.A.
    David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
    It has been my experience that a non-lawyer should probably not try to negotiate with insurance companies or other businesses who are self insured (these are usually large corporations, i.e. IBM or UPS) as they are very expert in the art of negotiation and know much more about the law than lay persons. So, yes, you should retain an attorney and you should do so sooner rather than later at this point because that way he/she can begin to prepare to learn more about your case and be ready to negotiate on your behalf and/or at the same time be preserving necessary evidence should there not be a settlement. While most of these cases eventually settle, many do not settle without a lawsuit being filed. That is another reason for hiring an attorney sooner rather than later because he/she can begin to preserve evidence and knows what needs to be done in preparation of a lawsuit. While it has been my experience that most of my cases of this type settle, from the moment I am hired to represent someone, I treat the case as if I am going to trial that way if we do wind up having to go to trial to get just compensation no stone will have been left unturned. It is very easy to skip steps from the start if one thinks the case will settle without the necessity of litigation. If I can help in any way, please feel free to call for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    I am so sorry that you hurt yourself. I hope you feel better. Assuming that you are in Georgia, as long as the two (2) statute of limitations has not expired, I would highly recommend that you get an attorney. Make sure you choose someone that you are comfortable with. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Joel Ewusiak
    Under Florida law, the statute of limitations is (generally) four years. Although you might wait to hire a lawyer until after a settlement offer (if any) is provided, a lawyer may be in a better position to assess the value of your case and negotiate a higher settlement. Ultimately, if the settlement negotiations fail, you will need to file a lawsuit to recover.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You have 2 years from the date of accident to file but I would not accept a settlement without speaking to a lawyer. The offer will likely be very low and there could be some long term with your knee.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    It would probably be a good idea for you to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer at this point. You are unsure about your case and an injury lawyer can help you determine whether or not you have a good case and what a good settlement might be. Most lawyers offer a free consultation and will tell you what they think they can do for you. You might be surprised by their conclusion. It may turn out that you have a great case or a not so great case. The law on slip and fall injuries is challenging. I encourage you to read the articles on our website to get a better understanding of the merits of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    The fact that you fell is of no significance. You must prove that you fell because of the negligence of the store. Can you do that? If you can, contact a personal injury attorney or call me.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Get a personal injury lawyer. We handle over 50 slip and fall cases each year. If you have any questions, call me.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    Yes, you should get a personal injury lawyer.There are a lot of issues and deadlines. In the end, the insurance company may or may not even make an offer. Even f they do make an offer, they will take into account that you do not have a lawyer, so you are not in a position to sue them. So even if you do not hire the attorney, you should at the very least talk to one, ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    We would certainly suggest that you cease any direct contact with the store's insurance company. While the insurance company will act as if they are there to help you, they are not. The insurance company will use your cooperation to find discrepancies in your version of how you fell, which they will use to diminish the value of your case. We strongly recommend that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Assuming this incident took place in California you have two (2) years to file a lawsuit from the date of the incident. You can get a lawyer at any time. They will most definitely not offer you the full value of your case, but then if you hire an attorney who will likely charge 1/3, you will need to decide for yourself, perhaps after consultation with an attorney, whether after deducting his or her fee you will net more than what they offer you now.

    Insurance companies always take full advantage of a person acting without an attorney. Please understand, however, that slip and fall cases are disfavored in the law and are very difficult to win if it goes to court. Your question does not list any of the facts regarding the fall itself. Liability is very difficult to establish because you walk a fine line of establishing that it was not a trivial defect that caused the fall, and from being so open an obvious that you should have seen it to avoid the fall in the first place.

    Then theres the issue of how long the defect was there in the first place. If someone spilled their coke in the store or dropped a banana peel on the floor 1 minute before you slipped on it, the store will not be liable.

    There has to be a sufficient amount of time for the owner/operator of the store to learn of the hazard and take precautions (e.g. put up cones) and remedial measures to eliminate the hazard. My advice is to speak to an attorney as soon as possible to present the facts and get an opinion on the value of your case. Most personal injury lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation and you can still decide to go on your own or to actually hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    As long as you do accept their offer and sign a release you do not lose your right to counteroffer/negotiate. You should retain a lawyer to protect your interests in this matter as there are many such as permanency ratings, loss of work or future earnings, etc which you may be entitled to be compensated for. The insurance company may attempt to settle the matter quickly and that is not always in your best interests. Bear in mind that there is a Statute of Limitations which you need to observe (in most states two years). Once you go beyond that period your claim is barred and can no longer be enforced.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
    Peckar & Abramson, P.C. | David Scriven-Young
    The answer depends on when the statute of limitations on your claims will expire. In Illinois, you have two years to file a personal injury claim.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    Typically, in Colorado, you would have 2 years to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a slip and fall at a commercial premises. If you fail to file within the time limit, you lose your rights to make a claim. Other states have their own time limits, which could be much shorter. You are free to retain a lawyer at any time, but I suspect a lawyer would be more interested in your case if you were within the time limits, and thus, had a viable case. I would urge you to consult with an attorney at this time. Most injury attorneys will provide a free, initial consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Premier Law Group
    Premier Law Group | Jason Epstein
    You are never going to be satisfied with an insurance company offer. My advice would be to hire the best lawyer you can find, and to hire them as quickly as you can. Slip and fall cases are tough. The insurance companies will always make you fight tooth and nail to get anything remotely fair.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Slip-and-fall cases are some of the most difficult injury cases. Not that the facts typically are complicated, but the presenting of the claim and obtaining compensation are very difficult. In nearly all cases, the at-fault party or its insurer deny any responsibility and also deny the claim. For all of those reasons, I strongly suggest you speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    I recommend that you at least consult with a personal injury lawyer before you communicate any further with the insurance company. Depending upon the cause of your fall, it may be necessary preserve certain evidence, or at least write a certified letter to the store owner/operator to preserve certain items (especially surveillance footage). In my experience, insurance companies don't offer fair settlements to those without lawyers - I believe that they try to get out of the claim cheap by shortchanging you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley | Christopher Earley
    I would be happy to talk to you about the case. Never trust that an insurance company has your best interests at heart.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No- That is the best time to get a lawyer! (as long as it is within 3 years from the injury) The adjuster will certainly "low ball" your claim, because many people would jump at any offer. Once you get your best offer, then consult with a lawyer and see what they think. I can certainly evaluate personal injury claims as I have been handling these kinds of cases for over 15 years. I would be happy to discuss with you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    You should definitely get a lawyer. Insurance companies take advantage of people who don't have lawyers. You won't know if the insurance adjuster's claims about the weakness of your claim are b-s or not. I am a former a State and federal prosecutor and now handle personal injury cases so feel free to check out my web site and contact me to discuss your case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    You should get an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will make sure you don't under-value your case, and will make sure you are compensated for all of your injuries. Slip and fall cases in Utah can be very difficult and the store's insurance company probably won't be very helpful. I'd be happy to help with your case.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law firm of Cody & Gonillo, LLP
    Law firm of Cody & Gonillo, LLP | Christopher M. Cody
    The insurance company will not typically make you a serious offer if they know you are unrepresented. They hope to settle low before you involve counsel. It also depends on the circumstances of how you fell and a number of other issues.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/4/2011
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