Slip and fall accidents are usually surprising, traumatic experiences that can quickly derail your life. For most slip and fall victims, the priority is their physical health and well-being.
Slip and falls can lead to severe injuries, including fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. In many cases, these injuries require extensive treatment, which can be very expensive. Victims may also be unable to work, which can have an impact on their finances. In extreme cases, injuries from a slip and fall can lead to long-term disabilities that negatively impact the ability to make a living.
It’s no surprise that these issues can have a significant effect on one’s mental and emotional well-being. The stress that comes with physical injuries, financial pressure, and a complete disruption to ordinary life can be difficult to manage.
For all of these reasons, it is crucial to know your legal options after a slip and fall. Keep reading for information about these claims, or contact the slip and fall attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop for a free consultation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims?
To put it simply, a statute of limitations is a time limit. These limits pertain to both civil cases – such as a slip and fall – and criminal cases.
In Nebraska, the statute of limitations for slip and fall cases is four years. This means that after four years have elapsed from the date of your accident, you will not be able to pursue compensation for any damages related to your injuries.
Don’t Wait to Pursue a Slip and Fall Case
Although four years may seem like a long time, you do not want to lose the opportunity to be fairly compensated after a slip and fall accident. There are a number of reasons to start building your case sooner rather than later.
Some of the most important reasons not to delay include:
- Evidence can be removed or destroyed: Even if a hazard existed for some time before your accident, there is a chance that it will be removed quickly thereafter – which could hurt your claim. For example, if a store owner allowed a broken stair to remain broken for months or even years, but then fixed it soon after your accident, proving that the stair was broken becomes more difficult.
- Your lawyer may have less time to build your case: The longer your attorney has to perform a thorough investigation, interview potential witnesses, and gather evidence, the greater your chances of recovering fair compensation.
- You will have to wait longer for compensation: If you’re facing medical bills and other financial losses, you will not be able to recover the compensation you need for them until you pursue a claim. Even when a case is won, compensation is usually not paid out immediately.
For these reasons – and more – it’s simply never a good idea to wait to begin your legal case. Therefore, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to start building your slip and fall claim.
How a Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help
A slip and fall attorney can help with many aspects of building a case and pursuing compensation, from investigating the accident and compiling evidence to interviewing witnesses. Leaning on their experience in these areas means you are likely to end up with a much stronger claim. Also, it will allow you to focus on getting better.
One of the most useful skills an attorney can provide is representing you in and out of court. In many cases, you will begin by negotiating with an insurance company – likely a homeowners, renters, or commercial property insurer. Insurance companies are very good at fighting slip and fall claims, and they will do whatever they can to pay you as little compensation as possible.
Beyond that, if your case does go to court, having an experienced trial lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights is immensely valuable.
Will My Slip and Fall Claim Go to Court?
While your claim may never go to trial, it’s important to always keep it as an option. There is no guarantee that an insurance company will provide you with a fair settlement offer, in which case the best course of action might be filing a lawsuit.
That said, if your attorney can reach an appropriate settlement out of court, it tends to be quicker and less expensive for all parties involved. Ultimately, this is another area where you will want to lean on the experience and guidance of your lawyer.
While slip and fall cases are complicated matters, getting started isn’t. At Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, we always provide free case reviews to give clients a better understanding of their situation and what to do next.
Our attorneys have more than 230 years of combined experience representing clients in Omaha, Sarpy County, and all of Nebraska and nearby Iowa. Please call (402) 241-5020 today to get started.