If you were injured following a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any losses, such as medical bills or lost wages. Oftentimes, an individual might submit a claim to the insurance company of the liable party stating their damages and seeking a certain dollar amount. However, just as frequently, the insurance company will deny the claim or try to pay a much lesser amount.
If you have experienced the situation above, it may be time to file a Memphis slip and fall lawsuit. One of our seasoned slip and fall attorneys at the Law Office of David E. Gordon is here to help. Give us a call today to get started.
How Are Slip and Fall Lawsuits Classified in Memphis?
A slip and fall lawsuit in Memphis is considered a civil tort claim, which can be filed in one of the several Shelby County civil courts. Shelby County’s general sessions court has jurisdiction on cases that are valued up to $25,000, while the circuit courts and chancery courts have no monetary limit on the claims.
Lawsuits are required in slip and fall cases when the landowner’s insurance company has either denied the claim or has refused to pay an amount satisfactory to the injured person. Memphis law requires that a person injured in a slip and fall file their case within one year of the accident if a settlement has not been achieved.
The Process of Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Memphis
The course of the slip and fall lawsuit ordinarily proceeds as follows:
A lawyer files a document called Complaint for Damages for the injured person. This report documents how the person was injured, the violations of law committed by the landowner, and the extent of the person’s injuries.
The landowner will respond to the Complaint for Damages with what is called an Answer. This is a form in which the landowner usually denies that they committed any violations of law and blames the injured person for failing to exercise reasonable care for themselves.
After the Answer has been filed, the parties engage in what is called Discovery. This process contains a written and an oral component. The written portion consists of each side answering a set of questions related to the incident. The injured person must reveal any past injuries sustained, as well as the names of all medical providers who treated them within the last 10 years.
The landowner is required to provide any information it has regarding the injured person’s fall, as well as a record of individuals who may have previously fallen in similar circumstances on their property. The parties will also exchange written documents, such as medical records and medical bills, at this point in the lawsuit proceedings.
After the exchange of written discovery, both parties will commence oral discovery, which is the examination of witnesses under oath in a face-to-face meeting. A representative from each side will be interviewed, as will the witnesses and physicians.
At the conclusion of Discovery, the parties will ordinarily attempt to resolve the case by mediation, where both sides will meet on a particular occasion with an agreed-upon individual to help the parties reach a settlement agreement. Mediation is usually accomplished in half a day,but it sometimes takes the entire day. If mediation is not achieved, then the case proceeds to trial.
How to Prepare for a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
A proactive lawyer like David can help prepare their client for a slip and fall lawsuit. There are two primary areas of responsibility for the client during the lawsuit, and a dedicated attorney can assist with each.
The first is the client’s obligation to respond to written questions about their health history and the impact of the injury on their life. The second obligation of the injured person before trial is to face an interview from opposing counsel. A diligent lawyer will review all of the potential questions that the defense attorney might ask and rehearse portions of the deposition until the client is comfortable and confident.
Prepare for a Slip and Fall Lawsuit by Calling a Memphis Attorney
Slip and fall lawsuits in Memphis can be complicated matters. After suffering an injury from this type of accident, you could benefit from speaking to one of our skilled attorneys at the Law Office of David E. Gordon.
An experienced lawyer can review your case to determine when it is appropriate to file a lawsuit, and then guide you through the entire process of submitting the claim. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.