If you have reason to believe that another party’s negligence played a role in your slip-and-fall accident, you may decide to file a claim against their insurance policy. Once an insurance company is involved, you need to be cautious in how you proceed to avoid inadvertently compromising the value of your New York slip-and-fall accident lawsuit.
Before you provide an insurance company with a formal statement or sign any paperwork, we urge you to schedule a free consultation with one of our seasoned slip-and-fall attorneys by calling Cellino Law at (888) 888-8888 or completing our online form. We can inform you of your rights and protect you from making common mistakes that could jeopardize your slip-and-fall claim.
New York Slip and Fall Accidents Can Cause Extensive Injuries
To recover compensation in a New York personal injury claim, your case must meet the serious injury threshold. While some individuals are fortunate enough to receive minor scrapes and bruises in a slip-and-fall accident, there is also a risk of sustaining injuries that require significant and ongoing medical attention. A number of injuries can meet this requirement, including:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Deep lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Other internal injuries, including organ damage
Make sure that you seek out medical attention as soon as possible after a slip-and-fall accident to address your injuries. Insurance companies are already predisposed to skepticism, and delaying medical treatment makes it look like your injuries weren’t serious enough to warrant prompt care or that you waited for them to get worse so you could recover more compensation.
If you have sustained a slip-and-fall injury that interferes with your day-to-day responsibilities, job performance, or enjoyment of life for a considerable amount of time or to a substantial degree, it may be in your best interest to consider taking legal action to recover compensation for your damages.
How to Communicate With Insurance Companies After a Slip and Fall Accident
The aftermath of a slip-and-fall accident can be incredibly stressful. You may be juggling medical bills, trying to survive on a reduced income, and navigating household and childcare duties while dealing with a catastrophic injury.
Insurance companies are aware of the emotional and financial burdens plaintiffs face, and they may try to use it to their advantage to get you to offer information that they can use to undermine your slip-and-fall claim.
The best way to approach speaking with an insurance agent is to remain calm and respectful, but only provide the basic circumstances of the slip-and-fall accident. This includes information like the time, date, and location of the slip-and-fall accident. Any inquiry that requires you to guess or offer an opinion falls under the category of unnecessary information.
While you may feel inclined to provide as much detail as possible to give the insurance agent the full picture and seem credible, now is not the time. Honesty and brevity are the principles you want to abide by when an insurance agent reaches out to you after a New York slip-and-fall accident.
What to Avoid Saying When You Speak With an Insurance Adjuster
To protect the integrity of your future slip-and-fall accident claim, you don’t want to give the insurance agent any reason to deny your claim or doubt the validity of your account of events, including the severity of your injuries. For one thing, in the immediate hours or days after a slip-and-fall accident, the true severity of your injuries and the full scope of your damages may be unclear.
Additionally, there may be third parties involved in causing the slip-and-fall accident or other complicating factors that are not immediately apparent. Most plaintiffs do not have the background to make objective and accurate assessments of their injuries, damages, or liability.
However, that won’t stop an insurance company from using any information you volunteer to judge your claim, even if you offered inaccurate or incomplete details about your slip-and-fall accident. A personal injury attorney will likely recommend that you:
- Don’t sign any releases for medical records
- Don’t accept any settlement offers, even verbally, before speaking with a personal injury lawyer
- Don’t speculate about who was at fault or what caused the slip-and-fall accident
- Don’t agree to a recorded statement, either written or verbal
- Don’t offer details about your injuries or treatment at this time
Instead, you should wait for medical and legal professionals to provide their evaluations before making any decisions or giving a detailed statement to the insurance company. It takes time to acquire evidence to prove a slip-and-fall claim, so you don’t need to rush the process.
Beware of Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Reduce the Value of Slip and Fall Claims
An insurance adjuster’s goal is to review the circumstances of a slip-and-fall accident, determine their company’s potential exposure in terms of liability, and then try to settle the claim for the lowest amount they can justify. While this may sound harsh, their business model depends on limiting excessive payouts so that they can afford to compensate larger claims while still turning a profit.
In order to accomplish this, an insurance company may attempt to discredit or diminish your claim by:
- Taking your statements out of context
- Misconstruing details of your statement
- Trying to shift part of the blame to you or a third party
- Implying you could have prevented the slip-and-fall accident
- Questioning the severity of your injuries if you delayed seeking care
- Claiming you weren’t owed a duty of care
- Arguing your injuries were pre-existing
- Pressuring you into a lower settlement for expediency
- Delaying the process in hopes that you will concede to a low settlement
Why You Should Choose Cellino Law to Represent Your New York Slip and Fall Claim
As seasoned personal injury attorneys, our team at Cellino Law regularly interacts with insurance adjusters, so we are already familiar with the tactics they employ to devalue claims, the jargon they use to operate, and the most effective methods to secure a fair settlement that fully recognizes our clients’ damages. We have reliably and successfully maximized compensation for our clients for years.
One of the most beneficial assets our slip-and-fall accident lawyers can provide is investigative experience. Having handled thousands of slip-and-fall lawsuits during our six decades of service to New Yorkers, our team at Cellino Law can offer critical insight into establishing liability with the support of our researchers, accident reconstructionists, and other experts.
Contact the Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers of Cellino Law Today For Legal Assistance
Insurance companies are not neutral parties in slip-and-fall claims, nor do they work for you. As the plaintiff, the burden of proof lies with you, so you need to convince them that your damages are deserving of compensation. At Cellino Law, we will relentlessly advocate for you to recover the maximum compensation possible.
Whether you file a personal injury lawsuit or a workers’ compensation claim, this will likely involve dealing with the negligent party’s insurance carrier and their legal team. The best way to do this is always with an experienced New York slip-and-fall lawyer by your side. Cellino Law can provide you with a wealth of knowledge and experience to rely on.
Reach out to our team at (888) 888-8888 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the specifics of your slip-and-fall accident to determine who may be at fault, what damages you qualify for, and how our skilled team can best support you as you pursue compensation in a New York slip-and-fall accident lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is at fault in a slip and fall accident?
In order for a party to be deemed negligent, several criteria must be met. The party that owed you a duty of care and whose actions resulted in your slip-and-fall accident, as well as your resulting injuries and damages, is usually considered negligent in a personal injury claim.
This could be a property owner who failed to repair damaged stairs in a parking garage, a business owner who left a spill in the middle of the aisle for hours without a sign, a builder who constructed a hazardous staircase with shoddy materials, or another entity that breached their duty of care.
Can I recover compensation if my slip and fall accident was partially my fault?
If your actions contributed to your slip-and-fall accident, you are still permitted to file a personal injury claim against another negligent party to recover a portion of your damages under New York’s comparative negligence doctrine. The percentage of negligence that you contributed to the slip-and-fall accident will be subtracted from your settlement.
When should I hire a slip and fall accident attorney?
After a New York slip-and-fall accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical aid. Your next step should be to contact a personal injury lawyer who handles slip-and-fall accident lawsuits so that they can begin communicating with the insurance company on your behalf, collecting evidence to support your claim, and determining a negotiation strategy.
Keep in mind that New York’s statute of limitations for slip-and-fall accident lawsuits is three years from the date of the incident, but you don’t want to run out the clock on that deadline. The sooner a personal injury lawyer gets involved, the sooner they can start negotiating a settlement on your behalf.
Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.
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