If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, and you are confident that the accident was caused by another party—typically either the property owner or manager of the place where you slipped, or a local government department or agency responsible for road and sidewalk upkeep—then you may have filed a compensation claim.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for these types of claims to initially be denied by the at-fault party’s insurer (i.e., their insurance company). Nevertheless, having your initial compensation claim denied can be incredibly frustrating. Despite this, it is worth considering taking another swing at filing your claim. This is because, with perseverance and some help from a personal injury attorney, you may eventually obtain the compensation your injury deserves.
Why Are Slip and Fall Claims Denied?
Slip and fall claims are initially filed with the insurer of the owner or manager of the place where your accident took place.
As such, for your claim to have the best chance for success, it is crucial that you have concrete and clear evidence highlighting how your injury could have been prevented by the property owner or manager if they were being attentive (i.e., not negligent).
More specifically, you must be able to show that your accident should not have happened if the hazard had been removed or a warning sign had been displayed nearby to stop people from slipping and/or falling over.
Typical reasons given for a denied slip and fall claim include:
- not enough care was taken by the person who slipped and fell;
- not enough time for the hazard to be removed or preventative measures to be put in place;
- managers responsible for the location of the accident were not aware of the hazard/ did not sufficient time to become aware prior to the accident;
- not enough evidence that the injuries stated were caused by the slip and fall;
- hazard had a clear warning;
- accident claim was submitted after the statute of limitations for the state in which the accident took place;
- compensation payment demanded was not justified by the type of injury stated;
- medical evidence was not submitted or evidence submitted was unrelated to the injury.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Claim is Denied
If you receive a denied claim notification from the at-fault party’s insurer, you should consider the reason given carefully. This is because you may be able to convince the insurer that the claim was both genuine and justified if you address their reasons given, e.g. lack of evidence that the accident could have been avoided, insufficient medical evidence, compensation payment demanded not justified, etc.
If you do submit better evidence or are sure that the evidence you have already submitted was sufficient, then you may find that the insurer to consider releasing compensation.
Unfortunately, it is typically the case that insurers try their best to avoid paying compensation or may try to offer a compensation amount that is far too low, hoping that any sort of payment will be acceptable.
If you still find that the insurer refuses to pay the correct amount in compensation, or any compensation at all, then this would be the time to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an attorney.
Oftentimes, personal injury attorneys will be able to negotiate more skillfully with a recalcitrant (i.e., uncooperative) insurer, and, in most cases, avoid you having to go to court. That being said, most attorneys— when they think that their client has a good case for compensation—will also take a case to court if there is no reasonable negotiated settlement or offer.
Get Help With Your Slip and Fall Claim
It is important to note that slip and fall accident claims are notoriously difficult to win the first time around. This is usually because insurers often try and avoid paying compensation if they can do so. As such, given that slip and fall personal injury lawyers typically know how to negotiate with an obstinate insurer, they may be able to convince these insurers to settle without going to court.
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