Portland Slip-and-Fall Injury Lawyer
When you picture Portland's most risk-filled environments, what comes to mind? Roads and medical facilities can be rife with danger, of course, but what about the business premises you visit every day? They might not seem all that dangerous, but an un-mopped puddle or icy walkway could quickly change your perspective.
Slip-and-fall accidents do not tend to attract a whole lot of attention, but that does not discount the suffering they impart. Shockingly, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that 6.8 million people found themselves in the emergency room in 2019 as a result of slip-and-fall accidents.
This figure may actually represent a significant underestimate. Many victims fail to seek prompt treatment, as they assume that their injuries are too minor to warrant ER visits. Often, the severity of their circumstances does not become fully evident until far later -- and even then, a variety of obstacles may prevent victims from getting the justice or compensation they deserve.
If this situation sounds familiar, remember, you do not need to suffer in silence. When unexpected negligence causes physical pain or emotional distress, legal guidance is essential.
With a Portland slip-and-fall injury lawyer in your corner, you can secure the damages you are owed while also delivering some semblance of justice. This could be a huge source of solace as you deal with unanticipated medical bills, lost wages, and numerous other financial concerns.
Slip-and-fall is a top practice area at Strong Law in Portland. We provide compassionate counsel for clients harmed in many types of accidents. The specifics surrounding these cases differ considerably, but all clients deserve to be treated with respect and empathy.
Strong Law's personalized counsel and assertive representation can make a world of difference as you hold negligent businesses accountable.FREE CONSULTATION
What Causes Slip-and-fall Injuries?
Negligence often plays a central role in Portland slip-and-fall cases. This can take many forms but often involves a basic failure to clean or maintain business premises. Common issues include:
If you have ever set foot on wet flooring, you know just how difficult it can be to keep your balance. Now, imagine what might happen if you come across wet floors completely by surprise.
Unfortunately, this problem is common among Portland businesses. A variety of issues can lead to wet floors, but the following are the most common:
- Spilled liquid that is not cleaned up quickly enough: Spilled water, beverages, or other substances can all place customers at risk. This issue is especially common in retail locations and in the hospitality industry. Employees should examine premises thoroughly and regularly to ensure that spills are cleaned up as quickly as possible.
- Recently mopped floors: Sometimes, the very process of cleaning up spills can cause even more of a problem than the spills themselves. Puddles, for example, may be visible to customers or patrons, but the hazards of freshly mopped floors may be more difficult to spot. If floors have been recently cleaned, and are not yet dry, it is the responsibility of the business to provide thorough notice, ideally with a hazard sign.
Trash or Other Debris
Liquid is by no means the only cleanliness concern that can cause people to fall. General debris can also be a major hazard. The solution, however, remains the same: thorough inspections that take place on a regular basis, plus a quick response whenever cleanliness issues are observed.
In addition to regularly checking that floors are free of debris; it is important for businesses to establish organizational systems that keep spaces as clean and open as possible. This means providing plenty of trash cans for customers to use, plus clearly defined aisles and storage spaces.
No matter how clean the interior premises seem, customers and clients are still at risk if problematic conditions are not addressed during the winter months. This is a huge hazard in Portland, where freeze and thaw cycles create a perfect recipe for slipping.
City codes mandate that all property owners (including local businesses and tenants) clear sidewalks shortly after winter storms. The Portland Bureau of Transportation recommends treating sidewalks with ice melt before storms arrive. Additionally, a snow shovel should be readily available to clear a path spanning at least three feet.
Low-quality lighting can quickly exacerbate the problems highlighted above. With bright lights, customers might spot puddles or debris quickly enough to bypass them. This is a lot less likely in dim areas. This can be an especially significant risk outdoors, where poorly lit sidewalks might not appear all that slippery.
Building Code Violations
Many of the problems referenced above can be avoided simply by following local building codes. These outline how premises can be made as safe and accessible as possible.
Building code violations are a threat to the public, but unfortunately, they are not always caught early enough by the City of Portland’s Property Compliance Division.
If violations contribute to slip-and-fall accidents, victims can make a clear case that the business in question demonstrated negligence. As such, an in-depth understanding of local rules and regulations can make a world of difference when pursuing legal damages.
Why Strong Law Is an Ideal Advocate in Portland
Do you suspect that negligence was somehow involved in your Portland slip-and-fall accident? If you fail to step up and act, you might not be the only person to suffer. Often, personal injury cases act as a valuable deterrent, reminding business leaders that they cannot get away with negligence.
Beyond this, of course, you owe it to yourself to seek damages. These will not erase your physical pain or mental suffering, but they should at least address some of the unnecessary financial distress that arose from your accident.
Once you have made the important decision to pursue a slip-and-fall lawsuit, it is time to select a trusted attorney who will have your back every step of the way. This is exactly what you will find at Strong Law, which is respected throughout Portland and beyond.
Our talented slip-and-fall attorneys bring many important qualities to the table, such as:
Confidence is often thoroughly lacking in slip-and-fall accident victims, who may assume that they have not suffered enough or do not have sufficient evidence to prove their case. These concerns can be resolved, in part, by opting for an attorney who has an impressive track record in this practice area.
This is a clear advantage of working with Strong Law. We have an excellent track record, including repeated successes in several areas of personal injury law.
A relevant example of a success story that exemplifies our legal abilities? A premises liability case involving a poorly maintained balcony railing. The client suffered horrible back injuries but, with our help, was able to obtain a $500,000 settlement. In another premises liability case, our efforts produced a $1.5 million recovery.
These examples matter, of course, but it is also important to investigate the personal injury experience from the client’s perspective. One of the best forms of reassurance? Consistently glowing feedback from previous personal injury clients.
A brief glance at our testimonials should reveal just how pleased our clients are with our services and our results.
Our team has been described as professional, helpful, and honest. We take pride in these qualities and are determined to make future clients just as happy.
At Strong Law, we offer the best of both worlds: targeted representation from attorneys who thoroughly understand local statutes, as well as the resources of a nationwide firm. Our Portland slip-and-fall attorneys possess a wealth of knowledge, plus the local connections needed to give you a competitive edge.
As we have discussed, an in-depth understanding of local civil procedures will prove invaluable throughout the legal process. Everything from regional building codes to liability coverage requirements can influence slip-and-fall cases, so local knowledge is crucial.
Attention to detail is one of the most important qualities that a Portland slip-and-fall lawyer can possess. It makes an enormous difference at every stage of the legal process, including everything from discovery to depositions and even at trial.
Our meticulous team at Strong Law scrutinizes every detail to ensure that your case is presented in its best light. This is immediately evident at your first consultation, where we will ask targeted questions to reveal the specific complications of your case. We also maintain this detail-oriented approach during discovery and, of course, while dealing with insurance and negotiating your settlement.
Some slip-and-fall victims are slow to seek damages simply because they are concerned about the upfront cost. This should not be a problem when you work with Strong Law, as we will happily handle these upfront expenses.
At Strong Law in Portland, we are paid on contingency and do not receive a cent until we deliver a desirable settlement or verdict.
What Happens During a Portland Slip-and-fall Case?
There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ slip-and-fall accident in Portland. Difference premises, injuries, and victim responses can shape dramatically different legal outcomes. As with most personal injury cases, however, the legal process centers around a few key phases:
Consulting With a Portland Slip-and-fall Lawyer
A successful consultation can pave the path to a great attorney-client relationship and a positive case outcome. As such, we take this important first step seriously.
During our first meeting, we will chat about your case and discover what you expect from the legal process. We will provide honest feedback, not shying away from sharing the key challenges that lie ahead. Still, we will express empathy for your situation, as we understand just how devastating slip-and-fall accidents can be.
If you choose to move forward with a Portland slip-and-fall lawsuit, we will embark on an exhaustive and particularly important part of the legal process: discovery.
This is when we turn to every avenue available to gather evidence that supports your case. Depending on your situation, such evidence could be abundant — or in short supply.
Common sources of evidence include:
- Medical records. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to seek medical attention after a fall. Healthcare providers will document your injuries, including early signs of damage that you might not detect on your own.
- Incident reports. Many businesses maintain strict policies requiring employees to thoroughly document all adverse incidents. Slip-and-fall accidents qualify. These reports should detail the basics of the situation, such as the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as the names of anybody who witnessed the fall.
- Video footage. Security cameras often capture footage of negligence-related falls. These videos may demonstrate whether dangerous conditions were present at the time of the accident. Video footage can also be used to disprove efforts to paint you — the victim — as negligent.
Negotiating a Settlement
It is common for Portland slip-and-fall cases to be resolved with settlements. Insurance companies are typically involved in this process, as local businesses are required to carry commercial general liability coverage. It is in the insurance company’s best interest to minimize the liability of the business in question, so it will take aggressive efforts from your attorney to secure full compensation.
If, after an offer is made, you choose to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit, zealous advocacy will remain important. Timely representation is also essential, given Oregon’s statute of limitations: just two years for accidents that result in personal injuries.
Preparing for Trial
Likely, your slip-and-fall case will never reach the trial stage. Still, this remains a distinct possibility — so you and your attorney will want to prepare accordingly. This is a common strategy when striving for punitive damages.
If this reflects your intended approach, remember: state law mandates that just 30 percent of punitive damages go to the plaintiff. The remainder will be earmarked for the local victims’ compensation fund.
“Excellent attorneys and staff!! My attorney, Peter, and his paralegal, Katrina, went ABOVE & BEYOND to get me a settlement that was even higher than my own personal bottom line. I highly recommend Strong Law for all your personal injury claims. I would not have been able to navigate this 3-year long journey without them! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!”