Captains Walk Shopping Mall is a popular spot for shoppers in Chicago. The shopping center has a number of stores and restaurants available for the enjoyment of its guests. If you slip and fall while shopping and injure yourself, however, how can you recover for your injuries? Will you have to go to court?
To recover for your injuries, filing a lawsuit may be necessary, especially if the shopping center does not agree to make a reasonable offer to settle your claim. Many insurance companies may offer thousands less than what your claim is worth. If you accept such an offer from the shopping center’s insurance company, you will be responsible for any additional costs you incur.
Many victims do not want to file a lawsuit because they are nervous they will have to go to court. They picture a scene out of an episode of Law and Order: the victim will sit nervously on the witness stand, stuttering as opposing counsel yells and shouts, blaming the victim somehow for the injuries that were sustained.
The truth of the matter is, the vast majority—roughly 95 percent—of cases settle out of court. Most slip and fall victims will never have to step foot in a courtroom. Victims should not let their fear of the courtroom prevent them from pursuing legal action when a shopping center’s negligence caused them harm.
How are cases kept out of court? Once a lawsuit is filed and the initial court documents have been filed, the parties will engage in discovery. Discovery is the exchange of evidence between the parties. It includes requests for documents, as well as lists of questions and admissions that the parties need to answer. For example, medical records, security camera footage, photographs, and other types of documents may be requested. A victim may be asked to answer a list of written questions about the shoes he had on, whether he was looking at his cell phone, and whether he had any preexisting health conditions at the time of the fall.
The parties may also be deposed during the case. A deposition is the taking of sworn testimony from a case party or witness. The party being deposed will be sworn in, and opposing counsel will begin asking questions relevant to the case. A court reporter will record everything that is said, so that the parties and their attorneys may reference these statements later. A deposition typically takes place in a conference room.
The parties may also use mediation. During mediation, a third party neutral meets with the parties and helps them negotiate a settlement. Mediation takes place out of the courtroom.
Let our attorneys help with your claim today
At Stein & Shulman, our attorneys are skilled negotiators and excellent trial attorneys. We are prepared to represent you in settlement negotiations and in trial, if necessary. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim, call 312-422-0509 or visit steinshulman.com.