A slip-and-fall accident is a personal injury case where someone slips, trips, or falls on public or private property, and is subject to a liability claim.
This type of incident is quite common and can happen anywhere, to anyone. Slip-and-fall accidents usually occur in public places such as bike tracks, parks, rental properties, and shopping centers. Victims may be left with serious injuries, along with large medical expenses, extended time off work, and loss in wages.
Ultimately, the owner (or whoever is responsible for the property) has a legal duty to take care of the people who use that space.
Here’s what you should do if you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident.
Health should always be your first priority. That’s why it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the incident to address any injuries.
Go to the emergency room, a walk-in clinic, or your family doctor. Tell them that you were injured in an accident and mention all symptoms you have incurred, regardless of how minor they seem.
A physician’s examination will prove that you were in a slip-and-fall accident, which can be used as evidence when you make a claim. In addition, be sure to keep any records, such as medical certificates, receipts, and lab results, as these can be used as proof when you seek compensation.
Remember, do not delay treatment, as each day that lapses can potentially reduce the value of your case. It’s also vital to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and not miss any medical appointments. Otherwise, jurors or defendants may assume that your injuries were not that serious – which could hurt your case.
Regardless of where the slip-and-fall accident occurs, be sure to report it to the landlord, manager, owner, or highest-ranking person of the property.
It’s crucial that they are made aware of the incident and your injuries immediately. If you were taken to the hospital for treatment, you should call back as soon as possible to report the incident. Ask them to put the details into writing and be sure to secure your own copy of the report. Likewise, keep records of any communication thereafter, as they may be required later.
Jurors tend to be critical if slip-and-fall accidents are not reported immediately. You might still have a solid legal case, but accidents that are not reported right away may incur a lower damage award. Again, time is of the essence here.
It’s important to collect evidence that can help prove your claim, support you case, and maximize the potential compensation payout.
Evidence that should be collected includes:
It’s crucial that you save everything from the slip-and-fall accident. This includes the clothes and shoes you (or your loved one) wore at that time.
Do not wash or clean them. Blood, damage, or dirt from those pieces of clothing may be substantial evidence in determining the gravity of your fall.
Instead, keep these in a safe and secure storage place. Make sure nothing from that space will ruin your clothing. Also, take photos of them prior to storing. Again, these may be relevant pieces of evidence when you make a claim.
While it might be against your instinct, it’s vital to limit your communication with anyone – like the property owner, manager, passers-by, and insurance company representatives. Do not post photos or make comments on social media.
Unless you have spoken to your lawyer, do not agree to provide a recorded statement to the business or its insurance company. This step is crucial as they might get you to say something that could potentially disprove or destroy your case later on. They could also misinterpret your words or unfairly evaluate the value of your injuries.
If, in any case, you have given a statement, you still need to call your lawyer. They should be able to review recorded statements and determine the next best steps.
But remember, as best practice, you are not required by law to give out recorded statements in these situations.
Slip-and-fall accidents are complex and difficult to prove in court, so it’s in your best interest to hire a qualified attorney to guide you throughout the process. They should have the experience, knowledge, and proven record to help you get the appropriate payout.
In addition, your lawyer should be able to prove that the injury was a result of someone else’s negligence or breach of duty of care.
From conducting a detailed intake interview and highly personalized service to reviewing settlement offers, an experienced lawyer can help increase the value of your slip-and-fall case damages.
Many victims of slip-and-fall accidents are not sure what to do during or after the incident. If you or someone you know has been injured in this type of accident, it’s vital to remember that these seven steps will help you establish the best possible case.
At the law firm of Corey Beck, we specialize in personal injury cases, including slip-and-fall accidents.
If you’ve been involved in one, we first make sure that you’re treated. We work directly with medical providers so you get the right care and treatment you need. We also do the hard work for you – obtaining medical records, submitting a demand, and defending your position – to ensure that you get the maximum compensation for your injury.
Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.