Slip and fall accidents are some of the trickiest situations in personal injury law. One reason for this is that they can happen most anywhere and to anyone. They are not very predictable and the weather doesn’t have to be icy, snowy or wet for an accident to take place. Most everyone will suffer a fall at some point in their lives and there’s a good chance it won’t be your fault when it happens.
There is a level of safety that needs to be provided at homes, workplaces, and other public spaces to ensure people are not injured by a slip and fall accident. This is called premises liability. If you are injured on someone else’s property because they failed to make that space properly safe, then you could be entitled to compensation.
Compensation in slip and fall accidents will usually cover medical expenses, loss of work while recovering, and more as it relates to the accident.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
So what should you do if you or someone you love is injured in a slip and fall? Here are some personal injury law tips to help you.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health and well-being is the most important thing at this time. How long do you have to go to the doctor after a slip and fall accident? The only sensible answer to this question is as soon as possible, even if you do not believe you are injured. A slip and fall injury might not produce symptoms right away. You are going to need documentation of any injuries as soon as possible. If you suffered an injury, you are going to need a medical report to establish exactly how serious it is. Your medical records will serve as crucial evidence to support your claim.
Report the Incident
You should also report the incident to the manager, supervisor, homeowner or some other person in charge at the location of your fall. A landlord or business manager should take a written statement and provide you with a copy before you leave the scene.
Always try to take photos of the location you fell and the area around it. You want to document the exact location with as much photographic evidence as possible. You also need to document the time and date of the accident. Additionally, be sure to photograph anything that could establish a cause for the accident.
Follow Medical Advice
Do not miss doctor’s appointments, and do exactly as your doctor tells you to. Otherwise, the defendant can attempt to blame you for your own condition. Missing doctor’s appointments in particular suggests that you were not seriously injured—even if you were in too much pain to go.
Document absolutely everything. You should collect all relevant info such as names, phone numbers, and addresses of witnesses or people involved. Write out a complete description of the accident while it is fresh in your mind. Keep a medical diary where you record your symptoms and the pain and suffering that you experience.
Stay Off Social Media
Don’t use any of your accounts until your compensation is already in your bank account. If you must use social media, don’t talk about your accident or upload any photos that make you look healthy.. Don’t accept friend requests from strangers, because an insurance adjuster will try to gain access to your accounts.
Save Your Clothing and Shoes
You should take the clothing and shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident and keep them in a safe place. They could be used as important evidence in the case at some point.
Call an Attorney
You should call an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Slip and fall cases are often difficult to prove, and you want to involve a professional as soon as possible.
Have your lawyers negotiate your claim for you. Remember, your lawyers cannot accept a settlement offer on your behalf unless you authorize them to. If they are experienced slip and fall lawyers, they almost certainly have a lot more experience negotiating claims that you do. Take advantage of their skills!
Remember: insurance adjusters are professional negotiators, and they are not your “good neighbor.” They are your adversary.
At The Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we have been helping personal injury clients for nearly 30 years. We have the experience you need to seek the compensation you deserve.
What to Do If You Slip and Fall in a Store
If you slip and fall in astore, take the following steps, in addition to those above:
- Identify any substance or obstacle that caused your accident. It might have been water on the floor, a banana peel, an uneven surface, merchandise left on the floor or something else. Do your best to identify it before you leave the scene of the accident.
- Request a copy of the store security video. You need to do this right away, because some shops erase their footage every 24 hours. Video footage can be very convincing evidence.
- File an incident report with the store. The store will almost certainly have a procedure for filing one. Be careful what you say, because the store is already your adversary. Read the report carefully, and sign it yourself if it is accurate. Make sure to obtain a copy of the incident report for yourself before you leave the store.
If you’d like to learn more about personal injury law, or how we can help you with a slip and fall case, contact us today.