What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
After a slip and fall, it’s important to act quickly. Adhering to the following steps can help protect you by strengthening your case and bolstering your slip and fall claim. It is also worth noting that this checklist does not have to be completed in any specific order. The severity of your injuries should decide the order in which each action should be completed.
Remember, the following is a great starting point for helping you preserve your legal rights, but it is not meant to replace the personalized advice of counsel.
Report Your Accident to Property Owners/Managers
Immediately after your fall, make a report with whoever is in charge of the property where it occurred. This individual may be a property owner or manager. While informing them of your accident and injury, request that a formal report be filed. Many well-established businesses will have formal reporting procedures in place. After submitting a report, request a copy from the company. If you fail to report an accident, there will be no record of your injury, making your case much more challenging. If you are unable to stand, request that someone file a complaint on your behalf while you seek medical assistance.
Not every business will have a standardized reporting system. Request an email or postal address if the company does not have processes in place for this type of accident. As quickly as possible, write and provide a description of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Obtain a copy of the police report if there is one and keep a copy of the notification and any papers you provide to the company.
Seek Medical Attention
Slipping and falling can result in terrible pain and injuries. It is critical to get medical assistance following a slip and fall. Contact emergency personnel at the scene of the injury and follow the first responder’s instructions. Go to the hospital if directed. If they do not believe you need to go to the hospital, go within 48 hours and have your injuries documented. Some damage, such as head traumas, may not be as obvious at first. Keeping a record of your injuries will assist you in filing your claim.
Determine What Caused Your Accident
Knowing what caused your slip and fall to happen will help develop your case. For example, if a slick floor caused your fall, you need to know what caused it to become slippery. Examining the scene and your surroundings for what caused your fall will be very important. If you do not observe a cause, it will be more difficult to prove your case.
Gather Information from Witnesses
Did anyone witness your fall? Did anyone offer to assist you? Save any contact information for witnesses (name, address, phone numbers, and email addresses) that will help you find them later. You can later ask them if they are willing to provide a statement, be deposed, or testify if necessary. If you were with someone during your slip and fall, such as a friend or family member, request permission to film their statement with your phone’s camera. It’s easier to record a statement when it’s still fresh, rather than depending on recollection and writing it down later.
Take Pictures and Document Everything
Taking pictures of the scene of the accident can help your claim. After your fall, the circumstances and things that caused your fall, such as puddles, ice, loose steps, holes, or ripped carpet, might quickly change. Document the site of the injury from numerous perspectives and angles. If you need bandages or casts for your injuries, take pictures of those as well. Also, make a list of any damage to your property, such as your clothing, that was caused by your fall.
Take Detailed Notes
Make some notes regarding what caused your fall as soon as you can. Include information such as the weather, the date, the time of the fall, and the specifics of the accident. Take note of where you fell, who was nearby, which foot stepped first and where, what shoes you were wearing, where you were looking, and whether you observed the condition or object that triggered your fall. Be sure to sign and date the document as well.
After you’ve been inspected for injuries, take photos of the clothes you were wearing during the slip and fall and store the shoes and clothing in a safe place. The more evidence of the accident you can preserve, the better.
Don’t Talk About Your Case on Social Media
Although it may be tempting to talk about your case, it’s recommended that you never discuss prospective legal action. Stay off social media while your slip and fall case is being processed. Don’t point fingers or make disparaging remarks about anyone involved in the case and maintain discussions about your slip and fall case exclusively with your doctors and attorneys.
Be Wary of Insurance Agents
Following a slip and fall, you may be contacted by an insurance adjuster about your claim. Be mindful of what you disclose to them. They want to figure out how to pay you the least amount of money possible, hoping that you will admit responsibility or minimize your injuries. Never sign a release authorizing anyone to see your medical records without first consulting with a lawyer. If you have already retained an attorney, direct the insurance person to them. You should never sign anything until your attorney has read it and approved the paperwork.
Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact the slip and fall lawyers at Harding Mazzotti, LLP. Our injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence. Find out how we can help you with a free claim consultation today. We can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-LAW-1010 (1-800-529-1010).
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