Slip & Fall Injuries
Many of us have felt the embarrassment of the “slip and fall” at some point in our lives. Some of us have felt it more than our fair share. But, what should you do if your slip and fall has left you with more than embarrassment and resulted in actual damages?
Slip and fall accidents may result in very serious injuries leading to sky-high medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering. Did you know that fall-related accidents account for over 8 million hospital and emergency room visits each year?
Slips, trips and falls are the number one cause of accidents in homes, hotels, restaurants and public buildings: 70% occur on flat and level surfaces, while 16% take place on stairs or escalators. Regardless of the time of year, you are always at risk of suffering a serious injury caused by a slip, trip and fall.
What To Do After You Suffer a Slip & Fall
By following the checklist below after experiencing a slip and fall, you will be able to better pursue your legal remedies, should you need and wish to do so. It is important to remember that a slip and fall accident can happen almost anywhere – a store, sidewalk, private home, etc. Just because your slip and fall did not occur in the quintessential location, such as a store, does not mean that you may not have a legal claim against the landowner and/or possessor of the premises. It is also important to note that this checklist does not need to be completed in any particular order. The order in which each task should occur should be determined by the gravity of your injuries.
- Notify the store manager, or homeowner, or the person that is in charge of the premises of the slip and fall. It is important to let them know that you fell and to ask that they document the accident. Make sure to obtain a copy of anything they create to document the accident.
- If necessary, call the police and request that the police draft a proper police report. Make sure to get a copy of the police report.
- Take pictures! This includes taking pictures of the exact location of the accident, any contributing conditions (liquids present, dangerous weather, etc.), your clothes, your shoes, and your injuries.
- Get the names, telephone numbers, and physical addresses of all witnesses. Follow up with the witnesses at a later point and ask them if they would be willing to make a statement, be deposed, or testify if necessary.
- Preserve all items of clothing and shoes that you were wearing at the time of the accident.Write down everything that you remembered from the accident shortly afterward. Sign and date the document.
- Get medical attention! It is important to not delay this step as a significant delay between the time of the accident and the time of seeking medical attention may lead to your injuries being wrongly attributed to other, intervening, factors and/or to a wrongful determination that the injuries are not as grave as you claim.
- Do not sign any documents or speak to any insurance agents without seeking the advice of competent counsel.
This checklist is a great starting point for preserving your potential legal remedies. However, it is not meant to replace the individualized advice of counsel. So, if you have sustained injuries from a slip and fall, contact the skilled attorneys at MHM for a consultation on your potential remedies.
Tips to Avoid Slip & Falls
Although many businesses and/or homeowners can be vigilant to keep trafficked areas safe, there are always those areas that are either ignored or remain slick even though cautionary measures have been taken. So, what can you do to ensure a safe and fall-free winter season? Here are some pointers to avoid both outdoor and indoor slip and falls:
- For starters, be sure to select footwear appropriate for the weather conditions. For example, a rubber sole may provide better traction than, say, a leather or plastic sole.
- When there is a storm or the possibility of ice and you have to drive, do your best to utilize the least slippery route. Also, avoid rushing and plan on more time to arrive at your destination.
- When you do arrive at your destination, be sure to use caution upon exiting the vehicle. Many slip and falls occur from quickly exiting a vehicle. If need be, hold onto the vehicle for added support.
- If you do incur a slippery surface, “bend slightly forward and shorten your stride or shuffle your feet for better stability.”
- Be aware of safety cones or any other objects used to denote an unsafe area.
- Make sure to wipe your feet on floor mats to soak up any moisture on the soles of your shoes. Also, pay attention to ‘Wet Floor’ and other hazard signs.
- Avoid walking on wet or slipper areas if possible.
- Frequently traveled floor mats can sometimes get supersaturated and/or rolled on the edges. Rolling can cause trips, and soaking wet mats can often stop absorbing moisture. Beware of this when you are utilizing high traffic areas.
Regardless of how many precautions you take, accidents do happen. If you or someone you know incurs an accident as a result of slippery surface, be sure to do the following:
- Seek immediate medical help
- Report it and any other fall hazards
- Keep record of everything that happened and the conditions that led to the slip or fall
Don’t let a slip and fall injury continue to affect you or your loved one, contact the slip and fall injury attorneys at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP. Our injury lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who have been injured as a result of negligence and abuse. Find out how we can help you with a free claim consultation today. We can be reached at any time, seven days a week at 1-800-LAW-1010 (1-800-529-1010).