How to Recover from A Slip-and-Fall Accident
According to NSC Injury Facts, slip and fall accidents rank among the top three leading causes of preventable deaths, besides poisoning and motor vehicle accidents. While no one expects a slip-and-fall accident to occur, it can be confusing and frustrating to experience when one does happen.
Who is At Fault for a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
You might feel uncertain about why the accident occurred or who is at fault. You may even wonder if you have grounds to ask for financial compensation as you recover from your injuries. Hospital bills and lost wages may also leave you feeling as though you’ll be buried in a hole of insurmountable debt.
However, there are specific steps you can take to figure out who is at fault and to ensure you receive an appropriate amount of compensation for your slip-and-fall accident.
What To Do After a Slip And Fall
Below, we’re covering some of the most critical things you can do as you recover from your accident.
Seek Medical Treatment as Soon as Possible After Your Fall
One of the most crucial things you can do after experiencing a slip-and-fall is to seek immediate medical treatment. While you may not have any visible wounds, getting appropriate medical care will rule out any potential unseen hazards, such as a concussion or head injury. By visiting a doctor, you help to establish credibility for your claim and eliminate any possibility of the defense denying that your injuries are unrelated to your accident.
Understand the Cause of Your Accident
Even though you may be in pain or disoriented after your slip-and-fall, it’s critical to note your surroundings and determine the cause of your fall. Was your accident easily preventable due to someone else’s failure to maintain the property? For instance, was the floor wet and without a caution sign? Were you unable to prevent your fall down the stairs due to a lack of handrails? Noticing the conditions that led to your accident allows you to better understand the strength of your claim. The more preventable your accident, the stronger your case.
Photograph the Scene
Collecting any evidence from the accident scene is incredibly valuable in proving your claim. Photographs are one of the strongest pieces of evidence to show that negligent conditions led to your slip-and-fall accident. Take as many pictures as you can of the site of the accident and surrounding conditions, especially any areas of the property that show negligent conditions. In addition to taking photos of the accident scene, record any images of your injuries throughout the healing process. Cases with clear, documented evidence of wrongdoing tend to result in a much larger financial settlement than those without.
Record Eyewitness Information
If anyone aside from the property owner witnessed your accident, it’s vital to record their version of the incident as soon after it occurred as possible. Details of their account may change if you wait too long after the accident to document their version of events, so if possible, record their statement as quickly as you can. Additionally, be sure to write down their contact information and the information of any other eyewitnesses, too, including any employees, managers, or passersby who stop to help you.
File an Injury Report with the Company
All documentation of your injury is important, including filing an official injury report with the company that owns the property where your slip-and-fall happened. A detailed injury report shows the business and the property owner that you are serious about your injuries.
Be as detailed as possible about the incident, listing any injuries you sustained because of it. However, do not exaggerate or falsify the extent of your injuries—any evidence that contradicts what actually happened will make it even more challenging to receive the full compensation you are owed.
Ask for a Copy of Any Security Footage Taken from the Incident
Most retail stores and businesses have a security camera surveying their property around the clock, so they likely have footage from your slip-and-fall accident. Ask the manager to retain a copy of the footage and do it as soon as possible. Typically, the footage will be recorded over or thrown away, so request to get a copy immediately.
Talk To An Attorney Before Making Any Statements
After you file your injury claim, the property owner’s insurance company may contact you to make a statement regarding the incident. It is pivotal that you do not make any additional statements to them, as the official injury report you submitted should be enough. If you speak with the insurance company or anyone else in the accident, never admit fault for the accident, as such a statement could be incriminating later.
Before speaking with the insurance company, talk to a personal injury attorney first. A knowledgeable attorney will guide you through the negotiation process and ensure you receive the total amount owed for your injuries. Insurance companies often make an initial settlement offer well below the amount due. A personal injury attorney knows this and will be able to thwart attempts to lowball you out of the maximum payment.
If you’ve suffered an injury during a slip-and-fall accident, following the above steps is essential to ensure you receive the compensation you are fully entitled to. By thoroughly documenting the evidence surrounding your fall, including photos, eyewitness accounts, filing an injury report, and security footage, you help to legitimize your case.
Hiring a lawyer experienced in personal injuries allows you to receive the full representation you deserve, especially when negotiating with insurance companies.