What to Do After a Slip-And-Fall Accident
After experiencing a slip-and-fall accident, you may not know what steps to take next. You may ask yourself—Can you legally file suit against someone? What steps should you take to ensure you’re not working against your own case? Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to protect your case and receive fair compensation. Here are a few simple things you can do immediately after a slip-fall.
1. Seek Medical Attention for Your Injuries
One of the most important things you can do after a slip-and-fall accident is to seek medical attention for your injuries. Medical treatment will not only help you heal from your accident, but it will also provide solid evidence for your case that proves you were indeed injured directly because of your slip-and-fall.
The sooner you seek medical treatment, the better for your case. The longer you wait to receive medical attention, the more the defense will have to suggest that your injury was not a direct result of your slip-and-fall and that it was a result of something else. Additionally, following a slip-and-fall, you may not be completely aware of less visible damage, such as a concussion or head injury, so it’s vital to have a medical professional evaluate you for any unseen damages.
2. Investigate the Scene of Your Accident
As soon after your accident as possible, you should evaluate the area for any evidence of negligence or dangerous conditions. It’s critical to note any conditions that could have contributed to your slip-and-fall, including the cause of the injury itself. Was there a slippery spot on the floor that didn’t have a caution sign warning you of the danger? Was there frayed or uneven carpeting that caused you to trip? Did the premises have poor lighting?
3. Take Photos of the Premises
Photos say much more than any words you may say during a trial. Take as many photographs as possible of the area where you fell, including the floor, the hallways, and any areas near the scene, especially any areas that show unkempt grounds or unsafe conditions. Photos help to prove your case and make a powerful statement to any potential jury.
4. Speak with Witnesses
Eyewitnesses to your accident are critical to confirming your version of events, especially if you fell at a business where employees may be less likely to testify on your behalf. Ask anyone who witnesses your accident for their contact information so that you can call them to testify for you, if necessary. That means jotting down their phone number, email address, and address. If possible, ask them for permission to record a brief statement on your phone to give a firsthand account of your accident. The longer you wait for other people to recount details of your accident, the less accurate those details become.
5. File an Official Injury Report
Another crucial step to take immediately following your accident is to file an injury report with the business owner. An official injury report shows everyone involved that you are taking your injury seriously. An injury report also helps to prevent the defense from claiming that you didn’t take your injury seriously at the time of the event. While you don’t have to fill out a detailed report, it’s important not to embellish or falsify any circumstances surrounding your fall, as it will definitely work against your favor in the long run. Be honest, brief, and accurate in your report.
6. Write Everything Down
Details can change over time, and memories can fade. That’s why it’s imperative to write or record as much as you can remember about your slip-and-fall accident as soon as possible after your accident— the more detailed, the better. Be sure to include any details surrounding your physical injury, including pain, symptoms, and anything else relevant to your case.
7. Talk to an Attorney
It’s critical to understand that the defense and their insurers wish to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. They may throw offers at you that are far lower than what your case is actually worth or use your statements to them out of context in court. An experienced attorney knows all the tricks and tactics scrupulous insurers use to prevent you from receiving the full settlement amount your case is worth. Additionally, a skilled personal injury attorney will fight for your case and help you navigate the legal process much more easily than you would on your own accord.
The steps you take after suffering a slip-and-fall accident can determine the compensation you receive for your claim. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your slip and fall accident claim will ensure you are within the statute of limitations and that there is a solid case for your claim. They will also fight for your financial recovery while you focus on your recovery.