While nobody ever expects to be the victim of a slip and fall accident, the truth is they’re very common and many of us have absolutely no clue what to do following one. You may want to follow all of the correct steps following a slip and fall, but you probably have no clue where to begin, as it’s not common knowledge.
The steps you take following a slip and fall case can potentially determine your ability to recover compensation for your losses. Making sure you know what to do if you ever find yourself in a slip and fall accident can help ensure you protect yourself as well as your ability to recover fully.
To help better understand what to do after being in a slip and fall accident, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important steps to take.
Seek Medical Attention
In any accident, the most crucial step is taking care of your health and safety, which is why we have this listed first. Not only is seeking medical attention beneficial to keeping you healthy it also is the first piece of evidence for your case. Seeking medical attention following a slip and fall accident creates documented evidence of your injuries which is usually the most important part of any personal injury case.
Seeing a doctor quickly following an accident leaves no time for the other party to dismiss your injuries or try to blame them on another occasion — which seems to be commonplace in the world of slip and fall cases.
In addition to documenting evidence, the more important reason to seek medical attention is so that you’re sure of all of your injuries. Head injuries, for example, sometimes show no symptoms until much later after the accident. A medical professional will be able to identify all of your injuries, as they know exactly what to look for. Accounting for all of your injuries is essential for your recovery, as well as building your case to ensure a fair recovery.
Investigate the Scene and Report
What was the contributing factor to your fall? Was there a wet floor without a sign? Was there something in the walkway that shouldn’t have been there? Did a property owner show negligence on their land, leaving an icy walkway? Whatever the case may be, be sure to document your findings.
Before it becomes unclear what exactly it was that led to your fall, try your best to look around immediately following your fall. Determining the cause of your fall is a key component in proving negligence, as well as helping your case hold up in court.
Following your inspection, you will want to give a statement to the landlord or owner where the accident occurred, as well as receiving a written statement from the landlord or owner. Be sure to also get things like the street addresses, names of anyone involved (including witnesses,) and phone numbers. Getting the information of any witnesses present will be a crucial piece in your claim, so be sure to reach out to anyone who may have seen the accident happen. Having written documentation will be very helpful moving forward, it will allow you to have concrete evidence immediately after the accident ensuring no details were forgotten.
As if the evidence you have provided isn’t enough, photo evidence is the icing on the cake. Having photographs can make or break your potential claim. If you have photo evidence supporting your statements, there is very little for the jury to not believe, as there is cold, hard evidence right in front of them.
Decline Giving Statements
Although getting a report of what happened from the owner or property manager is something that’s necessary, deciding fault right then and there is not. In fact, until you are working with an attorney do not give any statements. Do not place blame on anyone, but also, don’t take any blame. This goes for insurance companies as well, until having spoken with an attorney, don’t disclose any information to an insurance company.
Speaking with someone and admitting guilt or placing the blame on another party will just end up making your potential case that much harder, it’s best practice to just stay calm and quiet until you can speak over the plan of action with your attorney.
Call an Attorney
Any time you’re considering taking legal action, your best partner is a qualified attorney. When it comes to slip and fall accidents, they often times have complexities that almost make hiring an attorney a requirement. Not only are the cases often complex, but they are also difficult to prove more often than not — having an experienced attorney by your side will help in getting you the compensation you deserve.