Slip and fall accidents can lead to extremely serious and life-changing injuries. If you become injured on someone’s unmaintained property, you might be considering a personal injury lawsuit to hold a property owner or proprietor responsible. A fall from someone else’s inability to manage their property could result in a lasting injury, missing work, or unpaid medical bills. If applicable, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. What you say and do directly after the accident may influence your slip and fall claim, so it is essential to follow the correct steps.
1. Seek Medical Help
Your health and well-being must be your most important priority. If critically injured, seek medical attention at the closest hospital’s ER. Even if you do not appear in severe condition, you may have underlying injuries as a result of the slip and fall. It is recommended that you receive a medical professional’s complete evaluation of your injuries. Be sure to mention all your symptoms, no matter how minor. Lastly, do not forget to inform the medical provider that you were injured in an accident. Seeking medical attention promptly after a slip and fall also confirms the timing of your injuries.
2. File a Report
An incident report should immediately be made with the property owner or proprietor. To have a file for your own record, request a copy of the report containing the details of the accident. The report is crucial for establishing the date, time, and location for your slip and fall accident. Furthermore, it shows you are taking the accident very seriously. Do not overly communicate with the responsible party since any statements you make could be used against you later.
If you left the scene immediately to get medical help, you or one of your friends/family members must return to report the incident as soon as possible. Acquire a copy of the accident report after you leave the hospital, or no later than the next day. Timing is key since juries tend to doubt slip and fall accidents if they were not reported by the day after the accident.
3. Take Pictures of the Scene
Evidence strengthens a slip and fall case to ensure you will receive necessary compensation. Take an abundance of photographs at the location, including pictures of the hazardous condition that led to your fall. The property owner may attempt to correct the condition if you leave the scene before taking photos, so gather this evidence as soon as possible. If you endured serious injuries and were rushed to the hospital immediately, try to have a family member document the scene. A personal phone such as an iPhone or Android will suffice for taking pictures.
4. Find Witnesses
Inquire if anyone else was around to see your accident or the unsafe conditions on the property. These individuals could be witnesses in your case, so gather their names and contact information. Their statements can be helpful at a later point in your case. There may be surveillance cameras that captured your fall, which is another form of evidence you can inquire for.
5. Keep your Clothes as Evidence
Preserve your clothing and shoes that you were wearing while you slip and fell. Try to maintain the clothes to keep them in the same condition as the time of your accident. It is also useful to photograph what you were wearing to show the ruggedness that occurred from the fall.
6. Write a Summary
In addition to a professional report, it can be useful to document your slip and fall accident while your memory is still fresh. You can note your surroundings, whether you noticed any obstructions prior to the fall, what the weather was like, and other key factors. Keeping a journal during your recovery process can also help you track your medical improvement following the injury.
7. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
An experienced personal injury attorney can provide significant assistance throughout this process. The other side often tries to provide the minimum amount of money as possible, without considering the true cost of missing work, costly medical bills, and lingering injuries. At Ramos & Ramos, we will build a strong case by preserving evidence, negotiating on your behalf, and fighting for the compensation you deserve. To see if you have the qualifications for a slip and fall case, fill out a Free Case Evaluation or call us at (716) 810-6140.