Slipping accidents (or tripping and falling) are all too common, especially if you find yourself on unsafe or poorly maintained premises. Don’t blame yourself for being “clumsy” or “accident-prone” — in many cases, your injury isn’t your fault. If you suffer an injury due to a fall on someone else’s premises, you may have grounds for a slip and fall lawsuit. This all comes down to something called premises liability.
Premises liability means if you’re injured on someone else’s property — whether it’s a home, business, store, parking lot, etc. — due to their negligence, you can be eligible for compensation. However, ensure you or your loved one take the following five crucial steps to protect yourself as well as strengthen your case, should you decide to pursue one. An attorney for slip and fall cases can help you determine what you should do next.
1. Get Help
Your medical needs come first, no matter what. Even if you don’t think you suffered serious injury, see a doctor, as some symptoms often don’t show up immediately. Additionally, this will document any injuries from the start. Don’t just brush off any pain or try to get up if you feel you’re hurt. Ask for an ambulance or police assistance.
2. Ensure a Report is Filed
If you don’t file a report about your accident, it may well have never happened. The outcome of many trip and fall cases can hinge on correct or incorrect paperwork. If you fall in a place of business, ask for the manager and have them fill out an incident report. If you fall in an apartment building or somewhere similar, speak to the landlord or owner. Always get a copy for your own records, including any police reports.
3. Document, Document, Document
Collect as much evidence and information as you can at the scene. If you can’t do this, have someone do it for you, like a friend with you at the time of the accident. Things that may seem unimportant to you at the time may be crucial for a slip and fall lawsuit. Use your cell phone to take photos of the scene, any unsafe conditions (uneven surfaces, broken railings, spills, ice, etc.). Keep the clothing you were wearing, unwashed. Get the contact information of any witnesses. Write down everything you remember, as soon as possible, before you forget any important details.
4. Contact an Attorney
Get in touch with a personal injury attorney for slip and fall cases as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help you gather evidence, determine whether you have a valid case, and do the hard work so you can focus on your recovery. Your law firm will also advise you on how to handle the other party’s insurance company, who will likely contact you in an attempt to make a lowball settlement. Do not accept, agree to or sign anything without speaking to counsel. Your attorney will also help determine what kinds of compensation to which you’re entitled — medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or long term losses.
5. Go “Dark” Online
Many people make the mistake of talking about their injuries or lawsuits online. This can destroy your credibility and your case. Posting photos of yourself out dancing or playing sports, for example, can prove to the defense that your injuries aren’t as severe as you say they are. Talking about any privileged information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can end up in court and used against you. Even talking about a settlement after the fact might cause the outcome of your case to be nullified. Be safe and only speak of your case with your attorney.
Considering a Slip and Fall Lawsuit? We Can Help
The personal injury attorneys at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq are experienced in these types of cases and dedicate themselves to your case so you can focus on getting your life back. Please call 1-800-923-3456 or contact us online to speak with one of our lawyers.