Did you know slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of accidental injuries in restaurants, hotels, and public buildings?
Accidents happen. But when they happen due to negligence on the part of the property owner, a slip and fall accident becomes a legal issue. Hopefully, the property or business owner will do the right thing. If that doesn’t happen, you may end up in court
What you do right after a slip and fall can affect your insurance claim or lawsuit. What you do at the scene of the accident and right after you receive medical attention can help protect your rights.
Here are the steps to take things you right after a slip and fall accident happens.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Many slip and fall accidents are minor. But many cause serious injuries. Head trauma, broken bones, or even internal injuries are common.
Immediate Medical Treatment
If you are injured, seek medical treatment right away. There are two reasons for this. The first is practical. You need to treat your injury. Additionally, you need to obtain written documentation of your medical diagnosis.
If you did not see a physician right after the accident, then make an appointment with your physician now. Sometimes an injury doesn’t seem serious until a couple of days later.
Then that you may realize that your pain level is higher, or the injury has affected your mobility.
If you went to the hospital right after your accident, you received instructions for follow-on care. There are next steps for you to take for treatment that you should follow. These can include everything from medications to seeing a specialist.
You should follow through with the physician’s recommendations for the sake of your health.
2. Examine the Area Where You Fell
While you are still there, survey the area where you fell. If you are waiting for medical attention, you have some time to take some note.
Or, if you are seriously injured, perhaps someone with you can do this. Look around the area for a possible cause for your fall. Is there something on the ground like snow, a loose welcome mat, uneven tile?
As you look, write down what you see. Take as many notes as possible while you are still there. Events are fresh in your mind at this point. You may need these details later, especially if your case goes to court.
Even if your case doesn’t go that far, details help a personal injury attorney decide how to handle your case.
3. Take Note of Witnesses
Was there anyone who saw your fall? If yes, get their names and contact information (phone number and address). Witnesses include anyone who saw you fall. They also include anyone who was there after your accident.
You will need witnesses if there is a dispute with your claim. Anyone who saw you after your fall can describe the site of the accident. They can also describe your condition after your fall.
4. Report the Accident
Wherever your slip and fall happens, be sure to report it. Report it to the owner, landlord, or manager of the property.
Place of Business
If your slip and fall happened at a place of business, you might need to fill out paperwork. The store may have a policy for filling out an accident report. You should make the business aware of your accident right away.
You should not try to resolve the issue, but the manager or owner does need to know what happened.
Take note if anyone, especially anyone employed there, makes a comment suggesting this has happened before. Write down that person’s name if you can. Also, write down exactly what they said. Did others hear the remark? If so, get their names as well.
Limit Your Statements
Follow procedure but keep your words to a minimum. Limit your talk with the manager or owner, and do not lay blame or make any demands. Just take care of yourself.
Do NOT provide a statement to an insurance company until you’ve talked to your lawyer. Later, do not say anything about your accident on social media.
Get a Copy of Everything in Writing
Besides your own notes, remember to get a written copy of everything. If the landlord or owner does not make a written report, request one. The accident should be documented right then and there.
Then, request a copy of the report for your records before you leave.
5. Take Photos as Soon as You Can
You should take photos of the accident scene right after the accident. The goal here is to take pictures of the scene before the conditions change. If you do not get photos, the property owners could make improvements or repairs to obscure the cause of your fall.
A business is liable for your accident only if there is negligence on their part. And, that negligence is the cause of your accident. This means that they created an unsafe condition on their property. Your lawyer’s job is to prove that they knew about or should have known about that unsafe condition.
Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuit
Slip and fall accidents can be frightening. Victims are often shaken up. They are often unaware of what was happening at the time the fall occurs. That is understandable, but staying focused can make all the difference later if your insurance claim turns into a lawsuit.
If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident, you may be seeking the services of a personal injury attorney to review your case.
If you need an attorney in the Dallas, Texas, please contact us for a free consultation. We will review your case and help you get justice.
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