5 Important Things to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident (and 5 Mistakes to Avoid)
You're on the floor and in serious pain.
Maybe you've tripped over a naked electrical wire at work. Perhaps you've slipped and fallen on a slippery bathroom floor at a hotel. Or maybe you've fallen and gotten injured at a grocery store.
Whatever the case, getting injured after a slip and fall is not something you ever anticipate. When it happens, you might be confused and scared. Even though you want to put things right, you might have no idea of where to start.
The things you do after sustaining a slip and fall injury can affect your chances of getting fair compensation for your loss. Knowing what to do in such a case can help you recover your loss and protect yourself.
Here are five things you need to do, as well as five mistakes to avoid following a slip and fall accident.
5 Things to Do When a Slip and Fall Occurs
Your actions immediately after a slip and fall incident, both at the site and soon after you've had medical attention can significantly impact your insurance claim or slip and fall lawsuit.
Here's what you need to do when you're involved in a slip and fall accident.
1. Seek Medical Treatment
Your own health-or that of your family member-should be your top priority after a slip and fall. If you've been injured, it's crucial to seek medical attention so that a doctor can properly document your injuries.
Those medical records are going to be a key part of your evidence should you opt to pursue damages for your injuries.
2. Report the Accident
Regardless of where the slip and fall accident occurs-on a sidewalk, in a store, at a friend's home, or in the bathroom-be sure to report it to the owner, landlord, or manager.
Don't forget to get the written details of the accident. Ask the owner, landlord, or manager to write a report and ask for a copy before leaving.
3. Gather Information from Witnesses
If anybody witnessed your slip and fall accident, be sure to get their information immediately. Then call them and get their version of events on record. Do this as soon as you can.
A witness can quickly forget about the accident-the sooner you get their statement, the more credible it could be.
If the statement backs up your claim about the property owner's laxity, you could use that statement during the claims recovery process.
4. Take Pictures of the Scene
A picture's worth a thousand words, as they say. And perhaps it's worth even more in the courtroom.
You can testify about the conditions that caused your slip and fall but unless you've got video or photo evidence, it'll be your word against theirs.
5. Collect as Much Evidence as Possible at the Scene
This can be particularly useful when you need to file your claim. Write down the testimony and names of any witnesses, where the accident occurred, time and date, as well as any important details like the following:
- Cause of accident
- Any injuries sustained
- Where you were at the time of the accident
- Signs of negligence (like missing wet floor warning)
If you sustained serious injuries, get treated and don't worry about collecting evidence. If possible, ask someone else, e.g. a friend, to help you out.
5 Mistakes to Avoid Following a Slip and Fall Accident
If you were injured on another person's property, a personal injury attorney will help you get compensation for your losses-so long as you don't make any mistake that harms your case down the road.
Here are 5 mistakes you need to avoid after a slip and fall accident.
1. Don't Forget to Report the Incident
After slip and fall incidents, many people are ashamed and will want to get out of the scene right away. Rather than do that, be sure to report the incident to the relevant person. In addition, get a copy of the accident report from the manager.
2. Don't Forget to Talk to Any Witnesses
If there's anyone in the scene, then they're your best hope of getting compensation for your accident. Write down the names and addresses of people who witnessed your fall, and share this information with your personal injury attorney.
This will help the attorney draw up a strategy and bring in people who can back up your case. If you've got no witnesses, then it's pretty much your word against the other party's.
3. Don't Endure Pain
If you're seriously hurt, summon paramedics. If you've got a slight pain, it's still best to get a medical examination at the hospital. If you'd rather not go to the hospital, please see your primary care doctor immediately.
4. Don't Skip Physical Therapy Sessions or Doctor's Appointments
The insurance provider will be keeping tabs on everything you do after your slip and fall incident so they can show you're not as seriously hurt as you claim. If you skip your appointments or flout your doctor's orders, they could use this to reduce your claim amount.
5. Don't Fail to Gather Evidence
It's vital to gather evidence as soon as possible when it comes to slip and fall cases. Once you leave the scene, the manager or property owner is likely to fix the hazardous conditionsthat caused your fall.
That's why you need to record videos or take pictures of the conditions that caused your accident. For instance, if you slipped on a greasy floor at a hotel, make sure to take clear pictures of that.
Don't Lose Your Slip and Fall Claim
What you do following a slip and fall incident is vitally important to receiving fair compensation for your claim. From seeking medical attention immediately to identifying witnesses to taking photos, most of these actions involve gathering evidence that supports your story.
If you're hurt in a slip and fall accident and need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, speak to the legal experts at the Law Office of Rick Koenig.
Contact us today to book a free consultation.
This site is intended to provide general information about our firm. You should never assume the specific or general information applies to your case without first consulting with an experienced attorney. Sending an e-mail or requesting an initial consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly for specific advice.
If your claim(s) are not timely filed you may be prevented from pursuing your claim. If you have already filed your claim, and you do not actively pursue your claim(s) it may be dismissed.