What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
After being injured in a slip and fall accident, you might feel overwhelmed by your injuries and worried about how you’ll earn an income while recovering. And if that stress wasn’t enough, you could be facing the complex and often confusing legal system meant to handle these types of cases.
If this sounds like you, understand that you’re not alone; over a million people visit the ER for slip and fall injuries each year. To protect your rights and your livelihood, take the following steps after a slip and fall accident.
Seek Medical Attention
After a slip and fall accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. Keep in mind that, like with a fender bender, your injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Therefore, it’s important that you continue to monitor yourself for several days or even weeks following the slip and fall. Injuries to your back, neck, or hips could seem minimal at first, but have the potential to develop into serious, debilitating issues.
Additionally, avoid telling the liable party you’re ‘okay,’ as this could be used against you if an injury reveals itself at a later date.
Report the Incident
The next essential step to take after a slip and fall accident is reporting the incident. You should make the report with the owner of the premise you were injured on—a restaurant or bar owner, a grocery store, etc. If your injuries prevent you from doing this, have someone help you.
It’s critical that the report is prepared as quickly as possible. Make sure the report accounts for all the appropriate details, is written objectively, and doesn’t omit crucial details such as wet floor conditions or ice on a walkway.
Finally, ensure that you receive a copy of this report, as it can be used in your personal injury lawsuit.
Document the Area and Conditions
If your injuries don’t prevent you from doing so, take the time to document the scene. This is an important step for proving negligence and winning your personal injury case. Things to pay close attention to include:
- Floor conditions: If you were in a restaurant or grocery store, for example, and there was a puddle, wet stairs, or other messes that caused you to slip, be certain to document that. Take photos and videos using your phone to capture the scene so it can be referenced at a later date.
- Weather: Make note of conditions such as snow, ice, or rain that may have been influential in causing your injuries. If the owner of the premise was not adequately prepared to put safety measures in place, they could be liable for your injuries.
- Other tripping hazards: If your injury was caused by other tripping hazards, such as poorly marked steps, poorly lit areas, or landscaping or design features that were dangerous to navigate, documenting them can help bolster your case with evidence of the owner’s negligence.
Following your injuries, save all evidence, whether you think it’s relevant or not. This could include things like tickets or receipts if you were at an exclusive or ticketed event and the shoes you wore when the slip and fall occurred, as well as medical records documenting your injuries or security footage from nearby homes or businesses.
In addition, make sure that the photos and videos you’ve taken are backed up on several devices. You can do this easily by emailing them to yourself before downloading them. This way, you have the evidence preserved on your phone, your computer, and in your email.
Limit Your Communication About Your Injury
Finally, make sure to stay quiet about your injuries. You might understandably want to talk about your experience on social media or other public communication channels, but keep in mind that anything you say can be used against you in court.
So, if you shared about your injuries on Facebook and somebody said “I hope you’re doing well,” you making the off-hand response of ‘I’m doing fine’ could be used to downplay the severity of your injuries. Therefore, keep your communications to a minimum.
Additionally, be incredibly cautious of insurance companies calling and requesting statements, as they could be used to diminish your injuries and suffering. If you receive calls asking about your slip and fall, whether it be from an insurer, the liable party’s lawyer, or a similar source, follow these best practices when speaking to the other person:
- Don’t admit fault: If you admit fault or make a statement that could be interpreted as you accepting some blame, you could damage your chances of receiving the compensation you’re entitled to.
- Don’t say more than is necessary: Be very concise and clear in your statements; if your statements are vague, lawyers for the negligent party could twist and turn your words into an admission of partial fault.
- Don’t speculate: If you don’t know something, say so; don’t guess or make conjecture, as this could undermine your ability to win the damages you’re entitled to.
- Refer them to your attorney: Finally, to make matters as simple as possible, refer them to your attorney instead of going through the stress of answering their questions and measuring each word you speak.
Pasternak and Zirgibel Are Attorneys You Can Trust
A slip and fall accident can cause serious injuries impacting your quality of life and ability to make a living. Navigating the litigation surrounding your accident can add an extra level of stress to what you’re already experiencing, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Turn to Frank Pasternak and Jeff Zirgibel for attorneys with over 55 years of experience fighting to get people like you the damages they deserve. Skilled personal injury attorneys like Pasternak and Zirgibel can help you gather and subpoena evidence, take witness statements, and craft compelling legal arguments to win your case.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, don’t take any chances; contact Pasternak and Zirgibel today for a free case evaluation.