What You Should Do and NOT Do Following a Slip and Fall Accident
When you are injured in a slip and fall accident that was not your fault, you need to hold the negligent party responsible for your losses. To do so, you will need to file a claim for compensation with the individual’s or business’ insurance company. However, obtaining the compensation you deserve may not be easy. It is important to do everything you can do to strengthen your case and not do things that can make it more difficult to receive the compensation you deserve.
Steps You Should Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
There are certain steps that you can take following a slip and fall accident that will help you build the best possible legal case against the party that caused your injuries. Some crucial actions that you should take if possible include:
Seek prompt medical care. Of course you want to seek immediate medical treatment if you know you suffered injuries in a fall. However, you should also be examined by a doctor if you do not believe that you were injured. The symptoms of some conditions, like traumatic brain injury and spinal, neck, and back injuries, could take days or weeks to develop. By seeing a doctor right away, you document your concern about being injured as well as ensure that any hidden medical problems are treated before they become more serious, or even life-threatening.
File accident report. You want to file an accident report right after your slip and fall. This will help establish that the accident occurred and put the individual or business on notice of your claim.
Take photographs. You should take photographs of the accident scene, whatever caused your slip and fall, such as spilled liquids, damaged flooring, or debris, and your injuries.
Obtain contact information. You will want to obtain the contact information for the negligent party and any witnesses to your fall. Third-party witnesses who have no interest in your claim could be very important to proving the owner’s negligence in causing your injuries.
Save your clothes and shoes. What you were wearing could be important to your claim so you should save the clothes and shoes you were wearing when you fell. Torn and bloodied clothing can also be very powerful evidence to show the jury if your case does not settle.
Retain an attorney. You want to hire an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after your accident. He can investigate your claim, collect the evidence you will need, hire needed experts, and negotiate your settlement for you.
What Actions Should You NOT Take Following a Slip and Fall Accident?
Just like there are steps that you should take to strengthen your claim, there are actions that you want to avoid because they could hurt your case. A few of these include the following:
Apologizing or saying anything that could be misinterpreted as you admitting fault in causing your injuries
Agreeing to give a recorded statement as you could say something inadvertently that could be used against you
Signing a blanket medical authorization from the insurance company. You could be providing them with private and sensitive medical records that are not relevant to your claim or that could be used to try to deny or reduce your claim.
Settling your claim without first consulting with an attorney to ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement.
Signing any legal documents without first having a lawyer review them. You could be waiving important legal rights, including your right to file a lawsuit.
Waiting too long to pursue your claim or the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit may have expired.
An experienced slip and fall attorney can give you further guidance on the steps to take and avoid in your case. He will also know what to do if you have not followed these guidelines. It does not mean that you do not have a strong claim. To learn more, call our office to schedule a free consultation.