According to the latest National Safety Council statistics, falls are among the top three causes of preventable deaths and the most common preventable nonfatal injuries. Falls are more common during the colder months due to the prevalence of ice and snow but can happen any time of the year from spills, loose rugs, poor lighting, or clutter.
Property owners may be liable if you or a loved one are injured in a slip-and-fall accident. Follow these five vital steps to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Slip-and-fall accidents can cause many types of injuries, not all of which are visible at first glance. Besides cuts and bruises, a slip-and-fall accident may cause concussions, neck injuries, soft tissue damage, broken bones, and in the worst-case scenarios, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Regardless of the injuries sustained, seek medical attention quickly to attend to wounds and prevent further injury. To provide evidence for your claim, keep copies of your medical records, prescriptions, and receipts for medical essentials.
You should also take photographs of your injuries as soon as possible for further proof. If you delay too much between the incident and a doctor’s visit, the party at fault may claim you weren’t hurt in the fall.
Depending on the location, a slip-and-fall accident can be highly noticeable and likely to be witnessed by other parties.
If possible, request contact information like names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses from any witnesses at the time of the incident and ask them if they would be willing to make a statement and recount what they saw. Once you contact a slip-and-fall attorney, they will collect witness statements on your behalf, strengthening your case.
If your accident occurred at a business, such as in a store parking lot, inform the owners or managers. Management should immediately offer to file an incident report, but if they don’t, request to fill one out. Additionally, if someone called law enforcement to the scene following the incident, you can file a police report. Each report helps strengthen your injury claim and eliminates the likelihood a business owner can claim you are making a false claim.
When writing an injury report, be as accurate as possible to build a credible case. Avoid artificially inflating the importance of your injuries or inserting inaccurate or false information; they may create discrepancies that can reduce the legitimacy of your claims and diminish the value of your damages.
Take photos or videos of the location of your fall. Photos can help show the potential hazards left by the owner to help build your case. Conserve all documentation, reports, medical records, and photographs taken during the previous steps in a case file.
Additionally, do not wash or dispose of the clothes you wore at the time of the incident, especially if they are damaged, torn, dirty, or bloody. These articles of clothing are now evidence that can prove the severity of your injuries.
Determining liability in a slip-and-fall case requires an investigation by accredited parties. For this reason, you must be careful about who you speak to and what you say after the incident.
At the scene of the accident, do not assign blame to a person or take responsibility for the accident. These statements can be recorded and used against you to diminish the credibility of your case.
If the property owners or their insurance company attempt to contact you, do not make any statements to them until you have consulted a qualified slip-and-fall attorney.
Limit your social media presence as the insurance company may use your public posts to claim you aren’t in pain. Set your profiles to private and avoid posting until the case is resolved. For example, if you claim you are too injured to work but regularly post yourself eating out or going shopping, these posts can be used against you to say you are exaggerating your claim.
Personal injury claims are complex and require a lot of time, planning, and effort to pursue, not to mention the knowledge of legal proceedings and insurance regulations. To help you receive the compensation you deserve, it’s vital that you call a knowledgeable personal injury attorney at Catalano law if you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident. Our team of experienced lawyers can fight to get you compensation to cover your necessary medical expenses so you can focus on recovery.
At Catalano Law, our team of qualified slip-and-fall attorneys is here to fight on your behalf. We have represented numerous victims of slip-and-fall injuries, many of whom have sustained life-altering injuries, giving us the experience to understand your situation.
For these reasons, our team works on a contingency basis; you pay us nothing unless we win and earn you damages or financial recovery.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.