At least one million Americans are injured in slip and fall accidents every year and some even die in them. If someone else, such as a property owner or maintenance company, is responsible for the condition that led to your slip and fall accident injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The steps that you take after an accident could be crucial in determining whether you are able to recover damages for your injury.
Partner with a reputable personal injury law firm to ensure that you take all the necessary steps for your slip and fall case to have the best possible outcome. At Sadaka Law, we are a personal injury firm that helps accident victims seek compensation for damages, including fall injuries, medical bills, and loss of income. We can also deal with the insurer on your behalf and gather evidence supporting your injury claim.
Here are six steps that you should take after a slip and fall accident to put yourself in a position to pursue a legal remedy for your injuries.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Get Medical Help
Once you realize that you fell, remain calm and seek immediate medical assistance. Tending to your medical needs first is crucial as some injuries, such as internal bleeding or head trauma, might not present immediate symptoms. Seeking emergency treatment will also protect the integrity of your fall injury claim.
If you have suffered any injury whatsoever in the accident, do not refuse an offer of medical assistance. If you walk away from the scene of the accident, you may have a harder time showing that you actually have been injured in the fall.
If you even think that there is a chance that you were injured, err on the side of caution and seek medical attention at the scene of your slip and fall. If the paramedics are called, do not turn them away because that may demonstrate that you did not sustain any injuries when you fell.
You should seek medical treatment from a doctor shortly after the accident. The longer that you wait to get medical help, the more difficult it will be to show that whatever injury you have suffered was the result of the fall accident.
You will need to have suffered damages in order to be compensated. If you cannot prove that you were hurt, there is nothing to compensate you for and no damages. The only way that you show that you were hurt is by your medical records or the testimony of a doctor.
Follow your doctor’s orders to the letter. If you don’t seek recommended treatment or fail to schedule follow-up treatments, the defendant’s insurer might use this information to reduce your claim amount. Keep all medical bills as proof of your falling injuries and out-of-pocket expenses.
Document the Scene of Your Accident
This may be a difficult step to take after you have been injured in a slip and fall accident. The fact that you have been hurt may make it tough to take a full set of pictures of all of the conditions of the accident scene.
However, to the extent that you are able, it is vital to capture evidence of the way that the scene looked at the time of your fall accident. If there was a dangerous condition, make sure that either you or someone else can take pictures of it to be used as evidence for your claim. If you slipped and fell on business property, documenting the scene is critical, especially if there is a hazard that might be dangerous to the public.
Obtain Witness Information
Before you are taken away from the scene of the accident or leave on your own, try to get the contact information and recollections of everyone at the scene who witnessed the fall accident. Their testimony can be crucial in establishing what caused you to slip and fall. If you fell on someone’s property, get the phone numbers and personal details of the owners.
Learn how you can reach the witnesses along with a brief indication of what they may say if they were called to testify at a trial. It is crucial to write this information down in more than one place so you are not at risk of losing the information if you either misplace a piece of paper or have information wiped out from your phone.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
The owner of the property where the fall accident occurred needs to be informed of the accident. This should happen at the time when the accident occurred so that you can get a written report of the slip and fall. Waiting to report the fall can negatively impact your ability to recover damages.
You should report the accident from the scene to the police or paramedics so that there is another record from the time of the accident. Ask for a copy of the accident report before leaving the business premises. The report should include the cause of the accident, a description of the location where you fell, and the exact time of the incident.
The more that you have in terms of contemporaneous documentation of reports, the better of a chance that you have of being able to demonstrate for an insurance company or a court what happened at the scene.
When you submit an accident report several days after it happens, your claim will lose credibility and insurers will question whether your filing is credible at all.
Assemble Your Documentation
As the injured person, the burden is on you to prove that you are entitled to seek reimbursement for your pain, suffering, and economic losses. When presenting your claim to the insurer, the objective is to demonstrate premises liability and resulting damages. To do so, you will need to make a compelling case with the documentation.
When you put together the file, you should include the evidence that you have along with your medical records. Consult with a law firm with an excellent track record in personal injury cases to ensure that you include all the necessary documentation.
The insurer will not only need to see that you were hurt but also that someone else’s carelessness is to blame for your injury. Thus, the documentation will also need to include proof of someone else’s acts or omissions that caused you to slip and fall.
Hire an Attorney With Experience in Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall cases are more difficult to prove on your own. You must either persuade the insurer or a court that you have a viable claim against the business owner, property owner, or another liable party. Insurance companies either may not take you seriously or may not make you an adequate offer to settle your claim.
Without the help of an attorney, most people don’t know the steps that they must take to receive financial compensation after they slip and fell. This is not something that people do on a daily basis so the proper process is not something that they are familiar with or know how to execute.
In addition, injured people often focus on their health and recovery and may not be able to pay attention to their lawsuits. A professional personal injury law firm will handle your case while you focus on healing from your injuries and getting treatment.
Many times, the insurer will make a low offer to see what you are willing to accept. As one of the leading law firms serving New Jersey, we can help you navigate a low settlement offer and provide you with legal advice and representation throughout the claims process.
In Conclusion: Common Mistakes Injured People Make After an Accident
After a slip and fall, it is normal for people to be in pain or feel embarrassed or angry. However, making the right choices following an accident can protect you when the time comes for legal action. Avoid the following mistakes after a slip and fall:
- Apologizing, especially if you accidentally broke something
- Failing to seek emergency medical care
- Failing to report the incident to the manager or business owner
- Failing to gather the statements and personal details from witnesses
- Failing to document the scene
- Failing to schedule a consultation with a professional attorney
- Providing the insurer with a recorded statement
- Signing any documents from an insurer
Schedule a Consultation With a Professional Attorney at Sadaka Law
An experienced attorney is the best person to assist you in taking legal action against the party who is responsible for your injuries. At Sadaka Law, our attorney will let you know if you have a viable claim worth pursuing.
Our attorney will know that you are being lowballed and will either be able to negotiate a better settlement or take the case to court to pursue compensation on your behalf. Sadaka Law specializes in slip and fall cases and can aggressively represent you in a lawsuit. Contact them today for a free evaluation of your case.