Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere. Property owners are responsible for maintaining homes and walkways to ensure a minimum level of safety. This is known as premises liability.
If you are injured due to property negligence, you could be entitled to compensation from the property owner for your medical bills, time away from work, and more. Here are 4 steps to take if you are injured in a slip and fall accident.
Step 1: Seek medical attention to treat your injuries
The first thing you should do after a slip and fall accident is call for help and seek medical attention. You need to worry about your health above all else. Go to an emergency room or urgent care facility. This will document your injuries and serve as proof that you've been injured.
It's important that you also go to all medical appointments following your initial emergency care visit. This could be physical therapy or follow-up appointments with a practitioner to make sure you are healing properly. If you skip any medical appointments or do not follow the recommended care provided to you, a jury or insurance company may question the severity of your injuries.
Step 2: Report the accident to the property owner
After you have received the necessary medical care, you need to alert the property owner(s) of the incident so they are aware of your injuries. If you choose to seek a settlement for your injuries, consider the following.
File a claim. Sometimes, the property owner will accept responsibility immediately and be willing to pay your medical bills, but you'll most likely still have to file a claim to get fair compensation for missing work and the long-term consequences of your slip and fall injury.
Limit your communication with the property owner after you've reported the accident. Don't talk to any representative they have hired, either, because they may try to record a statement to use against you.
Don't post on social media or talk to anyone about the incident. Also, take care that your statements and claims to medical providers are consistent with the report you have given to the property owner. These things will help you in court.
Step 3: Compile and keep notes about the injury
Before you file a claim, you need to be able to prove negligence on the property owner's part. This can be done in several different ways.
Take pictures of your injuries and the location where it took place. Try to do this as soon as possible after the slip and fall accident because conditions can change and evidence can disappear. You can also preserve evidence, like the shoes you were wearing, or any clothing that has blood or the substance that caused your accident.
Record any witnesses that saw you fall. Write down the time, date, location, and a description of what happened in your slip and fall accident. You want to do this as soon as possible so you don't forget important details as time passes.
Keep notes about your medical treatments. Describe your pain, doctor visits, and medical costs as best you can. This documentation will be important in forming your testimony later.
Step 4: Talk to an attorney about your injuries
Take all of your evidence to an attorney for help filing a legal claim for your slip and fall injuries. You need to do this as soon as possible to ensure speedy compensation. It's difficult to prove fault in a slip and fall accident, which means your best chance is to have a reputable attorney on your side.