Slip and fall accidents are among the most common personal injury cases. These cases typically arise when an individual suffers injuries from accidents like slips and falls due to someone else’s negligence.
Negligence occurs in slip-and-fall cases when the premises owner or occupier fails to keep the property reasonably free from dangerous conditions. Such actions are only considered negligent when they cause someone actual harm.
While slips and falls can happen anywhere, they’re usually a safety hazard in the workplace, particularly in the construction industry. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the construction industry contributed 46.2 percent of all fatal falls, slips, and trips in 2021.
Suppose you or a loved one sustains a slip and fall injury. Feeling unsure about what to do after an accident is a typical response. Thankfully, a personal injury lawyer specializing in slips and falls can help you understand the processes and laws applicable to your case. Your actions after the accident, however, are crucial to safeguarding your rights and building the strongest possible legal case.
Before we delve into the essential things you should do after a slip-and-fall accident, The Personal Injury Center has valuable resources for slip-and-fall cases. We also examine how working with a slip-and-fall lawyer can benefit you.
| Key Takeaways |
Prioritize Appropriate Medical Treatment
Your well-being should be a priority after a slip-and-fall accident. Like many victims, you might choose not to get medical attention, especially if you don’t have noticeable injuries. But getting examined by a medical professional is crucial, whether you experience pain or sustain an injury.
Slipping and falling can result in different types of injuries, including sprains and broken bones. These slip and fall injuries may require immediate care in the emergency room to prevent further harm. Minor wounds can progress to severe injuries when left untreated.
Likewise, there are instances where injuries may not show up right away. The adrenaline rush after slipping and falling may increase your body’s pain threshold. This can mask the initial appearance of even severe conditions, including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Seeking medical care is imperative, even if you feel perfectly fine following a slip and fall accident. A qualified medical professional knows how to assess whether you have sustained any hidden injuries and what symptoms to watch out for.
Prioritizing appropriate medical treatment is essential to safeguarding your health. Additionally, it’s vital to your slip and fall claim. One crucial aspect of the claims process is proving your injuries and losses were a direct result of the slip and fall accident.
Delaying medical attention increases the chances of insurance adjusters arguing that the accident didn’t cause your injury. Likewise, they may contend that your symptoms have worsened because you were not treated promptly.
Report the Incident of Slip and Fall
Reporting the incident of a slip and fall to appropriate individuals is equally vital as promptly seeking medical treatment. A slip and fall incident report provides an accurate accident record, which is essential in establishing liability and securing fair compensation.
Neglecting to report the slip and fall accident can raise doubts among the at-fault party’s insurance adjusters. They may argue that the incident never occurred or that you sustained your injuries in another incident.
Unlike car crashes, no police will show up and create a traffic collision report in slip and fall accidents. The specific procedures for reporting a slip and fall may differ depending on the location and circumstances of the accident.
What to include in a slip and fall incident report
It’s essential to provide a detailed account of the accident when writing a slip and fall incident report. Whether you use a pre-made form or create your own, you must include the following elements in documenting the specifics of a slip and fall accident:
- Your name and phone number, as well as that of any witnesses and employees present
- Date, time, and location where your slip and fall incident occurred
- The sequence of events that led up to the incident
- A description of the accident scene, including whether there were any contributing hazards
- A detailed narrative of the causes of slips and falls, such as uneven surfaces, slippery floors, poor lighting, and wet floors
Where to report the slip and fall incident
Suppose you or a family member slip and fall in a grocery store or business establishment. You must notify the manager or owner about the incident as promptly as possible. They may ask you to complete an accident report form. Ensure you request a physical copy of the report. If it’s not possible or available immediately, take a photo of the report using your phone.
If you slipped and fell and got injured on public premises, submit an incident report to the on-site manager or the government agency’s administrator managing the property. You can also report it to the city or town on the same day.
If the accident happens on a private residence or other private property, report it to the property owner, homeowner, landlord, or tenant. Alternatively, if you slip and fall at work, immediately notify your employer or manager. Don’t wait too long to report the work accident. Most worker’s compensation systems have a specified time limit and notice requirements.
Ensure to document the name of the person who received your report and the time and date you submitted it. This information will come in handy should there be any future inquiries about whether you filed an incident.
Secure Proof of the Accident and Injury
Like other personal injury cases, injured victims of slip and fall accidents carry the burden of proof. It’s a legal standard that requires the party bringing the case to present evidence that proves their claim.
You must demonstrate that the property owner or responsible party was negligent in their upkeep of the premises. Likewise, you should be able to show that it caused you to slip and fall, as well as the injuries and losses you suffered.
The at-fault party’s legal team will do everything possible to invalidate your claim. They will also try to weaken the evidence you collect. Here are the different types of proof you should promptly secure to substantiate your slip and fall claim:
- Incident report
- Photos of dangerous conditions on the premises
- Security camera footage
- Testimonial evidence from ordinary witnesses and expert witnesses
- Inspection logbooks of the property
- Photos of the injuries you sustained
- Medical bills and records
Keep Relevant Documentation
Accurately documenting a slip and fall accident can help protect your chances of obtaining the maximum financial recovery. Medical documentation often serves as the foundation of a successful slip-and-fall case.
Your initial medical exam records are crucial, as they can prove you received prompt treatment for the pain and injuries you experienced in the accident. You should also maintain medical records after the accident. These may include imaging reports, hospital discharge instructions, physical therapy documents, and insurance forms.
Maintaining a treatment journal and keeping notes as you recover is also a good idea. Ensure to include the date and time in your diary. Provide specific details, such as the physical activity you can and cannot do on a particular day.
Avoid These Common Social Media Mistakes
You might be completely truthful about your injury claim and have all the necessary evidence to substantiate it. But photos or other content you post on social media are open to misinterpretation.
The insurance company can exploit social media posts to undermine your slip-and-fall lawsuit.
Ceasing social media usage is often advisable. Insurance adjusters will likely search your accounts and examine any content they can use to prove that you’re not as injured as you claim. This will help them justify decreasing the compensation amount you’re entitled to recover.
Suppose you still need or want to use your social media account after the slip and fall incident. Avoid these common social media mistakes:
- Setting your social media accounts to public
- Accepting friend requests from people you don’t know
- Publicly sharing information about slip and fall accidents
- Posting photos of your slip and fall injuries online
Seek Legal Help From an Experienced Attorney
A slip-and-fall accident lawyer is not required when filing a personal injury claim. Although optional, seeking legal help from an experienced attorney can make the process easier. They can better assist you in understanding your legal rights and the best actions to take for your case.
Securing legal representation as early as possible is always in your best interest. Specifically, here are a few situations when you most likely need the assistance of an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer:
- You sustained severe injuries after slipping and falling.
- The slip and fall injuries hinder your ability to work in the future.
- The premises owner disputes liability for your slip and fall accident.
- You missed work and lost earnings due to a slip and fall incident.
The Importance of Working With a Slip and Fall Lawyer
The compounding factors of slip and fall accidents make them one of the most intricate personal injury cases to pursue. Most often, slip-and-fall cases rely on your first-hand account of the incident and testimony from witnesses, if there are any.
Considering that, you may encounter difficulties when recovering compensation for your injuries. There’s no substitute for legal knowledge and experience when handling the complexities of a slip-and-fall case.
An experienced attorney handling slip-and-fall cases can specifically assist you with the following:
Establish premises liability
Premises liability may arise when someone gets hurt because of hazardous conditions on the property due to the owner’s negligence. However, it is challenging to prove that the owner knew the problem existed and neglected their legal obligation to maintain the premises reasonably safe.
Moreover, your status as a visitor or how you enter the premises impacts the degree of legal responsibility the owner owes to you. If you don’t have any right to be on the property and get injured, you may be unable to recover monetary compensation.
Regardless, a slip-and-fall lawyer can help you establish premises liability and prove the property owner is legally accountable for the injuries you sustained.
Maximize slip and fall settlements
Determining the actual value of your losses after a slip-and-fall accident without an attorney can be challenging. Additionally, insurance adjusters are used to offer slip-and-fall victims the lowest payout possible.
Lawyers know what factors influence the amount of your slip and fall settlement. With that knowledge and their negotiating skills, they effectively help you get the maximum slip-and-fall settlement your case deserves.
Fight for your rights in court
Another valuable service a slip-and-fall lawyer can do is to fight for your rights in court. Suppose you and the other party don’t reach a fair slip-and-fall settlement. An experienced attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations on your behalf. They can provide evidence and build your case to prove you’re not legally responsible for your slip and fall injuries.
|Did you know?|
You can hold the local, state, or federal government responsible for your slip and fall injuries if they occurred on government property. These cases often have a reduced statute of limitations and specific requirements, which vary by province or territory in Canada. You may only have a few weeks to report the incident and preserve your slip and fall claim.
Get Connected With an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney
Negligence is often not clear-cut in premises liability cases like slips and falls. Therefore, regardless of the severity of your slip and fall injuries, speaking with a lawyer is one of the most critical things to do after the incident.
We at The Personal Injury Center understand that finding a reliable attorney requires much time and consideration. But that doesn’t have to be the case for you. We can help make the search easier with our free case evaluation. Discuss your legal case with us now, and we’ll get you in touch with a lawyer.
Safeguard your slip and fall claim with an experienced lawyer. Obtain legal assistance through The Personal Injury Center.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It should not be taken as medical or legal advice. Always consult with a qualified professional for any health or legal concerns.
FAQs on Slip and Fall Accidents
What is sovereign immunity in premises liability cases?
How much is the typical settlement for slip and fall accidents?
The settlement amount for slip and fall accidents differs based on the details of each case. But many slip-and-fall settlements can range between $10,000 and $50,000.
What are the common defences in slip and fall cases?
The at-fault party and their legal team may use various defences to avoid paying compensation. The following are common defences in slip and fall cases:
- The dangerous conditions present on the premises were open and obvious to anyone.
- The premises owner didn’t have prior knowledge of the hazards.
- The property owner took adequate measures to keep the property reasonably safe.
- Sharing the blame with the slip-and-fall injury victims.