Up to 26 percent of workplace injuries happen due to slip and fall accidents. Many of these accidents cause devastating injuries, such as broken bones, spine injuries, and head trauma.
The saddest part about this is that most slip and fall accidents are highly preventable if only the parties concerned can take some safety precautions.
While most slip-and-fall accidents happen due to negligence, proving that someone else acted carelessly and caused your injuries can be complicated.
However, if you’re sure that someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you have the right to seek compensation.
This article outlines the critical steps you must take if you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident to increase your chances of getting compensation.
Seek Medical Help
Your health should be the top priority if you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident. Before anything else, you should first seek medical attention. Get a doctor to examine your injuries and recommend suitable treatment based on your situation.
Seeking immediate treatment can help save your life if you suffer a severe accident. Even in minor cases, visiting a doctor can still help establish the credibility of your case if you seek compensation later.
If you delayed seeking treatment, the defense could argue that your injuries were caused by something else other than a slip-and-fall accident.
Report Your Injury
The next thing to do after seeking medical help is to report your slip and fall accident to the concerned parties.
The first person you want to inform is the property management where the accident occurred. Let them know that you slipped and fell on their property through an official report.
You can also inform the police about the incident and get a copy of the report. A police report will help you have an official document about the accident, and the other party may not deny that it indeed happened.
The report will contain important details about the accident as well as the contact information of the liable party, which can help in your case.
Get the Evidence
You need evidence of your slip and fall to strengthen your case. Try to look around immediately after the fall to determine what caused it. It could be a carelessly placed carpet, a wet floor with no clear sign, or a chipped tile.
If you have your smartphone or can access one, take pictures and videos of the accident. Take pictures of what might have caused your fall and your injuries. Ensure you have as many pictures as possible because you’ll need them to prove liability.
Pictures are worth a thousand words and will work well in your favor rather than hearsay. Pictures will clearly show the severity of your injuries than just showing scars.
Also, a chipped tile might have been corrected when you went to court, but pictures will show how it looked before.
Talk to Witnesses
While you and the property manager may be biased about the incident due to self-interest, a third party will not. Witnesses will have a more accurate and unbiased account of what happened. Witnesses will be neutral about the whole issue and will not take sides because they have nothing to gain.
Be sure to collect all the necessary information about your witnesses. These should include their full names, phone numbers, physical addresses, and email addresses. When the time comes, you’ll contact them so that they can give their account of what they saw.
Anyone who offers to assist you during the accident can be your witness if they’re willing to give out their details. This could also be the employees of the store where your accident took place.
Keep the Clothes You Wore on the Day
The clothes and shoes you wore on the day of the accident can be important pieces of evidence. Don’t tamper with them by washing or repairing the damages. The damages, blood stains, or dirt can help strengthen your case.
Anything that you had with you on the day of the accident can be useful in your case. If you fell and your phone screen broke due to the impact, that can also work well for your case. Don’t interfere with anything that can help as evidence as long as it’s admissible.
Don’t Give a Statement Immediately
What you say or post on social media after the incident can be used against you when you file your claim. Refrain from giving any verbal statement to the property owner or insurance adjusters immediately, even if they seem sympathetic. If you already have a written report about the incident, that is enough.
Don’t blame anyone for the accident and don’t even comment on your own negligence as that will be taken as admitting the blame.
If they call you to give a statement, politely decline. Wait until you talk to an attorney and get them to give the statement on your behalf.
Also, remember that posting or commenting about the incident on social media could damage your case. You will ruin your attorney-client privilege and lose your right to fair settlement. So, before you act, get professional advice on how to behave.
Contact Your Lawyer
Proving negligence in a slip and fall accident is not easy and you might not get a fair settlement if you represent yourself.
Getting an attorney can help get the burden of your shoulders so that you can only focus on your recovery. A lawyer will explain your legal rights and options and help you make the right decisions.
Whether you suffer severe injuries or minor ones, you need an attorney to help you negotiate with the insurance company and the property owner for a fair settlement.
They will take care of the paperwork needed for the claim process, handle deadlines, talk to witnesses, and give you regular updates on the progress of your case.
It’s normal to get confused and not know what to do after getting injured in a slip and fall accident. However, any irrational decisions, such as posting on social media can land you in trouble.
Whether you get compensation for your injuries or not depends on how you handle the situation after the accident. Don’t suffer losses in medical bills and lost wages all by yourself for someone else’s negligence. Follow the right procedure to file a claim and get compensated for your losses. Having an attorney by your side can make things a lot easier.