Oftentimes, people overlook the potentially severe dangers posed by a slip and fall. After all, everyone at some point or another has slipped on a wet spot or tripped over something. Most people just brush off the dirt and continue on with their day.
However, slip and fall accidents have the potential to cause severe and even debilitating injuries, or even death in extreme cases. And property owners have a responsibility—what’s referred to as a “duty of care” in legal terms—to keep their premises reasonably safe and clear of hazards that could cause a slip and fall.
In cases where an injury results from a slip and fall on another person’s property, whether at a place of business or residence, the victim may be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries if the accident resulted from the property owner’s negligence. Such damages could include compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
However, it is important that you take immediate steps to preserve your case following a slip and fall that resulted in you being injured. Below we have outlined seven specific steps you should always take immediately following the accident.
1) Call emergency services if necessary
Always err on the side of over cautiousness and contact emergency medical personnel if you have any inkling that your injury could be serious. In some rare occasions a person can hit their head during a slip and fall and think they are fine, only to have severe and possibly fatal complications shortly afterwards. Additionally, contact emergency services further proves the seriousness and legitimacy of your claim if your case goes to court.
2) Determine cause
Figure out exactly what it was that caused your slip and fall. There are numerous hazards that can result in slip and fall incidents, such as torn or loose carpet, uneven surfaces, and ice or moisture. Take note of whatever it was that caused your slip and fall, and alert the property owner to the incident and what caused it. If a substance on the ground caused your fall, take a sample to be used later as evidence.
Get the names and contact information of any potential witnesses in the vicinity. If they actually saw you fall, that’s great, but even if they did not see that actual accident they can attest to the conditions of the area immediately following the accident.
Get photos of whatever it was that caused your slip and fall. Take pictures of the direct cause as well as anything surrounding that could have contributed, such as dim lighting.
5) Document everything
Write down your version of events, any relevant information about where the accident occurred, and names and other relevant information about anyone involved. For example, if you slip and fall at a place of business, write down names and job titles of employees that you spoke with, and take special care to note anything they say that might indicate they were previously aware of the hazard. Oftentimes an employee might say something like, “We really need to get that step fixed, lot’s of people trip on it.” Establishing that the property owner should have known about the hazard and fixed it is key to any slip and fall lawsuit.
6) Get medical treatment
Even if you do not call emergency medical services to take you to the hospital, make sure you seek timely treatment following your injury. Document everything from the cost of your medical bills to the names of your doctors to whatever the doctors have told you about your injury. Better to include too much information than not enough. If you neglect to seek medical treatment, the courts will likely believe your lawsuit is frivolous and unwarranted.
7) Call an attorney
Contact Inkelaar Law right away and let us guide you through the process to ensure you get the justice you deserve when it comes to any slip and fall accident that results in injuries to you.