Not all surfaces are safe for foot traffic. Negligent property owners, business managers, and store employees can fail to maintain safe premises, leading to dangerous floors, sidewalks, and walkways. Negligence, such as forgetting to clean up a spill could cause a dangerous slip and fall accident. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident there are important steps to take after a slip and fall accident to ensure you have the potential for a successful claim.
Stay Where You Are and Ask for Help
Immediately after your slip and fall accident, check yourself for injuries, pain, or unusual sensations. If you notice pain in your back, cannot feel your legs, or feel a tingling sensation in your lower limbs, do not move. You may have a serious spinal cord injury. Call for help and wait for paramedics to arrive and safely move you to a gurney. Moving on your own with a back injury could make things worse. Next, find someone to take your accident report. Ask someone nearby to find an authority, such as a store manager or floor supervisor. Explain that you slipped and fell and request a formal written accident report.
Document Your Slip and Fall Accident
You could suffer serious injuries in a slip and fall, such as a sprained wrist, hip fracture, herniated disk, broken bone, or concussion. Obtaining fair compensation from a negligent property owner for your serious injury can be difficult. Strengthen your case by documenting as much as you can about your slip and fall from the beginning. While still at the scene of the accident, try to collect evidence.
- Photographs of the cause of the fall
- Photographs of your injuries
- Recorded video footage of the scene on your phone
- Surveillance footage of the fall from the store
- Eyewitness names and contact information
- The name of the manager who took your report
- A copy of the accident report
- A detailed description of what happened
Ample evidence of the cause of your slip and fall, someone else’s negligence, and your losses could help reduce the odds of an insurance company disputing your claim. Act promptly to collect this information. Maintain an organized case file to keep everything safely in one place. This case file is what you should take to a slip and fall accident attorney later.
Go to the Doctor
Never avoid seeing a doctor after a slip and fall accident. An insurance company will check to see if you went to the hospital. Prompt medical care shows the company that your injuries were serious and painful enough to require immediate medical attention. It also shows them that you did your part in treating your injuries and preventing them from getting worse. Decline to give the insurance company full authorization to access your medical records, however. Full access could allow the insurance company to look for pre-existing injuries. Instead, take the medical authorization form to an attorney for advice.
Contact an Insurance Company
File your claim with the insurance company of the owner of the property where your slip and fall accident happened. During initial conversations with an insurance agent or claims adjuster, do not admit fault. Do not accept blame or speculate as to whose fault the accident might have been. Instead, state the facts and give concise answers. Do not give the claims adjuster a recorded statement about your slip and fall accident, either.
Meet With a Lawyer
Before you go any further with the claims process, contact a Layton slip and fall lawyer or Nampa slip and fall attorney, depending on where your accident happened. A local attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to help you bring a premises liability claim. A claim could force the property owner to pay for your damages, including medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress. A slip and fall accident lawyer can help you recover fair compensation for your losses.