People often sustain serious injuries while doing everyday activities such as shopping at the supermarket or visiting a friend’s apartment. Many of these injuries result from slip and falls caused by poor maintenance or hazardous conditions. While you might simply write off an injury in a slip and fall, this could cost you thousands. Make sure you know what to do after a slip and fall accident to protect yourself and your right to compensation.
1) Seek Medical Attention
Slip and falls can cause traumatic brain injuries, back and neck injury, broken bones, and other severe injuries. Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible after the fall is necessary to prevent further injury. Even injuries that seem minor at the time of the accident may turn into serious problems if left untreated.
From a legal standpoint, seeking treatment early will better your chances at recovering damages from those responsible. Insurers for the at-fault party might use your failure to seek treatment right away against you.
2) Keep Track of and Follow Through with Your Treatment
Initially seeking treatment is not enough. You must also follow your doctor’s treatment plan by taking prescribed medications, undergoing recommended surgeries and procedures, going to all follow-up appointments, and participating in therapy. You should also keep careful records of all injuries, medications, appointments, and treatments.
If you do not follow the recommended treatment plan, your injuries could worsen or never heal. Your insurer may also blame any long term injuries on your failure to follow the plan and refuse to pay for your medical costs.
3) Collect Evidence from the Scene of the Accident
Slip and falls often result from dangerous property conditions such as:
- Uneven flooring
- Ice and snow or tracked-in water
- Broken handrails
- Poor lighting
- Spilled food or drinks
Write down exactly how you fell while it is fresh in your mind and describe the condition of the property. Take pictures of the area before the landowner has time to make any changes to the property conditions.
You will also need to identify any witnesses of your accident. You may have to contact these witnesses to testify on your behalf if the property owner disputes your claim for damages. Even if no one saw you fall, you will still want to collect information from those who were with you after the fall. These witnesses can testify to your pain and suffering and what occurred after the accident.
4) File an Incident Report and Notify Property Owners
If your slip and fall accident occurred in a place of business, you need to notify a manager and fill out an accident report immediately thereafter. If the accident occurred in an apartment building, you will need to notify the landlord of the incident.
Also, take note of anyone who says that a similar incident occurred previously. A previous incident could indicate that the property owner was aware or should have been aware of the dangerous condition before your accident occurred but failed to fix it.
5) Beware of Insurance Companies
Insurance companies working for the business or landlord may ask you to give a recorded statement regarding the incident. The insurer is hoping that you will say something incriminating that they can use later to keep you from recovering damages.
That is why it is so important not to agree to a recorded statement without speaking to premises liability attorney Jason R. Schultz first. He will help you prepare a statement that, while truthful, does not hurt your case. Also, make sure that you do not sign any papers the insurer gives you before running them by Jason. Signing any documents could jeopardize your claim and leave you with nothing.
6) Seek Qualified Legal Representation
Successful lawsuits stemming from slip and fall accidents can allow accident victims to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs. In order to have the best chance at recovering damages, accident victims should speak to a qualified attorney about their case.
Schedule a free consultation with Jason to learn more about how he can help your slip and fall case. Jason has years of experience handling slip and fall litigation and settlements. Call The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804 today.