Slip and fall accidents injure countless people every year. Broken bones or injuries to the neck, back, and joints can leave fall victims in chronic pain for years. The confusion and shock of a fall that causes injury often leaves victims at a loss for what to do after they’ve fallen in a store or other public place.
There are a few steps slip and fall victims should take to lay a foundation for their premises liability claim. These actions are vital to establishing your case and could make or break settlement negotiations.
- Collect evidence: You must be able to show that a store owner was negligent in order to build a solid case against them. The evidence you gather at the scene of your fall may be the only evidence of the incident that exists, so it’s important to ensure that it shows everything about the environment. If you slipped on something wet or tripped over uneven pavement, take photos with your cell phone or ask a witness at the scene to do so for you.
Witness statements are another key piece of evidence that can encourage insurance companies to settle your case. Having even one person who can provide a statement describing previous incidents with a hazard can tilt the case in your favor.
- Get medical attention: In order to collect compensation resulting from someone else’s negligence, you must be able to show that you actually suffered damages. People are often resistant to visiting a doctor or urgent care after a fall, especially if they only feel a little pain or no pain at all. Failing to get examined by a doctor or to get treatment can tank your personal injury case before you ever even file a claim. This is because by neglecting to get treatment, you also neglect to establish a record of your injuries, your pain, and your reasons for missing work. Medical records and out-of-work notes establish the basis of your slip and fall claim.
Many places of business have a policy to call EMS after certain types of incidents, often including falls. It’s best to allow EMS to evaluate your injuries, even if you plan to have someone else drive you to an urgent care center or to the emergency room. This will show that you reported pain or discomfort immediately after your fall. Following up later will demonstrate that you were injured seriously enough to require treatment.
- Report your injury to the property owner or manager: You must notify the owner or managing company of the property where you were injured. Falls that occur in or near a shop or building will probably get management’s attention without you needing to make a report. However, if you are injured in a parking lot or out of sight of employees or other customers, you need to bring management’s attention to your accident and to the conditions that caused it.
- Contact an attorney to evaluate your case: Premises liability claims like slip and fall cases are difficult for injured people to navigate on their own. Communicating with the parties and insurance adjusters involved in your case can prove to be overwhelming. You may need help from an experienced Slip and Fall lawyer to obtain the proper compensation for your medical bills and your lost wages.
Slip and fall attorneys have the resources needed to fully investigate your claim. Attorneys can access evidence you may be unable to obtain, such as video surveillance footage, company emails that show knowledge of dangerous conditions, or other items that show negligence. Your attorney will use this evidence to build your case, increasing the likelihood of settlement with the insurance company.
Contact our attorneys for a free case evaluation today. At your first appointment, we will evaluate your case and make a plan to move forward with your claim, including communicating with your insurance company and medical providers to ensure you get the care you need while your case is in litigation.
Contact our office today to schedule a free no-pressure consultation, and to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
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