What Should I Do After a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
Accidents that are slip-and-fall related lead to numerous injuries and hospitalizations each year in the United States. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, in recent years, slips and falls have been related to over a million hospital visits each year. Slip-and-fall accidents can even result in such terrible consequences as death.
Have you been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident? You can experience serious pain and suffering as well as an inability to perform ordinary daily tasks. Additionally, the injuries that you have experienced can cost you an enormous amount of money. Added to this financial dilemma, you might suffer lost income while you recover.
Are you wondering what to do after your slip-and-fall accident? Was your slip-and-fall accident the result of negligence on the part of someone else? If so, the at-fault party may legally be accountable for your injuries because of a mistake.
We want you to make the best decisions for your legal and financial security. For further assistance, reach out to The New York personal injury attorneys at Hill & Moin LLP. Having a lawyer with our law firm on your side is “like having a lawyer in the family”. Call (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free consultation of your case.
What is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
Property owners, as well as those who manage a property, have a responsibility to make sure that visitors passing through the property are not in danger. This concept is referred to as premises liability.
It is unfortunate that property owners and managers can, at times, fail to do what is necessary to keep a property free of danger. As a result, slip-and-fall accidents can happen to anyone on the premises. Therefore, it is important to know what you should do following a slip-and-fall accident.
Let us consider the crucial steps you should take if you are the victim of a slip-and-fall accident caused by someone’s negligence.
Steps to Take After a Slip-and-Fall Accident
When you have suffered a slip-and-fall accident, there are crucial steps you should take as soon as possible. If not, this could adversely affect your injury claim. Even taking too long to start on these steps could hinder your ability to establish your personal injury claim.
Here are the crucial actions you should take after a slip-and-fall accident.
1. Obtain medical assistance
It is in your best interest to obtain medical attention as quickly as possible after a slip-and-fall accident. This step is vital for you to take even if you think that you were not injured. Slip-and-fall injuries frequently have symptoms that are slow to become apparent.
Visiting a medical professional can prevent a minor injury from developing into a serious problem. Additionally, obtaining medical attention will provide documentation that is critical for you to receive financial compensation. This can be especially true if an insurance company tries to argue that you do not actually have a serious condition.
An insurance company may make this claim by citing evidence that you did not seek immediate medical help. An exam by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, though, can serve as the critical evidence you need to establish that your injuries were caused by the accident.
2. Follow the doctor’s directions
Once you obtain initial medical attention, it is equally critical to your case that you follow the directions of your doctor closely. Disobedience to the advice of the doctor could be used as evidence by an insurer to indicate that you are not as seriously injured as you claim. This is also true for medical appointments; you do not want to miss medical appointments.
It is vital for your case that you follow all medical instructions you are given and attend all doctor’s appointments. Doing so can help solidify your case so that you receive fair financial compensation.
3. Report the accident
One essential step following a slip-and-fall accident is to officially report what happened. It should immediately be reported to the property owner, the landlord, or the manager of the premises.
Be certain to have him or her create a written report which specifies the details of the accident. Your personal injury attorney can use this report as evidence in your slip-and-fall accident case.
It is extremely important to report the accident as quickly as possible to prevent anyone from denying that the slip-and-fall occurred. By promptly reporting the accident and injuries, it may prevent responsible parties from claiming that your injuries were not serious.
4. Document the scene of the slip-and-fall
If you are healthy enough to do so, it is important to document the location and circumstances in the area of your slip-and-fall accident. This can be done with photos or video. If you are unable to take these photos or videos, you can ask a person who is with you or another witness to the accident to document the scene for you.
Creating this documentation as quickly as possible is necessary because, at times, property owners will correct the issues that caused your accident. He or she may then deny that the conditions which caused your accident ever existed.
To do so is an attempt to avoid accountability. Thus, with no documentation to prove the cause of your accident, it can be difficult for you to establish that the property owner was negligent and responsible for your injuries.
When taking photos, you should get wide shots of the location where the injury occurred. You also want to be certain to include photos of the area so that it is obvious that there were no warning signs indicating the hazard which caused you to slip and fall. Additionally, it is key to take close-up shots of the exact spot where you fell.
There is key evidence that you must consider when taking your photos or videos. This includes:
- Was sufficient and functioning lighting provided in the area?
- Were light bulbs burned out or missing, which made it hard for you to see the hazard that made you fall?
- What hazards were present?
- Were protective measures, such as a fence or security gate, not functioning or dilapidated?
- Was the sidewalk uneven, broken, or crumbling, causing you to trip or fall?
- Did a handrail or some other type of supportive railing break, collapse, or fail as you made use of it?
- Was there water, ice, oil, grease, etc., on the surface where you slipped?
In the case that a wet or slippery floor caused your accident, you want to be certain to get photos of any liquid or other slippery substance on the floor before the area is cleaned.
It would also be beneficial to take photos of your shoes. With photos of your shoes and the floor, the slippery substance can be identified and the cause of your fall established.
This reasoning also applies to your clothes. Take photos of your clothes. The slippery substance may also have gotten on your clothes when you fell. This evidence can further substantiate the link with you to the slippery substance and area.
The clothes you wore that day could also be saved and stored in a safe location so that they can be used as evidence later if necessary. Additionally, you should take photos of any cuts, scrapes, or bruises that occurred because of the accident.
5. Obtain contact information of witnesses
Were there people near you who witnessed your fall? Ask them if they can provide a statement recounting what they saw. Additionally, obtain their personal contact information if they are willing to provide it.
The witnesses should describe what they saw from the beginning of your entering the dangerous area to your getting up after the fall or receiving medical attention. It is best if they can provide information concerning the circumstances surrounding the fall: where you fell, when you fell, and how you fell.
Request that the witnesses be specific in their description, mentioning all needed details. If possible, have them write it all down. Having eyewitness testimony of one or multiple persons can be crucial evidence in establishing that what you claim happened did actually occur.
Get the Help You Need With Your Slip-and-Fall Accident Case
Slip-and-fall accident injuries can significantly alter your life. When your condition is the result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you can receive financial compensation. A premises liability attorney can give you the legal help you require.
Our personal injury attorneys can assist you in taking the right steps after a slip-and-fall accident. Additionally, we can make sure that you attain justice after your accident so you can recover with as little stress as possible. When a lawyer with our law firm supports you, it’s like having “a lawyer in the family.”
Please contact us, the New York personal injury attorneys at Hill & Moin LLP, to be sure you receive the compensation you need. Call us at (212) 668-6000 to schedule your initial free consultation today to learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.
Don’t wonder about your rights!