No one plans to be injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, but injuries can happen any time and any place when business or property owners are negligent. While you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, these cases are challenging to prove. You want to do everything you can to build the strongest case possible.
What to Do Following a Slip and Fall Accident
There are a number of immediate steps you want to take if you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident. These steps will preserve evidence and help you avoid disputes when you file your claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. If you are too injured to take these steps yourself, you should ask a family member, friend, or bystander for assistance. Here are some important steps to take:
- Seek medical care. If you suffered a serious injury, you should obtain immediate medical care to protect your health. Even if you do not believe you were injured, you need to be examined by a doctor soon after your fall because some injuries, such as back and neck injuries, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injury, are not always apparent until days after an injury accident. By seeking prompt medical treatment, you avoid the injury becoming more serious and protect against disputes with the insurance company as to its cause.
- File an accident report. A crucial first step is to file an accident report with the property or business owner or manager. It is important that the report be in writing and that you obtain a copy for your records. This helps document that your accident occurred if the insurance company or owner later tries to dispute this.
- Take pictures. You need to take pictures of where you fell and what caused your slip and fall accident right away before the hazardous condition is rectified. Be certain to take photos of any other nearby contributing factors such as inadequate lighting. Pictures can be crucial evidence to prove the owner’s negligence in causing your injuries.
- Get contact information. You should obtain contact information for the owner and the insurance company for the property. It is even more important to get contact information for any witnesses at the accident scene. Neutral bystanders who saw what caused your fall can be powerful witnesses in your case, and you need to know how to reach them.
- Save your clothes. The clothes and shoes you had on when the accident occurred should be preserved. This can avoid arguments by the insurance adjuster that you were partially at fault in causing your injuries.
- Retain an attorney. You should retain an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible after your fall. He can collect evidence, obtain witness statements, and negotiate your settlement with the insurance company, so you receive the compensation you deserve. By contacting him right away, you can also obtain advice about mistakes not to make that may hurt your claim.
Do you need to file a claim for compensation following a slip and fall accident? Take advantage of our free initial consultation to learn about your legal options and our extensive experience in these cases. To get started, call our Cranston office to schedule your appointment today.