Many individuals will slip and fall at some point in their lives. In a significant number of these incidents, the fall won’t result from their actions. Someone else may be liable for their injuries, and they need to hold this person accountable. However, men and women must know which steps they need to take to protect their rights and ensure they hold those responsible liable. What are these steps, and what does every person need to know about slip-and-fall injuries?
Property owners bear the responsibility of ensuring their buildings, parking lots, and walkways remain clear and well maintained. Quite a few individuals aren’t aware of premises liability, but this stands as the legal standard for properties today. If a person doesn’t maintain the property and someone sustains an injury because of this failure, the injured party receives the right to sue and get compensation for their medical bills, the time lost from work, pain and suffering, and more. What should a person do when they are hurt in an accident?
What Should a Person Do Following the Incident?
Get medical treatment. This needs to be the priority after an accident, including one involving a slip and fall. People often fail to take this step if they believe they didn’t sustain an injury. It isn’t until hours or days later that the injuries appear. Seeing a doctor immediately after the incident occurs protects the rights of the injured party and ensures an independent party documents the injuries. If the case moves forward and the victim seeks compensation, these medical records serve as an important piece of information in proving the case.
Report the accident to the proper parties. The person to talk with depends on where the accident occurred. If it is in a place of business, ask to talk with the manager. When the injury occurs on private property, talk with the landlord or owner. Document who you spoke to, when, and the details of the conversation. Furthermore, ask that the manager, owner, or landlord make a written report of the incident and get a copy for your records. Again, this record becomes of great importance as the case moves forward. If the person refuses to provide this report, make a record of the incident and the person’s name who refused to carry out this step.
Document the Incident
Document everything related to the incident. Depending on the severity of the injuries, consider taking pictures at the scene to show where the incident occurred and any contributing factors. For example, take a picture of a wet floor with no sign present to alert individuals to the danger. Gather information about any potential witnesses, including their names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. The victim or their representative may need to contact these individuals for a statement. Complete a detailed account of what happened right before the accident, how the fall occurred, how you landed when you fell, and any other details. This includes the exact time and date.
Preserve Possible Evidence
Never throw away the clothing or shoes worn at the time of the accident. It’s best to take them off and put them in a safe place. The victim or their representative might need these items as the case moves forward. A person cannot know what they may use as evidence, so it’s best to keep everything secured until the case has ended.
Don’t speak to anyone about the case. Limit communication with the person in charge of overseeing the property, whether this is the owner, landlord, or manager. Never share information about the incident on social media or put details in a text or email. This information can and is used against you if the case goes to court.
In addition, avoid speaking to the responsible party’s insurance company. These companies train their workers to ask questions in a way that will cause the injured party to make a mistake. They then use the person’s words in court to show they aren’t liable. For instance, the representative of the insurance company may contact the injured party and start the conversation by asking how this person is. Most people in this situation respond with a one-word response, such as fine or okay, and the insurance company then uses this answer to say the victim doesn’t have a valid claim.
Obtain Legal Representation
Speak to an attorney. This individual understands the complexities of the law and how they relate to your case. Slip-and-fall cases are complex and hard to provide, which is why an attorney becomes of great help. What tasks will the attorney handle on behalf of the client?
The Duties of an Attorney in a Slip-and-Fall Case
The attorney handles the paperwork involved with filing a lawsuit. They ensure nothing is overlooked when doing so and no deadlines are missed. Each state determines the time limit for filing legal claims, and the victim needs to make certain they don’t miss this deadline because they remain focused on their recovery. The attorney prevents this from happening. In addition, the attorney becomes of great help in determining what they need to prove the victim’s claim in a court of law. The average person might overlook something crucial to the case simply because they don’t know any better. The attorney makes certain this doesn’t happen.
An attorney becomes of great help in communicating with other parties involved in the legal case. They speak to the insurance company on behalf of the victim and may contact medical providers if they need additional documentation to prove the victim’s claim. The injured party has enough to deal with recovering from their injuries. The attorney removes the burden of handling the legal case.
If you have sustained injuries in a slip-and-fall incident or any accident, know what steps to take immediately after this incident. This ensures your rights remain protected and you have a strong case for compensation. The responsible party needs to ensure the victim doesn’t suffer more than they already have, and a legal case makes certain they aren’t help responsible for any monetary expenses associated with this incident.