Accidents happen more than you think. In fact, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), accidental slip and falls account for over one million emergency room visits per year. If you fall down the stairs there is a good chance that the fall was not your fault. Property owners and managers require a duty of care to their guests to ensure the safety of all who visit. If they do not provide an acceptable level of care, a slip and fall attorney can help you.
Considered a legal issue that falls within premises liability, lawsuits regarding slip and fall injuries hold the property owner liable. If you have suffered a personal injury due to a fall on another’s property, an experienced slip and fall attorney from Sweet Lawyers can help you recover not only physically, but financially as well.
Despite building regulations and requirements, some public spaces are still not completely up to code. Did you suffer injuries in a fall due to a building defect or other oversight in the construction of a property? Contact a slip and fall attorney.
You are not to blame for the negligent conditions of a property. If hazardous steps caused you to fall and be injured, you have rights. Here are five important things to do after a slip and fall accident to maximize your recovery:
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you fall down the stairs, seek medical treatment immediately. Even if you feel fine, you could have a fracture that you don’t notice due to the shock and adrenaline of the accident. Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall, according to the NFSI.
After a slip and fall accident, a doctor will check you over for injuries, including a concussion. Head injuries can be serious, and sometimes of catastrophic. In fact, the CDC has found that falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs. A traumatic brain injury is a serious medical condition that should be treated without hesitation. Do not let your slip and fall accident turn into a tragedy by letting untreated conditions turn into major medical situations.
Seeking medical attention ensure your safety. In addition, the medical report will help your slip and fall attorney establish what compensation you are owed for your injuries.
2. Report Your Accident
Once you are medically able, report your accident to the homeowner, property owner, or property manager. Or whomever is responsible for the stairs you fell on. It is best to do this in writing, as it allows you to deliver the news without emotion or anger. If you plan on pursuing a premises liability claim, emotional outbursts or arguments can only hurt your case.
By reporting the accident via email, you ensure that you control the narrative. In addition, you are doing the responsible thing by making them aware of a hazard they may not have known about. Hopefully, your reporting of the slip and fall accident helps others to avoid similar injuries.
3. Watch What You Say
Limit your communication with regarding the accident. In fact, other than reporting the accident, you should not be talking to anyone else about the incident other than your slip and fall lawyer. Any kind of discussion, including arguments and details of your fall, can be used against you in court; twisted in such a way that your settlement is greatly diminished.
Even if the property owner is your friend, remember that it is in your best interest to wait for your premises liability lawyer. You should do this before entering into any negotiations. Do not accept quick insurance settlements and do not agree to bypass legal advice. In addition, do not let the property owner pay you cash for your medical bills. If you slipped and fell on a property, your compensation will most likely be sought from homeowners’ insurance or property insurance, not your friends pockets.
It is common for insurance companies or other entities to offer you a quick cash settlement “off the books” in exchange for you agreeing not to sue them. This is a bad idea for many reasons, as not only will the settlement most likely be only a fraction of what you are truly owed, but it will cut off your rights to seek future compensation for damages or losses not yet known.
Always wait for your slip and fall lawyer’s advice before discussing your staircase accident.
4. Document Everything
From your medical bills, accident report, and even missed paychecks, document everything affected by the accident. If possible, take photos of the scene – including the hazard that caused your fall. In addition, be sure to take photos of any immediate or gradual injuries that were the result of your slip and fall accident.
Were there witnesses present during your fall? Get their information as well, so your slip and fall attorney can contact them for a witness statement.
One thing you should do is keep the shoes and clothing you wore at the time of your fall. Although this might not seem obvious, your slip and fall lawyer may be able to use them as evidence during your premises liability lawsuit.
5. If You Fall Down The Stairs, Call A Slip And Fall Attorney
If you have been injured due to a hazardous staircase or other property negligence, contact a Sweet Lawyers slip and fall attorney today. Highly experienced in personal injury and premises liability lawsuits, the Sweet Lawyer team has the knowledge necessary to recover you the maximum compensation you are owed for your slip and fall accident.