More than 1 million people visit the emergency room in the US each year after a slip and fall accident.
Slip and falls can lead to serious and debilitating injuries. If you’ve had a slip or fall that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to recover compensation – if you know what to do.
Keep reading to learn more about what to do if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident.
Get Checked Out
Anytime you fall, no matter where it happens, the first thing you need to do is make sure you are okay.
Slip and fall injuries can be tricky because you might not even realize you are injured right away. If your fall happens in public, your adrenaline may kick in or you may be embarrassed and want to leave right away. However, it’s important to stay as calm as possible and think logically.
Don’t rush to get up or make an injury worse by pushing through the pain and acting like everything is fine. What you should do is seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you know that you’re injured right away, have someone call 911 so that an ambulance can respond and transport you to the hospital if necessary.
If you leave the premises and realize you’ve been injured, that’s okay. Seek treatment at an urgent care center or an emergency room as soon as possible. Be sure to tell your providers exactly what happened, what caused you to fall, and where the accident occurred.
Doctors and other providers are trained to identify common slip and fall injuries that might not show up right away. Getting checked out right away can give you a head start on treatment. It’s also important to be seen as soon as possible to create a record for your liability case.
If your fall was the result of someone else’s negligence, you can file a claim or lawsuit to recover your damages. Visting the doctor right away is important for your case. If you wait too long, the insurance company will try to say your injuries weren’t the result of your slip and fall accident.
When you seek medical attention right away, you create an indisputable record of when, where, and how your injuries occurred that will be invaluable later on in the claims process.
Treat Your Injury
If you need to start treatment for your injury, don’t wait around. Your health comes first and is the most important thing.
Liability claims take time and usually don’t pay out until after you are done treating your injury and the full extent is known. Starting treatment right away also helps bolster your case and proves that the treatments were necessary and a direct result of your slip and fall accident.
If you can’t afford treatment, hiring an attorney can help get you set up with a provider who understands your circumstances.
Report the Slip and Fall Accident
When a slip and fall accident occurs in public, it’s critical that you report the accident as soon as possible.
If you can, inspect the scene before you leave. If you can pinpoint the cause of your fall, you can work backward to prove liability.
It’s best to report the accident at the time it occurs. Whether the accident happens in a parking lot, in a store, or at your friend’s house, report it to the owner, manager, or landlord right away. Ask them to create a written report of what happened and ask for a copy that you can keep for your records.
If you had to leave the location of your slip and fall accident before you were able to report it, that’s okay. Contact the place where the fall occurred as soon as you can and tell them what happened and why you weren’t able to report it at the time.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you’ve had a slip and fall accident, the most important thing you can do is hire an attorney.
Trying to understand the law is hard and stressful. Hiring a lawyer can help you build and win your case. It isn’t easy to know what to do if you’ve never had to file a claim before.
When you hire a slip and fall lawyer, you don’t have to pay them upfront. You only have to pay when – and if – they help you win your case. Talking to a lawyer about your case is free.
Keep Good Records
Write everything down, even if you think you won’t forget. Write down the details of what happened, including small details. If you can, take photos of the accident scene.
If there were any witnesses, get their contact information. Keep copies of every official report you file and any contact you have with other parties about your slip and fall accident.
You should also keep copies of any medical bills and records related to the accident.
File a Claim
At this point, if you haven’t already filed a claim with the insurance company for the at-fault party, now is the time to do so.
Your attorney will help you with this step. This is why hiring a lawyer is so important. Your slip and fall attorney will speak to the insurance company on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with your claim in addition to recovering from your injuries.
Be Careful What You Say
Anytime you are involved in a legal dispute, you should exercise caution about any statements you make or the information you provide. Unfortunately, not all parties are on your side or want to see justice served.
Instead, insurance companies and sometimes other parties will try to trip you up and get you to admit fault. They will do anything they can to devalue or deny your claim.
Never give a recorded statement without your attorney present. You should also never admit fault or blame.
Were You Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you were involved in a slip and fall accident, taking these steps can help you get on the road to physical and financial recovery.
Having a fall is scary. We can help take the uncertainty out of the claims process. Our team of experienced slip and fall attorneys is ready and available to answer any questions you may have.
Click here to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights as a victim of a slip and fall accident.