Each year in the U.S., more than 8 million people seek medical care at hospitals because of fall-related injuries. Falls can be accidents that happen because of the actions of the victims or because of the negligence of others. For example, if you slip and fall because you were texting while walking in a business, your accident would likely be your fault. By contrast, if you slip and fall because a business left a puddle of vegetable oil spilled on the ground for a lengthy time, your fall would likely be the store’s fault. If your fall and injuries happened because of the actions or inaction’s of others while you were lawfully visiting their property, the legal team at DiCindio Law can help you to understand your rights. Here are some important steps to take immediately after you slip and fall and suffer injuries.
Gather as much evidence as you can
It can be difficult to know how to react immediately after you slip and fall. If you can, however, you should immediately gather evidence at the scene of your fall. If you can talk, still conscious, and can safely move, document the scene and your injuries. If you are unable to move easily, ask a friend to take pictures for you.
Use your smartphone camera to take photographs of the area where you fell and your injuries. Take videos of both as well. Write down or include a statement on your video about what you were doing immediately before your fall and whether you were carrying anything or were distracted just before your accident. Make certain to be truthful. Most businesses have security footage that they will review after an accident.
If any witnesses saw your fall, make sure that you get their names and contact details. Ask them to briefly describe what they saw. If an attorney accepts your case, he or she will want to talk to the witnesses who saw what happened.
Report the accident to the correct party
In addition to gathering evidence at the accident scene, you need to report the accident to the correct party. Start by considering whether you fell on commercial, public, or residential property. Consider whether you could have prevented your fall or if you could have spotted the hazard before it happened.
If your fall happened while you were trespassing on someone’s private property, you likely will not have a case. If you slipped and fell while you were shopping at the grocery store because of a broken floor tile, you may have grounds to file a claim. If you know that your accident was caused because of the negligence of someone else, report your accident to the property owner or possessor. He or she will have to complete an accident report. Most property owners or possessors will not want to fill out accident reports. If the owner or operator refuses to complete an accident report, you will need to complete an incident report with your local police department. You will also want to file a complaint against the owner or possessor. If the property is private residential property, ask the owner for his or her homeowner’s insurance policy information, and ask him or her to report your accident to his or her insurance agent.
Seek medical help
You need to seek medical care immediately after your slip-and-fall accident. Some injuries will not show apparent symptoms for hours or days after the accident. This makes it important for you to get checked out by your doctor even if you do not believe that you have been injured. You might have internal injuries that your doctor can identify and prevent your injuries from growing worse.
Getting immediate medical attention is also important to show a link between your injuries and your slip-and-fall accident. An attorney will want to review your medical records after your fall. Seeking immediate medical care can help to make your claim stronger.
Retain an experienced premises liability attorney
Working with an experienced premises liability lawyer after a slip-and-fall accident is important. Commercial businesses and their insurance companies often have substantial resources to litigate against claims. When you are injured, you should anticipate that the companies will do everything that they can to try to avoid or reduce their liability.
Retaining an attorney can help to place you on more equal footing with the property owner and the insurance company. Remember that companies often have defense attorneys ready to defend them against claims at any time. A lawyer can help you to gather evidence and build the strongest possible claim. He or she can also help you to navigate through the litigation and court process so that you can avoid making costly mistakes. Representing yourself against a better-positioned company is not something that you should tackle. Instead, hire a lawyer and concentrate on recovering from your injuries while your attorney fights for you.
When you search for a lawyer, make certain that you ask questions about their records at trial. You should also ask about their fee structures and ask for references from former clients about working with them. Follow up with any references that you are provided.
Talk to DiCindio Law
At DiCindio Law, Michael DiCindio has years of trial experience and strongly believes in the rights of people who have been injured because of the actions or inactions of others to recover damages. Mr. DiCindio can talk to you about what happened and review the evidence that you have gathered. He can then analyze the merits of your claim and provide you with a fair assessment. Contact us today to request a free case evaluation by calling us at 610.430.3535 or by submitting your information and case details through our contact form.