While many slip and fall accidents are minor, leaving no more than scrapes and a bruised ego, there are times when they can be much more serious, especially for more serious falls or for the elderly. According to the TheBarnesFirm.com (slip and fall lawyers in NYC), the more serious of these accidents “often leave victims hospitalized for days or even weeks at a time.” These more serious incidents can be painful and costly, and so you need to know what to do after a slip and fall accident.
1: Seek Medical Attention
Your health should obviously be a first priority after a slip and fall accident. If you notice that you have immediate or ongoing pain after a slip and fall, it’s important to seek professional medical attention. Not only will you be able to get the medical assistance you need, your medical records will be able to be used as evidence in any litigation if you choose to pursue legal action afterwards.
2: File a Report
It doesn’t matter where the slip and fall takes place, chances are that there’s someone in charge you should file a report with, says Justia. Seek out the manager, landlord, or owner of the property, or if you were injured on public property such as a sidewalk look into where in the local government you should file the report. Make sure that you get the report in writing and request a copy so that you have the documentation later.
3: Collect Further Documentation
If the incident was serious, there will likely be witnesses around, perhaps some who have even helped you seek medical attention afterwards. Make sure to collect names, phone numbers, email addresses, and home addresses of any witnesses. This will help you with any claims you choose to file. You should also take pictures of the location, emphasising any ice patches, uneven cracks, or other factors in your injury. All this documentation will be of help to your lawyer if you choose to pursue legal action.
4: Don’t Say More Than Necessary
It’s likely that the manager or property owner will attempt to get you to give a statement that will minimize their guilt and liability. In order to prevent this, you should limit the amount you say to anyone until you have found a legal representative. This includes any insurance companies that the property owner may try to get involved – their insurance will be trying to catch you admitting guilt so that they won’t have to pay for legal fees or your compensation. You should also keep from posting on social media, since any minimization or exaggeration will be easy to use against you in court. It’s important to portray yourself in the right light – not taking any blame, and not placing blame where it isn’t warranted.
5: Find an Attorney
If you’ve read this far, it is likely that you’re considering legal action regarding your slip and fall incident. The best thing to do if you’re considering legal action at all is to call an experienced attorney. Slip and fall cases can be complicated and require a large burden of proof, so it’s important to get an attorney on board as soon as possible, says Nolo. They will be able to inform you regarding your legal options, weigh in on how much compensation you can expect, and give you the resources to better build your case. Look for an attorney with experience and a proven track record regarding slip and fall cases to take your case.