If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident, you’re probably wondering what to do next. If you suffered an injury during your accident, it could be grounds for a liability lawsuit. How do you move forward, though? And what’s the best way to win your case?
Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be difficult. You need professional guidance to protect your interests and help you avoid costly mistakes both now and in the future of your case.
In this post, we’ll discuss the aftermath of a slip and fall accident, and what you need to know about protecting your rights.
What is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall case takes place when someone slips and falls and suffers an injury on someone else’s property. Common locations include restaurants and grocery stores where liquids get spilled on the floor or floors are slick and wet from cleaning. To support an accident case, the slip and fall event must meet the following criteria:
- Someone had a duty to keep the space safe and help prevent injury
- Someone was negligent in their duty to keep the area safe
- The accident was the result of someone’s negligence
- The accident caused an injury
If you got hurt in an accident that met the above criteria, there are steps you should take immediately. Following the right steps maximizes the possibility that you can secure compensation for your accident.
Since most states have a statute of limitations surrounding slip and fall accidents, it’s critical to move quickly after your accident. If you wait too long, the statute of limitations may make it impossible for you to file a claim.
5 Steps to Take After Your Slip & Fall Accident
No matter where your accident took place, or how it occurred, follow these five steps after the fact:
1. Request an Incident Report
After you slip and fall, request the manager on duty provide you with an incident report of your fall. Do this before you leave the premises. This report will outline details like:
- The location of your fall;
- The time of your fall,
- The conditions that led to your injury
Even if the injury seems minor, you should always request an incident report as this provides proof later on that you were involved in a slip and fall incident on the premises on a date and time certain.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Next, seek the medical attention you need to recover. Remember: one of the conditions of a lawsuit is the existence of an injury. Unless you are hurt, you do not have a case. With that in mind, seek medical attention.
Even if you don’t initially feel hurt, visit a doctor. Some accidents result in injuries that take months or weeks to manifest. Getting checked out by a medical professional will uncover underlying injuries and ensure you get the treatment you need.
As you seek medical attention, be sure to keep copies of your medical records. This will help you prove the severity of your injuries and secure the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and support ongoing treatment.
3. Do Not Accept a Settlement Offer
After a slip and fall accident, the owner of the facility where you were hurt might reach out with a settlement offer. Whatever you do, do not accept this offer without first consulting an attorney.
Until you consult with a personal injury attorney, it’s impossible to know how much money you’re entitled to or what the true value of your injuries might be. Accepting a settlement too early may result in you missing out on the compensation you deserve.
4. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Protect your rights and interests by hiring a skilled Pensacola attorney. An attorney will fight to secure your compensation, recover money from lost wages, and ensure you get the compensation you need to recuperate. Move quickly to find and hire an attorney.
This helps you avoid running into statute of limitations issues with your case. Additionally, having an attorney on board early can help you avoid costly mistakes and keep your case moving forward.
5. Get Witness Contact Information
Witnesses are an important part of any slip and fall case. If there were witnesses present to your injury, obtain their contact information.
We recommend writing down the witness’s name, address, phone number, and other contact information. This makes it easy to contact witnesses after the accident has taken place. If it’s easier for you, take a photo of a witness’s driver’s license, so you have their vital information at hand later, when you need it.
Bonus: Document the Scene
It can be difficult to remember to document the area after a slip and fall incident. It’s important, however, to document damages. With this in mind, take as many pictures as possible of the scene that you can.
Focus on photographing things like your injuries, the area where you fell, any obstacles or conditions that led to the injury (a wet floor, for example, or a broom handle across a hallway), and any witnesses or bystanders.
These pictures can be critical in helping you win your case. Once you’ve taken photos, be sure to supply copies to your attorney and legal team.
A Note on Submitting a Recorded Statement
After you’ve reported your accident to your medical care provider, your insurer may call you to request a recorded report. It’s important to know that you do not have to give this recorded statement. In fact, doing so is not compulsory. If you’ve hired an attorney, it’s smart to wait until your lawyer is present to make a statement.
The law does not require you to cooperate with this request, and the recorded statement generally will not help your case. Instead, an insurance company often times will use your recorded statement against you come time for settlement.
Hire a Skilled Attorney To Help You Try Your Case
After a slip and fall accident, you need skilled representation you can trust. Here at Ward and Barnes, we focus on helping people recover and protect their rights after an injury or accident. If you need a skilled attorney on your side, contact our team today. We’ll help you secure adequate compensation and keep moving forward, even after an injury.