Millions of people seek medical attention each year from slip and fall accidents. If you have had one, you know how bad it is, and as a result, you may not be able to work and have to endure pain from any injuries sustained. This causes undue suffering, so it is important to be compensated for any loss.
If you are unsure what to do after this type of accident, you are not alone. Often people don’t take the right steps to deal with this and end up with a life-changing injury that affects the rest of their life without being compensated fairly.
Are you ready to protect your health and legal interests if this happens to you? This is how to handle a slip-and-fall accident.
1. Seek Medical Attention
You never expect a slip-and-fall accident to happen, but when it does occur, you need to take care of yourself first. If you have a phone with you, call 911 to get medical help and stay still until help arrives. If you can get back up, even if you think you are alright, go to the hospital or walk-in clinic and get checked out. You may be unaware of an underlying injury.
2. Report the Accident
Slip and fall accidents can happen at work while visiting friends, in a store or walking down the street, but regardless of location, you need to report it. Notify the property owner, shopkeeper, boss or land owner of what happened and ensure they fill out an accident report. Then get a copy of it for your records.
If your fall resulted from negligence at the scene, you want those responsible for being notified as soon as possible.
3. Collect Evidence
You will need as much evidence as possible when seeking compensation for any injuries. This includes:
- Medical records
- Diagnostic testing
- Recommended treatments
- Photos of the scene of the accident
- Time of day
- Any witness information
- The type of clothing and shoes you were wearing
- Proof of wage loss
All this documentation should be kept in a binder easily referenced so that they can view it if you consult a personal injury lawyer.
4. Don’t Assign or Accept Blame
Following a slip and fall accident, what you say could hurt you if the case goes to trial. You must keep silent when talking about the accident, whether to the property owner, friends, family, the police, medical staff or witnesses. Make sure not to give any statements to an insurance company and keep any police incident report only about the facts of the accident.
You should never sign a medical release form or any form from an insurance company because this could negatively affect your case. This matter needs to be investigated by a professional to determine fault, so only talk to your attorney if you get one. This also includes posting information about the accident on social media.
5. Keep Calm
You need to keep a level head when dealing with insurance representatives, doctors, police, lawyers and land owners alike. Keeping calm and composed, especially if it goes to the trial, will ensure you are seen as a patient looking to be fairly taken care of.
6. Contact a Lawyer
After your accident, you may be contacted by insurance companies or your employer to set up a meeting or make a quick settlement for injuries. Avoid this at all costs because they are not working for you and won’t have your best interest in mind when offering a low settlement. You should always have a lawyer present to meet with anyone regarding the accident. This is to have someone in a professional capacity speak for you to ensure you are not taken advantage of.
Find a lawyer experienced in slip-and-fall cases and go for an initial meeting. They are there to explain the process of any legal action and will assist with the following:
- Complex paperwork
- Filing legal claims
- Negotiating settlements
- Representing you in court
They aim to get a fair settlement based on your injuries and will work hard to protect you during the process.
7. Make All Appointments
When dealing with this accident, make sure you attend all appointments, whether for a doctor’s visit or any treatment or therapy sessions for your injuries. When you fail to attend medical appointments, it could be used against you to lower the compensation amount given. Most of all, make every lawyer appointment. They are working hard for you, and their time is important.
Nobody wins in an accident, and you will experience the most hardship. Use this as a guide to handling a slip and fall accident so you are prepared to get the fairest compensation. You deserve to be taken care of, and a qualified lawyer will help you on this journey.