Approximately 8 million Americans visit the emergency room each year after suffering a slip and fall accident. If you're ever involved in a slip and fall in a grocery store, a friend's apartment, or your workplace, it is critical to know how to proceed. In addition to protecting your health and wellbeing, knowing the steps to take after the accident can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Here are a few do's and don'ts to keep in mind if you are ever unfortunately involved in a slip and fall accident.
Do Seek Medical Attention
After you suffer a slip and fall, the first step is to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don't believe you're seriously injured, it's still critical to visit the emergency room. While you're speaking with the doctor, make sure to provide them with the details of the accident, including any areas you suspect are injured.
Keep in mind that, just because you aren't feeling the effects of the slip and fall in the first few minutes or hours after the incident, it doesn't mean that you won't be in serious pain several days or weeks later.
The doctor will thoroughly document your injuries, which is critical in the event you decide to file a lawsuit. If you do not provide medical documentation, the defendant could argue that your injuries were not caused by the slip and fall.
Do Speak to the Person in Charge
Now that you're medically cleared, it is time to report the incident. Depending on where you fell, this could be the manager of a grocery store, a human resources representative, or a property manager or property owner.
Let them know about the details of the accident, including where and when it occurred, and your injuries. However, while you are describing the incident, do not ever admit fault. Also, do not lie about or exaggerate your injuries. Be truthful, but let them know that the injury did occur on their property.
The property manager or representative will fill out an incident report. You need to provide accurate information because it will be used to strengthen your case later.
Don't Forget to Document the Accident
The next step is to document as many aspects of the slip and fall as possible. Here are a few tips to help you gather the documentation and evidence you will need to strengthen your personal injury case:
- Take photos of the scene. Grab your cellphone and take a few pictures of the scene of the accident. Pay special attention to any circumstances that led to the slip and fall, such as a missing "Wet Floor" sign or uneven flooring.
- Speak to witnesses. Locate as many witnesses as possible. Ask them to provide a detailed account of the slip and fall. Also, get their names and phone numbers.
- Snap photos of your injuries. Take several photos of your injuries. It is critical to continue to take pictures often in the weeks and months after the accident. This will help document how the accident has negatively impacted your life.
- Ask about security footage. Look for security cameras in the establishment. If you notice any, snap pictures of their location. If a security camera captured the slip and fall, the documentation will be a crucial piece of evidence.
When you have gathered all your evidence, give it to your attorney. Whatever information you can give them will help you win your case.
Slip and fall accidents are very common, and unfortunately, they can lead to serious injuries. If you are ever involved in a slip and fall, don't hesitate to contact the professionals at the Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Garrety, P.C.