Individuals of any age can find themselves as the victim of a slip and fall accident, so it makes good sense to know in advance what steps should be taken following such an accident. People injured in a slip and fall should certainly follow these steps if the fall was not their fault.
The owners of the property have an obligation to keep walkways, parking lots, and buildings maintained so that these locations can safely be traveled. This responsibility is known legally as premises liability. If someone gets seriously hurt by tripping, slipping, or falling on another individual’s property due to negligence on the part of the owner, the victim may be entitled to receive compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages from missing work, as well as pain and suffering. You will need to prove that the owner of the property knew or should have known about the dangerous areas and failed to make repairs. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help you file an accident claim for your damages.
What Causes Slip & Fall Accidents
Some of the contributing factors of these types of accidents include:
- Wet floors, usually without wet floor signs
- Lack of safety precautions on properties (no handrails)
- Poor lighting
- Malfunctioning escalators or elevators
- Negligent maintenance of walking areas (potholes)
Where Do Slip & Fall Accidents Occur?
Premises liability accidents may occur in the following areas:
- Office buildings
- Shopping Malls
- Parking Lots
- Department Stores
- Hardware Stores
- Another person’s home or property area
Knowing What to do Following a Slip & Fall Accident
If you or a family member has been injured due to the negligence of a property owner, you should immediately take post-accident steps to ensure that you have a strong case for a lawsuit. As quickly as possible after the slip and fall happens, write down all circumstance details. Make sure to include answers to these questions:
- What time and date did the accident occur?
- What conditions existed surrounding the accident?
- What clothing and footwear was the victim wearing?
- Were there witnesses? If so, did you get their contact information?
- Did the slip and fall occur inside or outside, and at what facility?
- Did the accident happen on wet or dry pavement or flooring?
- Did any obstructions cause the fall?
- Did the fall involve corporate or store personnel?
Follow These Five Steps
Get Medical Treatment. After a slip and fall accident, the health of the victim is the top priority. The victim should immediately seek medical treatment to properly document any and all injuries sustained. These records will ultimately become very important evidence if a legal suit is pursued to seek proper compensation for injuries received.
Report the Fall. Regardless of where the slip and fall accident takes place – whether on the sidewalk, in a store, or at the home of an acquaintance – immediately report it to the owner, manager or landlord. Make sure to get the incident details in writing. Ask the landlord, owner or manager to do a written report and give you a copy while you wait there.
Document Everything. For future reference, get the contact information of all potential witnesses. Include their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses. If you choose to pursue a claim in the future, these individuals’ statements could be the very evidence that proves your claim. It is crucial to get photos of the location of the fall. Capture all pertinent details like icy spots, stairs, and any other conditions contributing to the accident. Write down the date and time, what you were doing, how you fell, etc. Be sure to store the clothing and shoes you wore during the incident, so they will be preserved as evidence if needed later.
Do Not Give Statements. Stay calm and only share minimal communication with the landlord, manager or property owner. Don’t post or discuss accident details on social media. Do not give any statements to insurance company representatives without first speaking to an attorney. Resist the urge to place blame, and do not accept any blame.
Contact an Attorney. Because there may be legal implications, it is wise to enlist the help of an experienced attorney after a slip and fall accident. These cases can be complex and hard to prove. Victims should consider contacting The Eichholz Law Firm, where the legal team has the experience and resources to investigate, present and successfully litigate slip and fall cases.
It is not unusual for unscrupulous individuals to bring fraudulent slip and fall lawsuits against mom and pop shops, retailers, and businesses of any size. Therefore, an actual fall victim needs highly qualified, ethical legal representation to succeed and win a legitimate case.
The prospective lawyer will interview the fall victim to determine if there is a legitimate claim. In addition, the attorney will want to rule out any possible negligence on the victim’s part before accepting the case. If, for example, the victim was wearing stilettos on a wet or icy grocery store parking lot, it would be very difficult for an attorney to win such a case. However, if the victim was wearing tennis shoes and fell on a section of broken concrete that had been in that condition for months, the victim’s attorney would have a much easier time winning this slip and fall case.
Have You Been Injured in a Slip & Fall Accident?
Because there can be a general fear of the unknown, many victims of accidents stay in the shadows and never pursue the rightful compensation to which they are entitled. The slip and fall lawyers at The Eichholz Law Firm encourage such victims to discuss the specifics of their accident with professionals who may be able to help change the course for the victim.
Our legal representatives will take care of complex paperwork, negotiate with the liable parties, and speak with insurance companies. There is a limited window of time to file a claim, so it is important to contact us right away. Victims should not get stuck with medical bills from a slip and fall accident that was not their fault.
Contact us today for a free case consultation.