Four Essential Steps to Take after a Slip and Fall Accident
Each year, millions of Americans are involved in slip and fall accidents. Many of these accidents are preventable, and often times, the injured party is entitled to compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help build a case, and ensure an accident victim gets the compensation he or she deserves. The following steps are crucial to establishing a strong slip and fall case.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
Many slip and fall accidents involve broken bones and head trauma. Some conditions might not be obvious right away, so a doctor’s examination is very important. A medical exam with a written diagnosis will be important evidence for a personal injury lawyer to use while building a premises liability case.
Step 2: Investigate the Cause
In order for a victim to receive compensation from a property owner, evidence must be presented to show the owner was negligent and failed to properly maintain his or her property. After an accident, it is important for the injured party to establish what caused the fall. Examples of owner negligence include broken stairs, defective railings, failure to remove ice and snow, defective, warped, or broken flooring, and wet floors without caution signs. The cause of the fall should be determined immediately, ideally with photographic evidence taken at the scene. It is always better for the victim to have his or her own photos, rather than relying on the property owner.
Step 3: Establish Witnesses
Names, phone numbers, and addresses should be collected from all people who witnessed the accident in case the property owner challenges the victim’s claim. It is also helpful to gather information from people who were present just after the accident, as they can verify the condition of the scene and cause of the injury. Information should also be collected from the medical professionals who treat the injured party. A list of all of these witnesses should be given to the personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Step 4: File an Accident Report
Most properties, especially places of business, have set guidelines to follow when an accident occurs. A manager should be notified immediately, and many businesses will have an accident report form to fill out. Make a note of the employees present at the time of the fall, and anything they say regarding the accident. Pay close attention to any comments that refer to the cause of the accident as an existing issue, or mention of other similar accidents.
Slip and fall accidents can be very traumatic for victims and their families. The legal process can be complicated, so hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure a victim receives proper compensation.