Gravity. Our nemesis ever since our first steps, gravity has tried to keep us down our entire lives. But each morning we get out of bed and stand up in defiance to gravity. We go about our daily business without much thought of the eternal force weighing us down. That is until our feet betray us and down we fall. Whether it’s a slippery floor, a vacuum cord, or an uneven step, occasionally we fall victim to gravity’s embrace.
Sometimes it’s a pure accident. But more often than not the cause of our fall is the result of someone else’s negligence. A slip and fall is sometimes no big deal. We go down and then get up with only minor pain, maybe a scrap knee or a bruise. Other times, however, we go down and break a bone or tear a ligament. There are falls that at first only cause minor pain, but progressively worsen as time goes on. These type of falls require medical treatment; treatment that can last months or years. When you are out somewhere and you trip or slip, then keep these steps in mind:
- If Needed, Seek Medical Attention. The most important thought going through your mind should be your physical well-being, or the health of your loved one. If you are in pain or otherwise injured, call for medical attention immediately. Don’t get angry or upset at the store employees or the owner of the property. It will do nothing to help your pain or case. Focus on your health because that is the top priority.
- Report It. Be sure to report your fall to the owner or manager of wherever you fell at (even if you fell at your friend’s house, report to them what happened). If you fell at a commercial location, report the fall to the manager and ask for a copy of their accident report. If you did report the fall but didn’t ask for a copy of the accident report you can still ask for a copy.
- Take Photos. Assuming you were not whisked away in an ambulance, be sure to take plenty of photos, especially the location where you fell. Also, photograph everything around the area you fell. This includes stairs, railings, wires or cords on the ground, any ice or puddles, and anything else that is nearby. Be sure to document the date and time of your accident with the set of photos. Be sure to make a note of the weather and temperature if the fall happened outside.
- Get the Info. In order to help your case it is important to gather names, phone numbers, and addresses of anyone who saw the fall. Witnesses are important to back up your story when other pieces of evidence don’t.
- Keep Track of Your Medical Documents. Depending on extent of the injury you will receive medical treatment. Keep and save the bills and other forms you receive from your doctor. You will use the medical costs to determine how much the other side owes you in damages. The opposing party will want copies of them, too, so make duplicates.
- Call an Attorney. In order to juggle the different parties and your medical treatment it is highly recommended to hire an attorney when considering a lawsuit. By their nature, slip and fall cases are difficult to prove in a trial. Often, opposing counsel will cast the blame on you for not exercising reasonably care. Moreover, initial settlement offers from insurance companies are generally low. That is why you need an experience attorney to be your champion. Insurance companies do not wish to spend resources going to trial, and will take your claim more seriously if you have an attorney representing you.
- To Sum Up. Above all, if you are in pain get medical help. That is your top priority. Report the fall as soon as you can so there is documentation that you fell, but your first concern should be your health. Have someone that is with you at the time of the fall take pictures of the area for you. Finally, contact an attorney to go over your legal options.
Call us today if you slipped and fell. We will determine what your legal options are and what your compensatory damages could be. We will do our best to get you the maximum amount possible.
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.