Slip-and-fall accidents often occur when you least expect them. One minute you are going about your routine; the next, you are dealing with an injury.
The physical impact of slip-and-fall accidents can be severe. Seemingly minor mishaps can cause broken bones, head trauma, sprains, and fractures. Falls account for 87% of fractures among people over the age of 65.
The legal consequences can be challenging, too. Every year, personal injury causes victims to incur over $1.225 billion in costs, mainly in the form of medical bills and lost wages. Moreover, it isn’t always obvious how to file a claim to get the damages you deserve.
Fortunately, this article can help. We explore the legal implications of slip-and-fall cases and what to do immediately after an accident. This way, you can maximize the likelihood of receiving compensation.
The Legal Implications of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents can have various legal implications, raising questions regarding who is at fault or negligent and how much compensation is owed. Understanding these matters helps you and your attorney decide whether it is worth pursuing a case.
For instance, property owners, business establishments, and individuals could have been negligent in a way that led to your injuries. When this happens, the law allows you to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and, sometimes, pain and suffering.
Determining fault in a slip-and-fall accident depends on the property owner’s responsibilities and whether they conducted due diligence. The law states they must maintain their premises in a safe condition and eliminate hazards promptly.
To prove your case, you must gather evidence and present it to the court. Acceptable evidence includes witness statements, medical records, photographs of the accident scene, and available CCTV footage. Personal injury lawyers can help you collect and present this evidence to strengthen your case and navigate various legal complexities, including any applicable statutes of limitations.
5 Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you have been injured and want to make a personal injury claim, you must take the following steps to ensure a desirable outcome. Failing to follow the advice outlined here could lead to the court dismissing your case or less compensation for your injuries.
Step 1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The first step after a slip-and-fall accident is to seek medical attention, regardless of the severity of your injury. Medical records serve as crucial evidence in legal claims. Courts want to see that you attended a medical establishment for treatment to substantiate your claim.
Delaying medical care can raise doubts about the causal relationship between the incident and your injuries. The opposing side could argue that the medical harm you experienced was the result of something else, not their negligence.
Step 2: Document Everything
The next step is to document all the details of the accident. You’ll want to include:-
- Any witnesses present, including their names and contact details
- The time and date the incident occurred
- The location, premises, or address of the accident
- The conditions that led to the accident that might indicate negligence
- Details of any injuries you sustained
- The conversations you had with people at the time
- The expenses incurred that result from the injury
You should also take photos contemporaneously, if possible. Photographs provide courts with accurate depictions of the original scene, helping them understand how injuries or damages occurred.
Photos are also essential for the preservation of evidence. Timely photographs capture damage, weather events, or conditions that might support your legal claim.
Step 3: Report the Accident
After evidence collection, report the incident. Telling others begins the process of moving your case forward.
Who you report the incident to depends on where you were when the accident occurred. If the accident happened on business premises, speak to the manager and tell them how events unfolded but don’t provide a detailed statement or sign any documents.
If the accident happened in a public place, report it to the city, usually the comptroller, if you believe your accident occurred because of the city’s negligence or actions.
Finally, call the police and report the incident, regardless of where the incident occurred. Law enforcement will create an official written case report you can later use as evidence in court.
Step 4: Avoid Providing Detailed Statements or Signing Documents
Don’t provide detailed statements or sign any documents without consulting an attorney first. Insurance companies may use this information to prevent you from receiving fair compensation or damages, even if they promise to speed up your claim.
For instance, insurance companies may phone you and induce you to say statements like “I am fine,” which go against your injury claim. You might also inadvertently give inaccurate details, undermining your case.
Step 5: Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
As such, always work closely with legal counsel after a slip and fall accident. Lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of personal injury law and ensure that your rights are protected.
Lawyers can also assist in other matters, such as evidence-gathering, legal strategy, and connecting with expert witnesses who can bolster your case. Ultimately, experience counts and increases the likelihood of a successful outcome in personal injury claims.
The Importance of Acting Promptly
In summary, acting quickly to make slip-and-fall claims is essential. Delaying may cause evidence to degrade and put your case at risk.
Moreover, if you miss your statute of limitations deadline, you might not be eligible to make a claim at all. The defense could ask the court to throw out your case.
Therefore, if you have been injured and want to make a personal injury claim, it is essential to work with a slip-and-fall lawyer to understand your rights and potential for legal recourse. Trained progressions can tell you whether you have a substantial case and the compensation you may be eligible to receive.
So, what are you waiting for?
Call a slip-and-fall lawyer in Louisville today to discuss your case.