A stumble or a slip may not seem like much, but in some situations, it can be the catalyst to serious or even life-threatening injuries to a victim. If you suffer a slip and fall while on the property of another person or party, there are some steps you should take in the aftermath. You may not be thinking about it at the moment as you will be preoccupied with your injuries, but what you do in the moments following a slip and fall can have an effect on your ability to seek compensation for your losses.
The following is a guide to help you respond effectively if you are the victim of a slip and fall to protect your well-being and your rights in the moments that follow.
Get to a Safe Place
After a slip and fall, in the moments after you hit the ground, you must take a quick moment to look at your surroundings and determine if you are in any immediate danger. If you have fallen somewhere where you can suffer further harm, your priority must be to get yourself to safety as quickly as possible.
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Call for Help at the Slip-and-Fall Location
Once you are sure you are safe from further injury, call for help. If you have a phone on you call for EMS services and the police to arrive on the scene. If you do not have a phone or are unable to make a call because of your injuries, ask someone with you or a bystander to make the call for you.
Many people may be unsure of whether it is appropriate to call the police to the scene of a slip and fall. In any instance where you suffer an injury due to the fault of another, it is best to call the police to document the incident and gather information from the parties involved.
Once EMS arrives on the scene, they will help to stabilize you and then transport you for further evaluation and treatment of your injuries to the nearest emergency room.
Notify a Party in Charge of the Incident
As you wait for police and EMS to arrive at the scene, you or a party on your behalf must notify someone on the property with authority that you have fallen, and an injury has occurred. In the case of private property, you would alert the property owner, whereas in a public space or business you should alert the management or supervisor in charge at the time of your accident.
The parties in control of the property where you suffer a slip and fall may take steps to complete their own incident reports. While you should provide your name and contact information and basic information about the slip and fall, do not subject yourself to their questioning or demands for what injuries you believe you have sustained.
Gather Evidence of the Slip-and-Fall
It can take a bit of time for the police and medical services to arrive on the scene. While you wait for help to the scene, there are a few quick things you can do to help bolster your case and protect yourself. If you are physically able to and have access to a camera on your mobile phone or that of a friend or family member, take a moment to analyze the scene.
Take photographs, videos, or both of the scene, your injuries if visible and what you believe led to the accident and your injuries. Do not hesitate to gather as much recording as you can of the environment around you. If there are any parties that witnessed the accident, make sure to collect their names and contact information as this may be beneficial to your case.
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Follow Medical Advice
Once you get an evaluation for your injuries at the emergency room, you may need hospitalization, surgery, or further care to help you recover and heal as best as possible. While you cannot control the severity of the injuries you suffer in a slip and fall, you can control your efforts in taking the steps necessary to heal as best as possible.
Follow the advice and directions of your medical providers, including any rehabilitation necessary. This will ensure you are doing everything in your power to recover and may help you with your case.
Record Your Experience
Take note of everything that you think might be helpful in your slip and fall case. When a victim suffers a traumatic injury, they may not recall everything at once. Whenever you recall a fact or detail that can be relevant to your injuries or who is to blame for the accident, jot it down on a notepad or on your phone.
As time passes following a slip and fall, it can become increasingly difficult to remember what seems like a minor detail that has the potential to play a big factor in the case down the line. By taking notes of your experience following an accident, you can create a resource that allows you to recollect the events of that day more easily.
Do Not Talk to the Insurance Company or At-Fault Party
The insurance company that covers the property where you suffer a slip and fall will want to talk to you after an accident. They will be persistent and attempt to communicate with you shortly after you sustain your injuries. Do not mistake this call as an effort to check on your wellbeing.
Insurance companies only want to speak with you to try to limit their liability. They will attempt to question how the accident happened to try to find any way to place negligence or blame on you. The best way to protect yourself from these tactics is to not speak with them at all.
Contact a Slip-and-Fall Attorney as Soon as You Can
A slip-and-fall lawyer is your best approach to getting the compensation you deserve following a slip and fall injury. Your attorney can handle all matters relating to the insurance companies and the at-fault parties. They will manage your case and represent your interests in trying to negotiate the compensation you need for your losses after an accident.
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