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What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?

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Every case involving a slip and fall injury is individual and different; if you have specific questions it is a good idea to contact a Boca Raton slip and fall injury attorney for a consultation and to find the answers that pertain to your situation and area. However, there are some general steps that anyone involved in a slip and fall accident can take to make the process of settlement or lawsuit easier. Studies show that 60 percent of all falls are related to a slipping or tripping incident, caused by conditions such as a foreign object on the walking surface, a design flaw in the walking surface, a slippery surface caused by weather or a spill, or impairment due to a person’s physical or mental condition.

However, slipping or tripping and falling on another party’s property does not automatically mean that they are responsible for your injury. A successful personal injury claim due to slip and fall or trip and fall incidents hinges on the proof of a dangerous condition, which caused the fall, which could have been prevented by the property owner properly managing his or her duty of care. This can be more difficult than it seems, so the first step when you experience an injury due to a slip and fall accident is to contact police and paramedics if necessary, as well as to gather evidence if you are able to. Unless you are incapacitated, obtain the names and addresses of all witnesses right away. Use a disposable camera or your cell phone to photograph the accident scene and especially the condition that you believe was responsible for your fall. If you are unable to photograph the scene, take extensive notes about the size, color, location, shape, and any other relevant details you can think to note.

Make sure also that you report the slip and fall accident, as well as the dangerous condition, to the land owner or possessor, the store manager, whatever parties should reasonably be involved. It is important, however, to avoid giving an extensive statement until you have spoken with a lawyer. Take notes about the incident if you are able to; note the date and time of the slip and fall accident, the location, names of all witnesses, names of the individuals you reported the accident to, weather conditions, and what you were wearing at the time—particularly your shoes. Keep all clothing or other physical evidence which confirms the accident.

The next step is to seek medical attention quickly. If paramedics were contacted, this is a foregone conclusion. If they were not, try and seek a professional medical opinion on any pains or complaints you have as a result of the slip and fall as soon as possible. Any delay in seeking care can negatively affect your case. An emergency room can provide an immediate evaluation and diagnostic tests such as x-rays; if your injuries are not as dire, make an appointment with your family doctor for the first available time. Make sure to tell any medical personnel about all of the physical complaints, and do not leave any unmentioned. Even if the injury is minor, or a pain is not as intense, it is important for legal records. Also take photographs of any visible injuries.

Finally, seek legal representation. It is a good idea to avoid speaking with the property owner or that party’s insurance company on your own; find a lawyer that you trust quickly, and inform any of the other parties involved to refer all questions to your attorney. Slip and fall accidents can be life changing events, and you should do what you can to ensure you receive just compensation.

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