If you slipped and fell at a store, you may be eligible for monetary compensation. However, in order to get it, you’ll need to prove that the business’s conditions caused your injuries. This process is challenging, and if you don’t navigate it optimally, you could be putting your emotional, financial, and physical well-being at risk.
To ensure you get compensated for your injuries, it’s essential that you hire an attorney who has extensive experience with slip and fall cases. If you’re in need of guidance after an accident, Erie Injury is here to outline the next steps in the process.
What is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident is a type of personal injury that occurs on another person or entity’s property. In this situation, a victim, through no fault of their own, slips or trips and, as a result, falls.
These kinds of accidents account for over one million emergency room visits each year in the US. Additionally, slip and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and occupational injury for those aged 55 and over.
When seeking compensation, slip and fall cases are some of the most challenging types of personal injury cases to win. Liability is not automatic, and for a person or a business to be found liable for your injuries, a judge or jury needs to find them negligent. The right lawyer will work expeditiously to speak to witnesses, preserve evidence, and obtain security camera footage to build a strong case.
Seek Medical Care Immediately
Whether you can clearly see your injuries or they’re more internal, it’s critical that you seek medical care immediately. Even if you don’t feel like you’ve been hurt, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. During a traumatic accident, your body releases adrenaline/epinephrine that could temporarily mask your pain. Furthermore, documentation from a doctor will be helpful in later steps.
Be diligent about keeping track of your doctor’s bills or other accident-related expenses, including any absences from work. An attorney will use these receipts and work documentation when determining a proper settlement amount.
Survey the Scene
If you or someone you’re with is safely able to examine your surroundings and identify what caused you to fall, do it and document it with a photo while you’re still at the scene. Be on the lookout for:
- Broken stairs or handrails
- Bunched up carpeting
- Icy parking lots and sidewalks
- Spills on the floor
- Uneven flooring or pavement
- Wet floors
Depending on the severity of your injuries, documenting the issue may not be an option. If you were unable to photograph what happened, write down as much as you can as soon as you’re safe and able—the more detailed, the better.
Contact an Attorney
After a slip and fall accident, the property owner’s insurance company will attempt to contact you. We strongly encourage you to not talk to the insurance adjuster without an attorney. Insurance companies will try to use your statement to deny liability for your fall.
Ultimately, the sooner your hire an attorney, the faster you can win your case. Be sure to find one who has ample experience handling slip and fall cases.
Request Security Camera Footage
It might amaze you how easily you can acquire security footage from a scene. And, the number of security cameras is only increasing. In fact, from 2015 to 2018, the number of installed surveillance cameras grew nearly 50 percent, from 47 to 70 million, in the United States.
Video can provide supporting evidence that there were dangerous conditions that the store owner should have known about. Moral of the story: Even if you don’t think the store has security cameras, ask anyways. If there’s footage available, having it could be the difference between winning and losing your case.
If you fell in the store, it’s likely that somebody saw the incident. If there were people around, get their contact information. If they allow it, you might also want to get a quick statement at the scene rather than trying to track them down again later as witness accounts can be vital to the process of verifying the incident. If you’ve hired an attorney, they’ll likely want to get a recorded or written statement from each person who saw the accident.
File an Official Incident Report
A paper trail is always helpful when it comes to a slip and fall accident. If the store has a system to do so, file a complaint or send a letter with the help of an attorney. In this communication, you should provide proof of negligence on the store’s part. You may want to include photos of the environment where you slipped and fell.
A claims adjuster will call you shortly after you file this claim. When they do, do not provide a statement upon request. Instead, contact your lawyer immediately, and they’ll contact the insurance company on your behalf.
Get Back on Your Feet
Slip and fall accidents can be scary, and it’s hard to know what to do when one occurs. After seeking medical attention, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience working on slip and falls to help ensure your injuries are covered. Contact an attorney at Erie Injury today if you’ve recently had a slip and fall accident and need help getting compensated for your injuries.