At some point in your life, you’ll likely slip, fall, and get injured. While a fall is often easy to shake off, if your injury is the fault of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. It’s easy to get disoriented after a slip and fall accident, but there are several steps you should take afterwards to help you build the best possible legal claim.
Your number one priority after a slip and fall accident injury is to seek adequate medical treatment. If you’ve been hurt, a doctor will properly document and treat your injuries. While you’re at the office, preemptively request a copy of the medical record. If it doesn’t state the reason for your injury, ask for that, too. Often, doctors don’t state the cause of an injury on a medical record, so it’s important to request it in-person or have your legal representative send in a request on your behalf.
Your medical records are invaluable when it comes to building a case. Keep track of your billing statements, as well. If you’re seeking financial compensation after your fall, this helps insurance adjuster evaluate your claim.
If you intend to seek damages after a slip and fall accident, the most difficult aspect is undoubtedly proving fault. Legally, this is referred to as premises liability. Simply put, premises liability is an aspect of personal injury cases that comes into play when the injury was caused by known unsafe conditions on someone’s property. From damaged stairways to icy walkways, there are numerous conditions that point to premises liability and owner negligence.
In order to establish premises liability, a few things have to happen. It needs to be shown that the owner either created the condition, knew of the condition beforehand and failed to correct it, or the condition existed for such a length of time that the owner should have known of it and taken steps to remedy it. Essentially, an owner must be able to foresee that their negligence would create the danger that led to your injury.
Keep a Record of Everything
Collect names, addresses, and contact information, not just for the property owner of the site of the accident, but for any potential witnesses in the area. If you’re able, collect witness testimonies, too. In slip and fall cases, photographs are your friends. Snap shots of where you fell and the conditions of the surrounding areas. If the site is poorly maintained or iced over when it should be shoveled, it’s compelling evidence in a personal injury claim. Also, document the shoes and clothing you wore the day of the accident. They could prove to be useful pieces of evidence down the road.
Contact a Lawyer
If you need assistance in proving that your accident stems from negligence and not personal carelessness, it’s best to contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer is able to request supporting documentation for your case and improve your odds of winning a settlement. Outside of their legal know-how, a lawyer will navigate the complex judicial processes involved in filing a personal injury claim. From the mountains of confusing paperwork to the numerous deadlines, you’ll rest easy knowing that you have an expert on your side.
One Step at a Time
Recouping your losses in a slip and fall case is a complex process that benefits from a trained legal representative. Oftentimes, you’re out of time, money, and energy during your recovery period. By contacting a dedicated personal injury lawyer, you’re doing your best to ensure that you’re awarded the damages you deserve. Do your research before hiring a lawyer and come prepared with a plan. You’ll be on the road to recovery before you know it.