As any slip & fall victim will tell you, these incidents are devastating and life altering. Victims are often incapacitated and have difficulty functioning in their daily life activities.
Unfortunately most insurances and their legal representatives often downplay the significance of the victim’s injuries and even dispute their insured’s liability. Therefore, it is critical that a victim takes the necessary steps to preserve a strong legal claim.
The following are some helpful suggestions based on my experience in handling slip & fall cases:
(1) Make an Accident or Incident Report and Take Photos
Generally, slip and fall incidents occur in a store or a building where there is a manager or employer who has a duty to report incidents. It is important that the victim make a written report to the property party, e.g. an employee, manager, owner, or landlord. The victim should also obtain a copy of this report before he or she leaves the premises.
If the victim is a customer dining or shopping in a restaurant or store, he or she should maintain any receipts of purchase. In addition, a smart phone is of great use to take pictures of the exact location where the victim fell, including pictures of the cause or condition that contributed to the fall – such as liquid, food, crack, hole, unsteady step, poor railing or any other condition.
(2) Obtain Witnesses
When possible, the victim should take the names, addresses and contact information of any witnesses to the slip and fall accident.
Additionally, if applicable, ask the witness to provide a written statement to an employee, manager, or owner of the establishment.
(3) Receive Immediate Medical Attention
If, G-D Forbid, you have been seriously injured, you should call 911 or see a doctor or physician shortly after the accident. Your health and safety is a number one priority.
In regards to a personal injury claim or lawsuit, failure to seek the proper medical attention within a timely fashion may present a roadblock in proving that one’s injuries are a direct result of the incident. Moreover, the law requires victims to minimize their injuries by seeking proper medical attention and not allowing their injuries to be further aggravated.
(4) Take Photographs of Visible Bodily Injuries
Slip and falls often result in serious injuries, including bruises, cuts, and other visible injuries. Photographs of any visible injuries may be of great evidentiary value for the victim’s case.
(5) Save Your Shoes & Clothing from the Accident
The shoes and clothing worn during the time of the incident can be valuable in confirming and substantiating the slip & fall incident.
(6) Call a Competent Personal Injury Attorney
Of course, the victim should seek the advice and services of an experienced personal injury attorney who deals extensively with slip & fall accidents.
By: Eldad M. Younessi, Esq.
[Eldad (aka “Eli”) is a passionate personal injury attorney. Eldad is very emphatic to his clients and relentlessly pursues the best outcomes for their accidents. He is an associate at Saidian & Saidian, PLC and can be reached directly at (213) 222-8564.]
Disclaimer: Please note that any information provided, and/or other legal information presented, on this post is not intended to be legal advice. The information on this post is merely for informative use based on my experience in handling slip & fall and trip & fall accidents. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your personal matter.