Tips For Slip and Fall Cases
#1 – Figure Out What Caused Your Fall
Slipping, tripping, and falling anywhere, but especially in an area open to the public or with other people around, can initially be embarrassing. After the embarrassment comes the pain from the injuries you sustained. Despite both of these overwhelming sensations, try your best not to lose focus. As soon as possible after the accident, try and figure out what caused you to slip, trip, and fall. Was the area wet? If so, from what? This second inquiry is equally as important as the first. Why? A property owner is not automatically responsible just because you slipped and fell on their property. We must prove that they created the dangerous condition leading to your fall, or at least that they knew or should have known about it and failed to correct or adequately warn. So, if you think the fluid on the floor came from a broken container, for example, take a picture of that too.
#2 – Take Photos
If you believe that your slip, trip, or fall on someone else’s property was caused by a dangerous condition that the property owner should have been aware of, or was aware of but failed to warn, take out your cell phone and take some pictures of the area where you fell. If your injuries are really bad, have someone you are with do that. Common examples might be a puddle of spilled water, oil, or cleaning fluid; pet urine, food items, broken flooring, potholes, or poorly-maintained stair cases. These pictures will provide the only visual proof od the dangerous condition during the time of the accident. This will help rebut defenses by the property owner.
#3 – Report Incident
If possible, after taking photos report the accident to a store employee. Usually, managers of commercial property will have a system in place to take a formal incident report. Of course, Florida law doesn’t require that any report is taken, nor does it require that you are provided a copy of that report if one is taken, but that’s ok. An aggressive and experienced Miami slip and fall lawyer like Jordan Redavid can ensure those issues are properly taken care of. Just do your part in the moment.
#4 – Witnesses
Often times there will be other people around when the slip and fall accident occurs. In those cases, you’ll want to try and obtain their contact information. Even just a name can go a long way, but if they’ll share it, get a phone number and/or email address. This will allow your accident attorney like Jordan Redavid to further bolster your case. It won’t just be your word against the property owners.
#5 Seek Medical Attention
When Appropriate Sometimes a slip and fall accident will result in severe injuries. When this happens, have someone call 911 and request medical attention or have someone you’re with take you to a hospital. This serves two purposes: first, it ensures that you are not further injured and receive the medical treatment; and second, further documents the specifics about the nature, type, and extent of your injuries. If you don’t require immediate medical attention, however, you can safely leave the premises and simply seek medical evaluations as needed (e.g. sore neck or back might lead to seeing a chiropractor). If you retain Redavid Law PLLC, we can help assist you in finding the proper medical professional to help treat your injuries–perhaps without the need for you to pay anything out of pocket.
#6 – Be Cautious About Signing Any Medical Release Forms
If you do seek medical attention, and the property owner becomes aware, you may be presented with paperwork and asked to sign it. You might be told that it is a release in exchange for the property owner paying your medical bills. Before signing anything, always consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer like Jordan Redavid. Those releases might be devastating to your case and leave you without sufficient and just compensation.
#7 Never Admit Fault
There are variety of reasons why you might feel compelled to tell the property owner, manager, or police that you might have been at fault. Fight that urge! You may not have fully been aware at the time of the accident or been in a position to fully appreciate all of the contributing circumstances. Therefore, it’s best to let your slip and fall attorney do the talking for you.
#8 Don’t Speak To The Other Side
There’s no legal obligation for you to call the property owner’s insurance company to tell them what happened. While it’s always advisable to notify the property owner of that the incident occurred shortly after it did, you need not jeopardize your claim by giving a recorded statement to them. Often times, these statements are damning to your case.