Florida residents run the risk of serious injuries and even death, if they are the victim of a slip and fall accident. In fact, this type of accident is one of the most common causes of injury, especially for seniors.
Your safety in shops, businesses and other people’s homes is the responsibility of that property owner. Compensating you for the often-high medical bills is often a penalty for property owners who disregard this obligation. These seven things to do after a slip & fall accident can guide you on the process, should you find yourself a victim.
Get Medical Help
Of course, this is important for anyone who has been injured in any type of slip and fall accident. You should have a consultation with your doctor within 48 hours of the accident, and if told to do so, go to the hospital. Remember, that not all injuries are immediately obvious, such as an injury to the head. And to file a claim against the property, you will need a record of the doctor’s visit.
Report the Accident
Make a point of filing a formal report with the property manager, business owner or whoever is in charge of that facility. There may be paperwork to complete and procedures to be followed and you should ask for a copy of any paperwork you fill out. You should send a written account of the incident to that company’s HR representative as soon as you can if there are no other procedures to be followed. Include as much information as possible, including the cause of the accident, extent of any injuries and exactly when and where the accident happened. Keep copies of everything, including any response from that business’s security person or from the police.
Be Organized; Keep a File
Keep any receipts, bills, doctor’s letters and paperwork between you and the manager, property owner or other business representative. You may need these to file a claim and it helps to immediately be organized and keep copies of everything, just in case. Documentation pertaining to any time off work you incurred should be kept, along with any items on your person that were damaged in the accident. Make detailed notes about the accident, including exactly how it happened and any pain, illness, doctor’s visit, or medication that resulted from the fall. If you missed attending any event or had to take time off work, document it all thoroughly.
You can strengthen your case when you file a claim by having photographs of the accident site and anything that might be relevant. Pictures of loose steps, puddles or uneven flooring, holes in the carpet or hazards on the ground can all help your case. And you should also take photographs of your injuries, including any neck brace, cast or bandages.
Talk to Witnesses
The information provided by witnesses to your fall can be extremely useful later when you need to file a claim. Ideally, any witness account should be as fresh as possible and one way to ensure they do not forget any important details is to record a statement from them on your phone. A statement taken just after the accident happened carries more weight than one taken several weeks later.
Look After Your Own Interests
You should not feel bad about taking legal action against any business that was responsible for your slip and fall accident, even a small family run business. Remember that the insurance company will be paying you compensation for any pain and suffering, loss of income, medical expenses, or time off work; it’s not the actual homeowner or company owner that will be paying you. Homeowners and businesses carry insurance to over these unforeseen incidents, including an injury on their property. Your responsibility is to get the compensation you deserve. Do not talk about your case or post updates or opinions on social media; it is obviously acceptable to discuss the case with your attorney, but not with anyone else.
Be Careful of the Insurance Adjustor
The role of the insurance adjuster is to save money by trying to pay you as little compensation as possible, and for that reason you should be careful of communicating with them. Always talk to a lawyer before signing a release or signing anything pertaining to the case, or letting the adjustor have access to your medical records, and do not minimize the extent of any injuries. And of course, you should not state that you are to blame for the slip and fall accident.
A knowledgeable slip and fall accident lawyer can help you and can increase your chances of you getting the compensation you deserve.