What Should You Do If You Slip/Trip and Fall?

You never think it will happen to you, but it very well could. More than 300,000 serious injuries are the result of slip and fall accidents just in the United States alone. Even the death statistics for this incident ranks only second to automobile collisions in overall fatalities.

With a range of common causes from uneven pathways to negligent maintenance, this type of accident can happen to anyone. And then what? If you sustain a serious injury, how will you heal and provide for yourself and your loved ones?

Here are the necessary steps to take when experiencing a slip/trip and fall incident.

 

  • Medical Help 

     If you’ve been a slip, trip, and fall accident, your first priority is to seek medical help. You want a doctor to tend to your injuries and to properly document them. All documented medical records are important pieces of evidence needed if action needs to be taken.

 

  • Report your Accident 

     Wherever the slip, trip, and fall accident happens, you always report it. Whether that be a manager, owner or landlord, you want them to document the details of the incident in writing and ALWAYS acquire a copy before you leave the premises.

 

  • Document EVERYTHING 

    This is the most important step. Collect all the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses (even Facebook profiles) from every potential witness at the site of the accident. If you decide to pursue a legal claim, it’s their statements that can prove your claim. With your smartphone, take pictures of the EXACT spot where your fall happened.  Make sure to get all sides and any conditions that contributed to your accident.

 

  • Decline to Give Statements 

     Until you’ve spoken to an attorney, all communication with the property owner, manager or insurance company should be limited. Decline to give any statements unless your attorney says otherwise. Also, you shouldn’t be posting anything about your accident on social media. This is very important.

 

  • Call your Attorney

     The help of an attorney is who you’ll need by your side when pursuing legal action. Slip, trip, and fall cases are very common and therefore can become tedious and sometimes difficult to prove. You want the experience of a successful law firm fighting in your corner and giving you the empowerment you need.

Premises liability is used in a personal injury case when the injury happened on someone else’s property due to an unsafe or defective condition. Like all personal injury cases, you must be able to prove that the property owner’s negligence led to your injury. There are several different types of premises liability cases and therefore, there are a number of ways to prove negligence in your case.

Types of premises liability cases

There are several different personal injuries that can be categorized as premises liability. All of the following can occur due to a dangerous condition on someone’s property:

  • slip and fall cases
  • snow and ice accidents
  • inadequate maintenance of the premises
  • defective conditions on the premises
  • inadequate building security leading to injury or assault
  • elevator and escalator accidents
  • dog bites
  • swimming pool accidents
  • amusement park accidents
  • fires
  • water leaks or flooding
  • toxic fumes or chemicals

The property owner’s duty of care and negligence

premises liabilityAlthough you may have been injured on someone else’s property, you can only get compensation if you were on their property lawfully and if the accident was due to the property owner’s negligence. Most states require property owners to exercise reasonable care in ownership maintenance of their property. If the property knew, or should have known, that their premises were in an unsafe condition and failed to fix the situation, they did not maintenance their property properly. The owner can then be proven negligent.

As owners are liable if they didn’t fix or pre-warn you about reasonably dangerous hazard on their property, you many not win the case if you weren’t on their property lawfully. Property visitors are divided into three categories: invitees, licensees and trespassers. If you fall into the trespasser category the landowner may not be liable for your injury.

If you’d like to speak to a lawyer about a premises liability case, contact us here.