Slip, trip and fall accidents can happen to anyone and anywhere. Sometimes it may occur when you get clumsy or distracted, but most times, it’s really not your fault. It already has or probably will happen to almost all of us, so it’s important to know what you should do afterwards. There is something called premises liability; by law, if you were seriously injured after slipping, tripping and falling on a property that’s not yours and it was due to negligence of a third party, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, break from work or even pain and suffering. So if you or someone close to you suffer such an accident, you should remember about several steps that you need to take to build a strong legal case.
- Get medical help
You should immediately seek medical attention and it doesn’t matter if you suffer from severe injuries or not. Medical reports are the necessary start to building your case in court. There should be no doubts about what you suffered due to an accident. So even if you’re capable of moving on your own, you should visit a doctor as fast as you can. It will be proof of not only what happened, but also when it happened – it’s crucial as the other side will most probably try to prove that you got your injuries on another occasion. What’s more, in the case of head traumas and some different injuries, the full extent is not always evident. A medical examinator will be able to uncover everything or at least document it in case you will start getting symptoms sometime after the fall.
- Make an official report
Whether it happens at your friend’s house, in a store or at school, you should immediately report the accident to the owner, landlord or manager. You should ask them to write down all the details and that both you and the other side get a copy of the report. Be sure you’ve included everything that happened – when, where, how and what was after. It will help you prove that you’ve taken the accident seriously from the very start and the time of it would be confirmed.
- Document it
Witnesses may be vital if the other side decides to fight you. If it’s a public place, there shouldn’t be any problems so you (or someone else if your injuries don’t let you) ought to approach somebody who could have seen everything – get their contact information and make sure they will be ready to testify. An attorney will get a written statement that may be crucial to winning your case. Having a witness will make it impossible for the other side to deny your version.
What’s more, you or someone you’re with should inspect the scene. Maybe you can identify what caused your fall, what made your trip or slip – were there too many people? Was the floor wet? Was there something on it? It’s best to take some photos of the scene to have undeniable proof that something was wrong and the fall wasn’t your fall. Photos are powerful and convincing, even more than a credible witness.
- Get an attorney
It’s important to try and find someone locally, as the law can vary between different states and countries. So if you hurt yourself in Las Vegas, it’s best to find a Las Vegas attorney.
You shouldn’t give any official statements on your own. If you’re a laic when it comes to the law, the other side may want to take advantage of you, make you say something you didn’t mean, twist your words, take them out of context or simply show that you’re not 100% sure of what happened. Professionals are better at negotiations. What’s more, it probably won’t be their first case like this so they will be able to predict the possible moves and plans. These kinds of accidents may be difficult to prove and the other side will be determined to pay you as little as possible. An attorney has the needed resources, experience and knowledge; don’t give statements or sign any papers before contacting one.
It’s important to remember all that in order to avoid paying medical bills from an accident caused by a third party. The sooner you get help from a professional, the better; it will keep you from making mistakes that can cost you the whole case. It’s about your health and your finances – you don’t want to ruin either.