Every year, more than 800,000 people of all ages are hospitalized for slip and fall-related injuries.
Of these people who are injured, many have no idea how to get compensated after their accident. Instead, they end up paying out of pocket for their injuries and get weighed down by hefty medical bills.
Do you know what to do if you’re ever injured in a slip and fall accident? If not, keep reading.
Listed below are eight steps you should take immediately after slipping and falling to ensure you receive fair compensation.
1. Get Medical Care
The first thing you should after a slip and fall accident is to seek medical attention.
If you’re going to successfully file a personal injury claim, you’ll need documents from a physician verifying your injuries. The only way to get those documents is to see a physician.
Remember, the sooner you seek medical care after your accident, the better.
If you wait too long, you’ll have a harder time proving that your injuries are the result of a slip and fall. You might also have a harder time proving the severity of your injuries since you waited to seek care from a physician.
2. Report the Accident
It’s important to report the accident right away, too. It doesn’t matter where the fall occurs.
An official report is necessary if you want to prove that the fall happened and that you deserve compensation for the injuries you sustained because of it.
If you fell in a store or another place of business, report the incident to the manager or owner. If you fell at an apartment complex, report it to the property manager or landlord.
Wherever you fell, make a written report and try to obtain a copy of it before you leave the premises.
3. Write Everything Down
As soon as you can after your slip and fall, write down everything that you remember about the incident.
Where were you? Did you trip over something or slip on a wet floor? Were there signs up indicating a potential hazard?
Were you distracted or doing something you shouldn’t have when you were injured?
The more information you have regarding the situation (both positive and negative), the better.
Write all these details down and, if you have time, take pictures before you leave the scene. Pictures can play a big part in providing additional evidence and helping you get the compensation you deserve.
4. Identify Witnesses
Check to see if there is anyone around who may have seen you fall, too.
If you notice passersby in the area or if an employee at a business is present, ask them for their contact information. Find out, too, if they’re willing to give a brief statement about what they saw.
Hang on to the contact information for these individuals. It may come in very handy later, especially if you’re having trouble verifying certain aspects of your story.
5. Don’t Give a Statement
Do not give any statements about the accident until you’ve hired a lawyer.
When you’re filing reports with property managers or store owners, keep your comments as brief as possible. If you provide them with too many details up front, you could end up sabotaging yourself and making it harder for yourself to get compensation later.
Avoid any admissions of guilt or any statements that seem like you’re absolving the owner of responsibility, too. This includes statements like, “I’m fine” or “everything’s okay.”
At the same time, you also shouldn’t place any blame on the owners, either. No matter how upset you are, stay calm — it’ll serve you well later.
6. Collect Evidence
Be sure to hang on to all documents related to your accident.
This includes the descriptions you wrote and the pictures you took immediately following it. It also includes any medical records or correspondence between yourself and the insurance company or the lawyers of the property owners.
Keep all of these documents in a folder or binder so they’re readily available should you need them.
Share them with your lawyer, too, so that he or she has all the details they need regarding your case.
7. Stay Off Social Media
Resist the urge to post anything on social media about your accident.
We live in a day and age where people love to post about situations as soon as they happen. It might feel cathartic initially, but this won’t do you any favors when it comes to making sure you’re compensated.
It’s easy to slip up and say something you shouldn’t when you’re posting online or responding to comments. Even a simple reply like “I’m feeling okay” or “it’s not too bad” could make it harder for you to get compensated later on.
In some cases, it might even be argued that the fact you’re posting on social media at all is proof that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.
8. Hire a Lawyer
Last, but not least, be sure to hire a lawyer as soon as you can after you’re involved in an accident.
Having a lawyer on your side will provide you with more info regarding the ins and outs of the law.
You’ll also have someone who can communicate on your behalf and reduce the stress of having to talk to lawyers, insurance agents, and other people involved in the case.
Many lawyers also don’t require payment unless you win your case, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of funds holding you back.
Learn More About Handling a Slip and Fall Accident
As you can see, there’s quite a bit that you need to do after experiencing a slip and fall accident.
Be sure to keep this information in mind so that, in the event that you or a loved one get injured, you know what to do.
Have you recently been injured in a slip and fall accident? Do you need help hiring a lawyer to represent you and ensure you’re compensated fairly?
If so, check out this article today. It’ll teach you everything you need to know about hiring a personal injury lawyer.