A slip-and-fall accident can leave you with severe injuries that affect you physically, emotionally, and financially. You may be overwhelmed, confused, and unsure of what to do next.
What you do following a slip-and-fall may affect your ability to recover fair compensation for your losses. If you have been injured by falling recently, please take some time to examine the following information provided in this blog and take measures to protect yourself.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention is one of the most important things to do following a slip-and-fall.
One reason for this is that the full extent of your injuries may not always be immediately apparent to the layman’s naked eye. A doctor, though, may be able to identify any hidden injuries such as head trauma, and make sure you receive the medical treatment you need right away.
Not only is getting medical care critical to your health, but it is also an essential step in building your case. Visiting a doctor immediately after your slip-and-fall accident adds credibility to your case and provides a timeline of your injuries. What’s more, getting medical attention right away helps prevent the other party from successfully claiming that your injuries were not caused by the slip-and-fall.
Identify the Cause of Your Fall
Look around you and try to determine what caused you to fall. Was it an object in your pathway, a recently mopped floor, a loose handrail, or something else?
The best time to identify the cause of your slip-and-fall is immediately after it occurred. Knowing what the source of your fall was will help your lawyer determine whether you were the victim of someone else’s negligence.
Report the Slip and Fall
If it happened at a business, you should report your slip-and-fall accident and injury to the owner or manager on duty.
The business may make an accident report for their records. Go ahead and make a statement if your health allows. Having an official complaint on file can prevent the other side from saying that your slip-and-fall accident did not occur when and where you say it did.
Be sure to request a copy of the written report. If your fall was so serious that the police were called, you should request a copy of that report as well.
Document the Scene
While you may be able to describe the property hazard that caused you to slip and fall, it is ideal to back up your story with photographic evidence. Even if at the moment you are not exactly sure what triggered your fall, take photos or a video of your surroundings.
Use your smartphone to document the floor, the area around you, and anything that seems relevant to your fall. For example, if you slipped because of a wet floor, take a wide shot of the area showing that there were not any caution signs.
Speak to Eyewitnesses
Did someone see you fall or offer to help you afterward? Witnesses can prove critical to verifying your version of events.
Secure witnesses’ contact information, including:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Email address
When you hire a personal injury law firm to represent you, your attorney will follow up with witnesses quickly. Since details can be forgotten over time, it is important to get an official statement from eyewitnesses as soon as possible.
If you were with a friend or family member at the time of the accident, ask whoever you were with to record a brief version of events on a smartphone. It is easier to give a statement while it is still fresh in your mind rather than waiting to rely on memory later.
Write Down Important Details
As soon as you can, write down notes to record what you remember about your fall. Including details such as:
- Date and time of your fall
- Weather conditions
- Events leading up to the fall
- Which foot stepped first and where
- Who was nearby
- Where you were looking
- What part of your body hit the ground
Your memory can fade quickly. Things that are obvious today you may forget tomorrow. Jot down small details and things that at the time might seem insignificant. Your lawyer can decide that information is important when bringing your slip and fall injury claim.
Save Your Shoes From the Day of the Accident
While this step may seem a little odd to some, you should save the shoes you were wearing on the day of the accident. One excuse an insurance company could make to deny your slip and fall claim is that you were not wearing safe shoes at the time of the incident.
The insurance adjuster may want to know what type of shoes you wore, how long ago you purchased them, and how worn the soles of the shoes were. The insurance company may even request to see your shoes for inspection.
You can take the following steps to preserve your shoes for evidence:
- Take pictures of the entire shoe, including the bottom of the sole, before storing them (in case they are damaged, lost, or worn by a family member)
- Store your shoes in a sealed or plastic container
- Do not wear them again until after the claim has been settled
Do Not Post About the Slip-and-Fall on Social Media
While it is understandable that you want to tell your friends and family that you were injured, you should refrain from posting anything on social media until your case is settled. Posting on social media can have negative consequences that affect your slip and fall claim.
When you are pursuing a personal injury claim, dealing with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys can be difficult. They will be on the lookout for evidence that can be used to undermine your case. Posts or comments that may seem harmless could be taken out of context or misconstrued – and therefore detrimental to your case.
Even posts of you out with friends or participating in recreational activities could be misinterpreted and used to dispute the extent of your injuries. So be cautious.
Consult an Atlanta Slip-and-Fall Accident Lawyer
Consult a slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after your accident. A lawyer can answer any questions you have about your case, offer legal advice, and help you seek compensation for your injuries.
Make sure to choose a law firm offering a free consultation, especially if your current financial situation is difficult due to medical bills and the like.
It is the goal of the property owner and the insurance company representing him or her to get you to settle for as low of an amount as possible. An experienced attorney, though, can handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, to make sure you achieve fair financial recovery.
Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney in Atlanta Today
What you do following a slip-and-fall accident can make the difference between recovering fair compensation for your claim and being unsuccessful. For instance, getting medical care from a doctor and gathering evidence could strengthen your claim to financial recovery.
When you entrust your slip and fall case to the lawyers at Hoffspiegel Law in North Atlanta, we will handle every aspect of your claim while you can focus on your recovery. Our lawyers have the experience needed to help you build a successful case, and we are dedicated to providing high-quality legal representation.
We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis – which means you do not pay upfront costs or fees for our services. Hoffspiegel Law also offers all potential clients a free consultation. Call us today at (404) 760-8600, or click the Contact Us button to get started.