If you are involved in a slip and fall type of accident, you may be entitled to compensation if you are injured. Slip and fall accidents are sometimes hard to prove, because when you are injured in a sudden fall, you may become disoriented at the suddenness of the accident and temporarily incapacitated by pain.
There are steps you should take, both immediate and long term, to ensure that you have a good chance of being compensated for your injuries.
What should you do immediately after a fall on private property?
If you sustain injuries from a fall because of the negligence of a homeowner or private business, you should take immediate steps after you have collected your wits.
Of course, if you have a serious injury, call an ambulance to receive medical treatment. They will document the time and place where you were injured.
If you are mobile, but fear that you may be injured, you should take the following steps to help your case for compensation:
- Take pictures of the area with your phone, paying specific attention to the hazardous condition that caused your fall. The phone will automatically record the time and date of the event.
- Look for possible witnesses, and ask for their contact information.
- Seek out the homeowner or the manager of the business where the accident occurred. Report what happened and why you believe that they were negligent.
- Go to a doctor, preferably your family doctor, to determine the extent of your injuries. Explain how your injuries occurred and ask the doctor to verify that they are consistent with those occurring from a slip, trip, or fall injury.
How do you proceed in the long term after a fall occurs?
If you fell in front of a private home, the owner may wish to pay for your medical expenses to avoid going to court. If your injuries and expenses are minor, you may consider this option.
If the homeowner denies negligence, or refuses to pay for your medical expenses, you have the option of filing for compensation in small claims court.
You will need to consult with a personal injury attorney that specializes in slip and fall accidents for the following conditions:
- You sustain serious injuries after falling in front of a personal residence. You will need representation to get the compensation you need.
- You are injured from a fall at a private business. They will be represented by attorneys, so you mustn't try to pursue the matter on your own.
- You fall on public property. Taking on the local government will require adequate representation by an attorney experienced in such matters.
Most slip and fall attorneys operate on a contingency fee, which means you pay nothing if they cannot win in court. If they are successful, they will take a percentage of the compensation awarded by the court. Fees vary, so consult with an attorney like Putnam Lieb before proceeding.