Slip and falls are usually unexpected, embarrassing and painful. The last thing anyone wants to do after falling is continue reliving the incident, but here are some steps you should take immediately after falling that may be helpful for you and your attorney in the future.
One of the most important things you need to do is seek medical treatment for your injuries. Oftentimes, the pain you experience immediately after a slip and fall is minimal, but in most cases the pain increases over time. Despite how you initially feel, seeking immediate medical treatment for your injuries is important because it prevents defense lawyers and insurance companies from later arguing that your injuries are superficial or exaggerated. It also documents the fact that you actually have injuries and helps prevent the value of your case from decreasing. You also need to follow any recommendations you receive from your medical provider. If you don’t follow recommendations and/or complete follow up treatment then the value of your case will decline, so make sure you seek medical treatment and follow all of the recommendations that you receive from medical professionals.
If you do not go to the emergency room via ambulance, then you also need to do everything you can to document the incident with the landlord, property owner or store manager before you leave the property. Even if you are taken to the emergency room via ambulance, you should report the incident to the landlord, property owner or store manager over the phone as soon as possible. You also need to make sure the person who you report the incident to documents your slip and fall on some sort of incident report form. Also, do everything you can to get a copy of the incident report or the accident report after the incident is reported. Insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying out a claim, and taking steps to report the incident can prevent defense lawyers or the insurance company from denying the incident ever happened.
In addition, you should take as many pictures as you can of the area where you fell. You should take pictures from different angles and you should obtain video footage if you can. Your attorney may not be able to obtain surveillance from the store or business, so the photographs and footage that you record may end up being the only visually documentation of the incident that anybody has. Without photos of a wet floor, unsecure floor mat or other dangerous condition, the insurance company will oftentimes deny that there was any substance on the floor in the first place. That being said, take as many phots as you can before the conditions change.
Furthermore, you should try to find out how long the dangerous condition that you slipped on was on the ground. The longer the condition was there the stronger your claim is against the landowner or businessowner. Along those same lines, if the dangerous condition was not there long and the landowner or businessowner was not aware of the dangerous condition then they may not be liable for your injuries, so finding out how long the dangerous condition was present can be helpful as well.
Also, obtain witness information if there are other witnesses present. These witnesses can help verify the fact that you fell, the fact that there was a dangerous condition on the ground and the fact that you did not fall on your own. If you don’t obtain contact information for witnesses who are present then your lawyer may never be able to contact them again.
Last but not least, contact your lawyer. While you don’t always have to call a lawyer the same day you are injured, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible so your lawyer can take steps to preserve evidence and document your injuries before that information is no longer available. You also want to avoid running into an issue with the statute of limitations as it applies to your slip and fall. The statute of limitations puts a limit on the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit arising out of your slip and fall. In Florida, if you are injured in a slip and fall then you have four years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. If the lawsuit is not filed within that four-year period then you will not be able to move forward with your lawsuit.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall, then call the Law Office of Matthew C. Williams today. We can represent you in your slip and fall claim and we can answer any questions you have about the process of filing a personal injury claim in Florida. We can also talk to you about the value of your case. Attorney Williams treats his clients like family because he knows what they are dealing with is always more than just a case, and he refuses to let adjusters, defense lawyers, or big insurance stand in the way of getting his clients what they deserve. He obtains results for his clients and he’ll do the same for you for you, so give The Law Office of Matthew Williams a call to find out what your case is worth today.