Did you recently suffer a slip and fall accident?
You’re not alone. Each year, over 8 million hospitals visits are the result of a slip and fall injury.
This type of accident is especially scary because it often happens while doing a benign task or a daily activity like walking down the aisle of your local grocery store or descending a familiar set of stairs.
A slip and fall can leave you seriously injured; unable to work or get around easily and the medical bills can add up quickly depending on how serious your injury is.
Being prepared can help you plan ahead and know what your rights are in this kind of situation. Read on to learn about what to do after a slip and fall accident.
Call an Ambulance
Depending on where you fall, if you feel you are unable to easily get up and walk away from the accident, you need to call for help. If the slip and fall takes place at a local business, call out for help after you’ve fallen and been sure the store manager or an employee comes over right away.
If you have hit your head in any way and are unsure if you should call for emergency assistance, do so anyway. Often, you will be in shock after a slip and fall and not understand the gravity of your injuries right away because your adrenaline is rushing. Don’t mess around with a head injury.
Calling an ambulance or medical assistance can also help legitimize your case down the road if you take legal action. It will prove that the fall was bad enough for you to need to contact an emergency number and receive medical attention right away. This is not the time to shake it off and pretend you’re alright if you really aren’t.
Figure out What Made You Fall
This is an important step in moving forward with any kind of legal case and also in speaking to your doctor and healing from your accident. You’ll need to be able to identify what you slipped on and what caused you to fall.
Was there something on the floor that shouldn’t have been there? Was there a piece of debris that should have been cleared? Was the ground freshly mopped but management failed to put up a sign alerting you to the slippery floor?
Whatever the case may be, you need to know what it is if you’re well enough before you leave the location on the fall.
Look for Witnesses
If you’re able to, before you leave the location of the fall, check and see if anyone saw the accident take place. If there were witnesses, this can help during a lawsuit as it will be beneficial to have someone who can verify what happened.
Speak to the witnesses and ask for their contact information. Ask them what they saw and check to make sure they witnessed at least all of, or most of, the fall. This can include how you were treated afterward by store employees or managers.
The witnesses can verify if anyone who works where you fell was eager to help and make sure you were alright. They can also verify if there was debris or an object in the way that shouldn’t have been there.
Ask the witnesses their name and phone number or email address. Be sure they’re alright participating as a witness and let them know that you may call them later on or your lawyer may be reaching out at some point to get their take.
If you can, take photos on your cell phone of the location and area in which you fell. Take a photo of the object you slipped on, whether it be small or large. Take photos of different angles of the space and be sure to document it from the direction you were walking.
It’s important to have proof that you did indeed slip and fall on something. If there are security cameras in the area you fell, ask a manager or store employee to send you the footage or at least save it. Many large corporations and bigger stores erase their security footage at the end of every week, so ask for it right away.
They may not give it to you, but you’ll be able to say that you asked and were denied the footage. Save any photos you take in a folder and label them so you don’t forget what you photographed.
See a Doctor
Even if you think you’re not hurt badly, go see a doctor. With a fall, many times symptoms don’t show up for a day or two. You may not even know you’re hurt until weeks later when you realize you’re suddenly suffering from chronic back pain or your knee is beginning to ache and you don’t know why.
If you see a doctor right away, you can tell him or her exactly what happened. You can explain how you fell, what you slipped on and what parts of your body hit the floor or were injured on the way down.
Keep a Timeline
Keep a log of everything that happens from the moment of the fall until you are completely healed and or have reached a settlement if you decide to pursue legal action.
Keep track of how you feel physically, any doctors appointments or diagnosis, physical therapy and more. This way, you can easily reference any information about your case as needed.
Contact an Attorney
You should learn more about your rights when it comes to a slip and fall case and a personal injury attorney can help you do just that. You don’t have to navigate your accident alone and you should be reimbursed for any medical bills, lost work wages and pain, and suffering.
An attorney can work on your behalf to ensure you receive everything you deserve in this type of case. It also takes a lot of the pressure off of you from having to deal with it since taking legal action can be overwhelming and time-consuming.
Now You Know What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
An incident like this is always unpleasant but it’s best to be prepared and know what to do after a slip and fall accident. The steps above can help you protect yourself and alleviate unnecessary stress when you’re faced with an injury.
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