Getting hurt is never a pleasant experience. One unexpected slip or trip can lead to all sorts of injuries, ranging from minor ones that are bothersome but do not require any medical attention to major ones that involve surgeries and long recovery periods. Unfortunately, that means that on top of dealing with any potential pain and the recovery process, you also have to worry about medical bills piling up and the fact that you cannot work and make money. However, there are 6 steps that you should take if you experience a slip and fall accident in order to ensure your best interests are looked after.
1. Consider Your Options
It’s important to differentiate a situation where you slip and fall, and nothing really comes out of it except you may get a small bruise, and slip and fall accident that falls under personal injury law. In the first case, there’s not much you can do but laugh it off. However, if you’ve experienced relatively serious injuries due to the fall, well, as they say in Albuquerque – if you’re Hurt Call Bert – or in other words, get yourself a personal injury lawyer to see what your legal options are. If your fall was due to someone else’s negligence, you more than likely have the right to get compensated. Exactly how much you’re going to get depends a lot on the specific circumstances of your fall, who was responsible for it, and your own unique situation. The best way to go about getting damages will also depend on the extenuating circumstances of your case, as well as the law regarding personal injury in your state. That said, there are some general steps you should follow in order to get compensation.
2. Medical Treatment
Probably the most important step you should take is to go to the doctor after experiencing a slip and fall accident. Think of it this way – if you sprain your ankle or break your arm in some other sort of accident, are you going to try to self-diagnose yourself? Or are you going to go see a doctor? Do the same for any slip and fall accident, no matter how minor it may seem. Get your injuries assessed by medical professionals in order to determine the extent of your injuries. Not only is this important for your health and wellbeing – especially if you’ve bumped your head during the fall because head injuries aren’t always obvious – but it’s also important from a legal standpoint. By getting assessed by a medical professional, you have proof down the line that your injuries were not minor. You should also get copies of your medical records because those are also evidence that you were injured in the fall.
3. Keep Emotions In Check
One of the most common mistakes that people make in slip and fall accident claims is letting their emotions get the better of them. They might be angry at the person or company who owns the premises, they might feel like it’s not worth making a claim for this amount of money, or anything else – but feelings are feelings, and you cannot base your claim off what you feel. You can only base it off on the evidence and the law, so keep your emotions out of it as much as you can and stick with what you know to be true. This will make it much easier for your lawyer as well as make your case look much stronger than if you let your feelings seep into everything.
4. Determine Liability
Once you’ve visited the doctor, it’s time to sit down with your attorney and have them work their magic. They are going to want some proof that you were injured in a slip and fall accident, so they’re going to ask for copies of any medical records that you received after the incident. Once they have proof that you were indeed injured, they’re going to talk to you and get your version of the accident, and then contact anyone else involved in order to get their side. With all this information at hand, they’ll be able to determine who was liable for your injuries – that is, who was responsible for the condition in which the premises were when you fell. They will also want to know as much as possible about the condition of the premises, such as whether or not there were any wet spots, cracks in the floor, and so on.
5. Make Measured Statements
When talking to the insurance company, it’s important to remain as factual as possible. Insurance companies are known for taking statements and twisting them around in order to make the claimant look like they’re at fault for the accident – or in other words twisting them in a way that means that they don’t have to pay as much if at all. So when you talk to them, be clear about what happened and where – but don’t add anything extra. Stick with your version of events, and if they ask how it happened, tell them that’s all you know. They might push for more information, but if you stick to your guns and don’t give them anything else, there’s nothing they can do. The important thing is to be perfectly clear as to what kind of injury you’ve suffered and the way it’s affecting your day-to-day life.
6. Collect Evidence
In order to back up any claims that you might make, it’s important to collect all the evidence you can. After your accident, your attorney will give you a list of things that need to be collected – anything from medical records and receipts for any damages incurred as a result of the injury, to eyewitness statements and photographs of the scene of the accident. Anything that can document your injury and the way it’s affecting your life is worth collecting, so don’t leave anything out. In many cases, evidence will need to be collected within a certain time frame after the accident – usually around two years – so make sure you get everything together as quickly as possible. Depending on your agreement, your lawyer might also take care of the evidence collection. Either way, this step is crucial.
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common types of accidents – but that doesn’t mean they’re any less serious. A slip and fall accident can cause severe injuries, like head trauma, broken bones, or even death. Because of this, it’s important to know exactly what to do if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, and these 6 steps are a great place to start.
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