What to do When Injured in Slip and Fall
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over a million Americans are injured in slip, trip, and fall accidents every year. Over 17,000 people across the country die each year from slip and fall injuries. What many of these people do not realize is that when a slip and fall happens on someone else’s property because of the negligence of the premises owner or operator, then the injured party is entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages suffered. Continue reading for tips on what to do after a slip and fall accident, and call a professional Palmdale slip and fall lawyer if you or a family member has been hurt on someone else’s property in the Antelope Valley.
See a Doctor
Regardless of what other steps you take, if you were hurt in a slip, trip, and fall accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after leaving the scene. Even if you do not require emergency assistance, it is vital to get medical attention as soon as you can. Many people suffer hard-to-identify, latent injuries in falls, such as concussions, internal bleeding, or organ damage. These injuries can get much worse if they are not identified and treated quickly. Moreover, if you hope to recover damages for your injuries, the sooner you get a diagnosis tying your injuries to your fall, the better. If you wait to see a doctor, the premises owner or their insurance company may try to claim that your injuries arose from some other incident after your slip and fall in order to limit their liability.
Report the Incident
Wherever your slip and fall occurred, it is important to tell the responsible party about the accident. Tell the landlord, apartment manager, building owner, store operator, or even your employer–whoever owns or manages the property on which you were injured. Ask them to put the details of the accident in writing, and get a copy before you leave. If an employee wrote up the accident, get a copy of that report. If you were taken away for emergency treatment, make sure to either have a friend or family member call the property owner and report the incident or do so yourself. This is one of the first steps toward preserving your right to claim damages, and a strong bargaining chip for getting a favorable settlement.
If you are able to do so, before you leave the scene of the accident, take pictures of the scene. If there’s a spill, if there is a loose electrical wire, if there is inadequate lighting or a broken step, make sure to get these things on camera as soon as you can. If you cannot take the pictures yourself, send a trusted friend or family member to take pictures. The sooner you get photos, the less likely the property owner will have fixed the problem that led to your injury, and the stronger proof you will have of their negligence.
Get Witness Information
If there were witnesses to your accident, get their contact information. Witnesses may be store employees, other building residents, or other guests or customers. Their testimony may prove vital in proving your claim.
Keep Copies of Everything
After your accident, keep copies of any documents generated in connection with the incident. Keep copies of photos, accident reports, police reports, communications with your insurance provider or the property owner’s, communications with the property owner directly, medical reports, medical bills, communications with your employer, etc. Anything that relates to your accident or the harm you suffered will be helpful in building your claims and maximizing your recovery.
Call a Lawyer
A personal injury attorney can help you maximize your compensation for your accident. The sooner you call a lawyer, the sooner they can help you build the strongest case possible. If you wait too long to get a lawyer involved, it may be difficult to collect certain kinds of evidence and generate the strongest case. Get a Palmdale premises liability attorney on your side early, and get the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Southern California or the Antelope Valley, call a professional and effective Palmdale premises liability lawyer about pursuing a claim for damages by calling the Kistler Law Firm at 661-206-6990.