If you’ve experience injuries due to a slip and fall accident, there are steps you should take to document the incident and to ensure you have a strong personal injury claim. Some of the steps involved in documenting your claim must occur at the time of the accident, while others can be follow-up actions. Completing all of these steps outlined here may not be possible, dependent upon your specific circumstances; however, completing as many of them as possible helps strengthen your claim.
Stay Onsite, if Possible
Unless your injuries are so severe that you are taken from the scene by medical first responders, stay at the scene during the investigation. Leaving without notifying the property owners prevents you from later seeking compensation. You additionally want to remain onsite to collect evidence and to ensure your injuries can be clearly linked to the incident.
Contact the Appropriate Authorities
You must notify the property manager of the incident that occurred on his or her premises. If you are unable to notify the property manager immediately, notify the onsite management. For instance, if the incident occurs in a retail store, notify the store manager. Be sure to call the police and paramedics, if necessary as well. Get the names and badge numbers of those that do respond.
Speak with Witnesses
If there were witnesses to your slip and fall, speak with them before leaving the scene. Request that they provide their names and contact information to you so you can later share that information with your legal counsel.
Witnesses may not want to be involved. Point out any bystanders you are aware of to the investigator at the store or other location. This ensures the presence of witnesses is noted in the official internal records of the property renter or owner. And, if police are called to the scene, point out witnesses to the officers too.
Collect Other Evidence
If you are able to get pictures of the scene just after the slip and fall, ensure you do so. You should write down details about the accident scene to reference later. These details should include even seemingly unimportant information, like the color of the carpet or size and length of a handrail, for example. These kinds of details can help support arguments or prove information in a personal injury claim filed later.
Keep Your Interactions with the Internal Investigator Short
While you must report your slip and fall to the property manager or other internal investigator, limit your interactions with that individual. Don’t provide a long or detailed statement to that person until you’ve consulted an attorney.
Other Important Steps to Take
There are follow-up activities you should additionally undertake to strengthen your claim. These include:
- Getting medical attention as soon as you realize, or even suspect, you suffered injuries
- Writing out, in as much detail as possible, the events that led up to your injuries and information about the accident site
- Keeping track of all your associated medical records and any other losses associated with your injuries
- Not speaking, or talking in depth, with any insurance investigator or other individuals about the slip and fall until you’ve spoken with your own attorney
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