Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone. It’s imperative to know what to do after your accident. According to Florida premises liability laws, buildings, homes, parking lots, and walkways need to be appropriately maintained for maximum safety.
If you slip and fall, as a result of the negligence of another person or business, you could be entitled to compensation for many or all of the damages under Florida Law. The damages could include pain & suffering, past & future medical bills, past & future lost wages, loss of the capacity to enjoy life, scarring & disfigurement, and other compensation.
If you or someone you care about was injured in a slip or fall accident, the following steps you take could determine what damages you’re entitled to.
The slip and fall attorneys, at Schrier Law Group, are available to answer any questions that you may have about your case. Here are 14 steps to take after a slip or trip, a fall accident.
1. Seek Medical Care
Prioritize your health after your slip and fall accident by seeking immediate medical attention. Your medical treatment records, after your injuries, will likely be used as evidence of the damages that you sustained, in the event that you decide to seek compensation for your injuries.
2. Attend Follow Up Appointments & Follow All Physician Orders
Whether you decide to seek compensation for your injuries or not, you should secure all of the medically necessary care that is available to you. While your goal should be to feel as you did before your accident, it is also important to have all of your injuries, bills, and the resulting treatment documented, in order to be able to prove the full extent of your damages. Once your treatment is completed, you will be in a position to secure all the damages that Florida Law entitles you to.
3. Obtain the Contact Information For The Property Owner/Manager
Getting the contact information for the premises and individuals responsible for your slip and fall accident is vital. The owner, management company, maintenance company, and others may be defendants in your case. The last thing you want to do, while recovering from your injuries, is to track someone down. Collect their contact information at the scene, if possible. If you are not terribly injured and able to, it is also extremely important to take photos or the area and what caused your fall.
4. Create an Incident Report
If you were injured on the job and it was the result of a third party and not due to your employer’s negligence, you may be able to file a worker’s compensation claim and a negligence case at the same time. It may be deemed essential, that you report the incident and that you have an incident report filled out. All efforts should be made to report the claim and to obtain a copy of the incident report. It is important that you do not leave anything to chance, by failing to report your potential slip & fall case. This report generally provides a detailed explanation of how and when your injuries occurred.
While it depends on the issues and the Court, incident reports can often be used to prove the date, time, and the location of your fall. Unfortunately, Florida Law does not require all business owners to provide copies of all incident reports to the victims of slip and fall cases, especially during the pre-suit phase, if the business owner deems the report to be kept in “anticipation of litigation”. At that point, only a Judge can determine what the evidence shows and potentially force the business to provide you or your lawyer with a copy of the incident report, during the litigation process
5. Immediately Take Pictures And Videos of The Accident Scene
Photos and videos of the scene where you fell could be vital in proving your claim. Capturing photo and video evidence of the hazards that caused your accident and the lack of cautionary measures could be monumental in recovering the compensation you deserve.
6. Understand What Caused The Slip And Fall
Having a clear idea of what caused your trip or slip and fall incident, could help your legal team determine exactly who is liable for your accident. Determining liability is essential for recovering damages from the at-fault party.
7. Identify Eyewitnesses
Eyewitness testimony can help support your case. Bystanders can provide additional evidence, offer another perspective, and corroborate your story. It is important to collect all bystanders’ and eyewitnesses’ contact information, as well as their statements, whenever possible.
8. Don’t Discuss The Accident With Anyone
Discussing the accident with others, especially with any insurance company for the potential defendants, could come back to haunt you. If someone testifies that your statements are untrue, based on other conversations that you had about the accident, those statements can damage the merits of your case.
9. Never Give a Recorded Statement Without An Attorney
Recorded statements can be detrimental to your case. Misspeaking could lead to a claim or pre-suit settlement denial. It could also lead to a reduction in the total amount of damages that you could be entitled to.
10. Save and Preserve Evidence
The evidence in your case will be necessary to prove who is at fault or who may have acted negligently and what damages you may be entitled to. If you are unable to preserve evidence, it may prove to be detrimental to your case.
11. Take Notes
Drafting detailed notes immediately after your accident, regarding what caused you to fall, the weather on that day, the date & time of the fall, and what caused you to slip or trip and fall, can be extremely useful in or out of court.
12. Limit Your Social Media Activity
Any inconsistencies in your account of what transpired could be detrimental to your case. Insurance companies or the defendant could use the information from your social media posts against you in court.
13. Don’t Sign Any Documents
Having an attorney review all documents, before you sign them, could help protect your slip and fall case. Settlement releases and releases of medical information can be particularly dangerous to sign, without having a lawyer review the documents first. Therefore, it is prudent to review all documentation with your attorney before signing.
14. Call The Schrier Law Group
Our attorneys are here to help answer any questions that you may have and to help you through the process of a slip and fall case. The burden of proof is different in a Florida slip & fall case than in an automobile accident case. You should only be represented by an experienced law firm and one that has successfully represented many slip & fall accident victims. The lawyers, at Schrier Law Group, have over 45 years of experience in handling slip & fall cases. They have the resources and skills necessary to successfully navigate through all of the statutory requirements in order to represent your best interests. If you would like to learn more or review your case, please contact us at 1-800-700-7285 today!