What To Do When You Have a Slip and Fall

There are several immediate steps to take if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. First, you should report the incident to the person in charge of the premises where the accident occurred. This is important so that others will avoid injury. This also serves to provide notice of the time and location of your accident for future reference. In addition to notification, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. After you have provided notice and sought medical treatment, you may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney who handles slip and fall cases.

Document It

If your injury is serious, you should carefully document the slip and fall accident. Documentation of the hazardous condition that caused the accident is important. If possible, you should immediately photograph the scene before the hazard is cleaned, repaired or otherwise altered. You should also note any other relevant information concerning the accident. This will include the time of day, the exact location and the nature of condition that caused you to fall.

Contact Information

Another important part of documentation is obtaining and recording the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the event. This might include other shoppers in a market or pedestrians on a sidewalk. If you file a written report with the property owner or manager, you will want to retain a copy of this report. You should also keep copies of your medical records, billing statements and any other expenses incurred as a result of your accident. Such expenses might include transportation costs when you would otherwise walk and lost wages if you miss work. You should also keep a record of any other expenses caused by the disruption of your normal life as a result of the slip and fall accident.

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/littledebbie11/3155781090/

Establishing Liability

An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to advise whether your case presents a basis for liability and damages. In order to establish liability for a slip and fall accident, you must establish that a property owner or employee allowed a hazardous condition to exist that lead to the slip and fall. This could include a spill on a grocery floor, a defective sidewalk or an inadequate handrail. You will also need to establish that a property owner or employee was aware of the hazardous condition and did not address or repair the condition, or that the property owner should have known about the hazardous condition because a “reasonable person” would have been aware of the hazard. Not every slip and fall accident requires medical and legal consultation. In a serious case, however, careful documentation will be the key to success in obtaining a fair recovery for your injuries.

Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher in Austin, Texas. If you’ve been in a slip and fall, he recommends you consult a St. Louis personal injury attorney.

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