Slip and fall accidents often happen without warning and can literally happen anywhere. This means that the chances of you being injured in one of these accidents during your lifetime is fairly high. If your fall was caused by a property owner’s or business’ negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. What you do right after your fall can be crucial to the outcome of your case and the amount of your settlement.
Take These Steps Right After Your Slip and Fall
You want to start building your case right away after a fall. How do you do this? You take certain steps at the scene of your fall and when receiving medical care that can help you prove the owner’s negligence, how you were injured, and the amount you are owed. Take these steps to strengthen your claim:
Seek medical care.
You should obtain medical care if you feel injured after a slip and fall accident. Even if you do not think you are hurt, you want to see your doctor soon after your fall. This documents your concern and may result in you discovering hidden injuries or problems that develop in the days or weeks after the accident.
Report the accident.
You always want to file an accident report at the time of your fall to document that it occurred and to defeat at least one argument the property owner’s insurance company can make to try to deny or reduce your claim.
Take photographs of where your fall happened, anything that could have caused your fall, and everything else about the scene. This information can be quickly lost if conditions are changed by the owner and can provide strong proof of the property owner’s or business’ negligence.
Obtain contact information.
Obtain contact information for the property or business owner and his insurance company, any employees who witnessed your fall, and any other witnesses. It will be important to contact them quickly before they move or their memories of what happened fade.
Save shoes and clothing.
You want to save the clothes and shoes you were wearing when you fell as you may need them as evidence down the road.
Follow up on medical treatments.
After your initial examination by a doctor, you want to follow through with the medical treatments your doctor recommends and continue doing so through the process of negotiating your claim. If you fail to do so, an insurance adjuster will almost certainly argue that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
Contact an attorney.
One of the first steps you need to take after you obtain necessary medical care is to retain an experienced slip and fall attorney. He can answer your questions, give you advice on the steps you need to take, investigate your claim, preserve evidence, and negotiate your settlement for you.
Take These Steps to Be Organized for Your First Appointment With Your Lawyer
Your first appointment with your slip and fall attorney is an important one, and you have two goals to accomplish. First, you want advice on whether you have a case against the negligent business or property owner who caused your injuries and the value of your case. Second, you need to learn about the attorney and his communication skills to decide if he is the attorney you trust and want to hire. Being prepared for this appointment is crucial to making it productive.
If you do not have the facts straight as to what happened or the documents that support your claim, the attorney will not be able to give you much advice at your first appointment. Take these steps to prepare for your meeting:
Complete the questionnaire.
Some attorneys will ask you to complete a questionnaire before your appointment. You should do so to give the attorney basic information about you and your accident to evaluate the strength of your case.
Your attorney will need your contact information, so prepare a sheet with your basic information prior to your appointment—even if he has not requested it.
Your attorney will want to know about your accident. In the excitement of telling their story, many people leave out key facts or give a choppy presentation. Think about your accident in chronological fashion and the important facts you want to convey so it makes sense to the attorney.
You will want to bring important documents to your appointment whether the attorney asks for them or not. Documents to gather include the accident report, medical bills, medical records, pictures of the accident scene and your injuries, claims you filed, and correspondence with any insurance companies. Your attorney may request additional documents.
A list of questions.
At the beginning of your appointment, you want to advise the attorney that you have some questions so he leaves time for this. Come to the meeting with a list. Things you want to know include his experience handling similar cases, his success rate, how many cases he took to trial, who will be handling your case, how he communicates with you, and how easy he is to reach.
Have You Been Injured In A Henderson Slip and Fall Accident?
If you've been injured in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule a free consultation with our slip and fall attorneys.