Slip and fall accidents are everyday occurrences across America. While some of these incidents cause minor injury, others can lead to severe harm such as trauma to the head, neck, back, or shoulders, broken bones, and internal damage. Your actions immediately following the slip and fall accident will directly impact your potential claim against the property owner. At the Kelleher Firm, we specialize in these personal injury cases and offer free case evaluations.
Our Naples and Fort Meyers attorney has these tips for injured victims of slip and fall accidents:
1) Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need to stay at the scene to receive medical care from emergency personnel and make an incident report. It's crucial not only for your overall wellbeing but for your slip and fall claim that you get medical attention immediately. The treating physician will document your treatment and injuries. Some injuries may present later on, but visible harm such as scrapes, cuts, and bruises can be recorded.
2) Inspect and Document the Slip and Fall Scene
Look around the area to determine the cause of your slip and fall. Weather conditions such as snow and ice can be the culprit as well as spilled liquids or food, loose carpet or rugs, and uneven concrete. Write down your version of the events and list the potential cause. This is valuable evidence in court and will help our attorney, James "Jim for Justice" Kelleher, determine how to move forward with your slip and fall case.
3) Identify Witnesses
Look around for witnesses who saw the accident or the aftermath. Compile their names, addresses, and phone numbers. They may need to provide testimony for your claim. If they didn't see the actual slip and fall, they could still comment on the state of the area following the incident such as broken flooring, poor lighting, and spills.
4) Take Photos
Document as many details as possible with photographs—from your injuries to the smallest detail of the scene where you fell. The conditions will likely change, be it cleaning up a wet area that caused you to slip and fall or addressing broken flooring or sidewalks. Taking your own photos of the scene will significantly strengthen your claim as the property owner or business will likely take pictures of their own, leaving you vulnerable to their version of the events.
5) Follow the Appropriate Protocols
The place of business may have protocols in place for how to handle slip and fall accidents on the premises. They could require you to fill out a slip and fall accident report as well as notify the manager. The store needs to be aware of the incident right away. Pay attention during this process as patrons and employees may mention that this has occurred before or that they were aware of the property conditions before you fell. If you hear comments such as those, write down what you heard and their name if possible.
6) Contact an Attorney As Soon as Possible
The steps you take following your injury at a business or on someone's property are critical to your claim. There are statutes of limitations on how long you have to file your lawsuit, and you'll likely be approached by insurance adjusters or attorneys for the property owner. What you say in those conversations is also crucial. You want to keep talking to a minimum to avoid hurting your claim. An attorney can guide you through this process and make sure you have a strong case against the responsible party.
Schedule Your FREE Consultation in Naples or Fort Myers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, the Kelleher Firm can help. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so you don't pay unless we recover a settlement or successful verdict. Contact us in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida 24/7 at (833) 546-3675.