Slip and fall injuries can be frustrating. They’re one of the most difficult cases to prove, and they often cause a lot of pain and suffering. While you deserve recompense for your medical bills, as well as the time you’ve spent laid up, it can be hard to obtain that without sticking to specific protocol. Protect yourself and your loved ones by following these 10 steps after your slip and fall injury. These steps were designed to give you the best possible opportunity for compensation:
#1 Seek Medical Attention
Your first priority following any kind of slip or fall is your health, or the health of your loved one. Seek medical attention immediately, so that you know you’re getting the treatment you need, as soon as possible. What’s more, the quicker you document your injuries, the easier it will be to provide documented proof of the incident should you choose to seek compensation.
#2 Report the Injury
At your next convenient opportunity, make sure to report the injury to the responsible party. If you fell in a grocery store, that would be the manager. If you fell in an apartment, or at a friend’s house, you should report to the landlord or owner. Ask this responsible party to make a report of the injury, and the incident, and get a copy for yourself before you leave. This ensures that measures are taken to rectify the situation so no one else gets hurt, and also provides additional documentation for your case.
Bonus Tip: Do not try to resolve the issue in the store. In most cases, this will just get messy. Do your best to fill out the necessary paperwork in accordance with procedure, get your copy, and get out.
#3 Inspect the Area
In most serious slip and fall incidents, an unsafe environment is to blame. Look around the area once you’re feeling better, or have a friend check it out for you. Check to see what may have caused your fall, whether it was loose carpet, spilled food, or a broken step. Make sure to write down what you think caused the fall, and how it happened, while it’s still fresh in your mind. Your accurate and timely documentation will be helpful to an attorney deciding how best to handle your case.
#4 Take Photos
Along with the previous step, it’s a good idea to take pictures of the exact location where you fell. This includes all surrounding environments that could have contributed to your fall, like stairs, railings, patches of ice, or any other potential factor. It’s really important that you get these pictures, because if you do file a personal injury suit, the environment could change by the time you get a lawyer and make a formal complaint.
#5 Contant Witnesses
Make sure to get the contact information of anyone who might have witnessed your fall. Their names, numbers, and addresses could prove useful down the road, if you end up needing witnesses for your suit.
#6 Try Not to Talk to the Insurance Company on the Phone
In many situations, after you file a claim, the insurance company will attempt to ask you questions regarding the incident over the phone. It’s highly advised that you do not answer these questions over the phone without your attorney’s approval. Most of these conversations will be recorded, and can then be used against you as firm evidence. Wait for your lawyer’s approval, or know exactly what to say to their questions, but otherwise, just don’t answer these calls.
#7 Store Shoes and Clothing
While this may sound like an unlikely request, make sure to place the shoes and clothes that you were wearing at the time of the fall into a safe storage space. Don’t touch them unless your attorney tells you it’s okay. These articles of clothing could prove useful as evidence later on.
#8 Call Your Attorney
If you’re considering legal action, your next step should be to call a qualified, and experienced attorney. Most slip and fall cases are very hard to prove, and if you need help paying those medical bills, you’ll need the help of a professional with the resources of an established law firm. Make sure you choose an attorney you trust, and that agrees to work on a contingency fee.
#9 Keep Up on Medical Advice
As you continue through the legal process, it’s very important to maintain your health, and follow doctors orders. Regardless of the situation, your health should always come first, and by simply following the orders of your doctor, you’ll be doing a lot to further your lawsuit case. Keep up on your health, and you’re more likely to see positive results, in both your case and your long-term health.
#10 Remain Calm
Finally, it’s very important to stay calm. Personal injury cases can be very frustrating, and at times it can be tempting to act out and voice your concerns publicly. For your sake, try to remain calm, and refrain from any further communication with the owner, landlord, or responsible party. In the end, a dispute or argument cannot change what’s already happened. It’s in your best interest to focus on treating your injuries, and finding recompense through legal process.
If you’ve recently had a slip and fall injury, and are considering legal action, be sure to call the Epstein Law Firm. With decades in the business, Epstein is one of Chicago’s most trusted names for personal injury law. Schedule your free case evaluation today; call our office at 773-522-7000 or contact us online.