Steps to Immediately Take If You Are Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident

It’s easy to underestimate the danger of a slip and fall accident. Practically everyone has slipped on ice or tripped over an uneven sidewalk or carelessly placed object. Most times, we just look embarrassed, brush ourselves off, and carry on.

But maybe we shouldn’t.

Slip and fall accidents have caused severe injuries and even death. Property owners and managers have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe, so if you injure yourself on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation if the incident was due to their carelessness or negligence. To strengthen a future claim, you should immediately take the following steps after a slip and fall.

Find and Photograph the Cause

If you’re sure you can stand up safely, do so carefully, but don’t leave the scene of your accident. Then pinpoint exactly what it was that caused your slip and fall. Uneven sidewalk? Bunched carpeting? Water buildup? Use your phone to take a picture. If your phone was damaged, ask to borrow someone else’s and have them email the images to you.

Alert the Property Owner

After determining what caused the accident, have someone locate the property owner so that they are aware of the hazard and the fact that you were injured. If you were in a public place like a store or shopping mall, ask a manager to help you fill out and file an accident report. This document can serve as evidence in a future claim.

Speak to Witnesses

If there were any witnesses to your accident, collect their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. They can help you prove your version of events as well as confirm that a hazardous situation existed.

Seek Medical Treatment

Even if you do not appear to require emergency medical treatment, go to the hospital or your doctor’s office immediately following your injury. Some types of injuries, especially those of the brain, don’t always manifest themselves right away. A medical report will prove that you were injured and document the type and extent of your injuries, which will help an attorney later place a value on them.

Document Everything

Write down your version of events, along with any important information about the conditions that may have caused the accident. For example, if an employee says, “We’ve been meaning to get that broken tile replaced,” this statement can be used to establish that the manager should have known about the hazard and fixed it before it became dangerous.

It is important to note that in Texas, the biggest hurdle in slip and fall cases is proving that the owner had actual knowledge of the defect (or that a reasonable person could have known of the defect), OR that the owner created the dangerous condition. If as the plaintiff, you cannot prove knowledge, then you recover zero damages. This can be difficult to prove, but ultimately it may be up to the judge or jury to decide. Therefore, document as much as you can after an accident to help strengthen your case.   

Contact an Attorney

A personal injury attorney will play an important role in getting you the compensation you need to cover current and future medical costs, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and noneconomic damages. Your attorney will assessing your claim, collecting evidence, work with experts, and negotiate a settlement or fight for an award that is fair compensation for your injuries.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident,  call the Sharp Firm immediately for a free consultation. We will listen carefully, advise you on your options, and take a weight off your shoulders so you can focus on recovery.

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