When you slip and fall, you may think that is your fault and due to your clumsiness. That is not always the case.
Having just fallen can leave you pretty shaken. If you are able to remain clearheaded and do not need immediate medical treatment, the following steps may prove important in establishing liability in a slip and fall accident:
- Inspect the scene. Look for the reason why you fell.
- Take pictures of where you fell and the surrounding area.
- Get contact information of anyone who witnessed your fall.
- Report the accident to a manager, landlord, or owner. Make sure they make a written report and request a copy.
- Document everything by writing down the details of your accident, including the date and time.
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, keep records, and follow treatment plans.
- Consider calling a lawyer.
Slip and Fall Liability
Falls are quite common, especially in the elderly, and their occurrence continues to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seven deaths per hour due to falls will occur by 2030 if the rate continues to rise. The CDC goes on to say more than 800,000 patients are hospitalized annually due to a fall injury and falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths.
Because falls are so common, a person may not think twice after falling and getting hurt. However, when someone slips and falls, it is not always due to their carelessness. Other parties may be liable, especially for falls that are due to:
- Poorly lit walkways
- Uneven and unrepaired walkways
- Obstacles in walkway
- Lack of signage warning of hazard
- Narrow and unsafe stairwells
- Snowy walkways
- Unsalted icy sidewalks and stairs
- Lack of hand railings or other safety features
When you slip and fall due to any of the above conditions, someone else may be to blame. For example, if you fall in an apartment complex due to unlit hallways, the property’s management may be at fault. If you slip and fall on a residential sidewalk because debris from roadside construction is blocking the sidewalk, the construction company or city may be at fault.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident and are unsure who is to blame, a lawyer may be able to help.
Investigating a Slip and Fall Accident
When you contact an attorney, they will want to hear you explain the details of what happened. They may go to the accident scene themselves and examine the area. They may try to reconstruct the accident and search for any video surveillance in the area. They will be able to determine who the property owner is and if they are guilty of negligence.
The property owner may be a landlord, a company, a city, or another entity. A lawyer can speak with the owner to gather more information about the incident. They will try to determine negligence by investigating many factors, including how long the hazard was present and why it was there.
Costs of a Slip and Fall Accident
A slip and fall accident can lead to many costs for the victim, including:
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Broken bones
- Missed work
- Loss of income
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Pain and suffering
You have already suffered by having an unexpected setback. You should not have to suffer further by paying for costs from injuries that were not your fault. The responsible party for the hazard that made you fall should be held liable. A lawyer may be able to help by attempting to recover compensation on your behalf.
What Not to Do When You Slip and Fall
Just as there are steps you should take when you slip and fall, there are also steps you should not take. One important thing you should not do is speak to an insurance company. They do not have your interests in mind. They want to be profitable and pay as little to nothing on a claim as possible. Anything you say to an insurance company may be held against you and jeopardize your chance of receiving a settlement.
Similarly, you also do not want to speak at length to the property owner when alerting them that you have fallen on your property. They, too, may use anything you say to lessen your chance of receiving fair compensation.
Lastly, you do not want to post any details about your slip and fall accident on social media. Try to avoid mentioning that you had an accident at all.
When in Doubt, Call a Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, a lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help. Call (800) 647-3113 for a free consultation. You do not have to worry about legal fees. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay anything upfront or out of pocket. We collect our fee from any settlement we obtain for you.
Different states have different statutes of limitations for the length of time you have to file a claim, so you do not want to delay in contacting our legal team. The sooner you call, the sooner our attorneys can get to work for you.