If you slip, trip, or fall while on someone else’s property, there is a chance that you will suffer an injury. In extreme cases, which occur far too frequently, the injury might be catastrophic. If the property owner or tenant’s negligence caused the accident, then you likely deserve compensation for your losses.
However, the compensation process does not automatically end with a just payout for the victim. Insurance companies tend to pay as little as possible to settle tort claims. To counter this, injured individuals must act quickly after an accident and take the steps that will help them recover a worthy compensation payout.
Seek Medical Care Immediately
Regardless of the seriousness of the injury, you should seek medical care immediately after an accident. You do not want to exacerbate the injury by failing to get it treated. You also will need an official medical report of your injuries. Although photos provide great backup evidence, a valid record from a qualified healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, is important to your claim.
Report the Accident
You will also need to report the accident. If it happens at a business or organization, inform the manager or appropriate person in charge at the time. Inform them of the injury and that you are seeking medical attention. Do not say anything else until you see an attorney.
Also reads: Slip & Fall Accidents
Document What You Can
Write or record what happened in as much detail as you can remember. Include facts, such as what you were doing before the accident occurred, exactly how it came to pass, and what you did afterward. While at the site, take photos of the unsafe condition and any relevant images that might help.
Try to get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed your fall. Without them, your case may be significantly weakened without other strong evidence. Also, set aside the clothes you were wearing at the time of the accident for potential evidentiary purposes.
You will also want to keep a file of your losses, such as medical billing statements, a work schedule showing lost wages, and anything else that shows the impact of your accident. Remember that not all losses are economic. Some are non-economic, such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. Evidence of these losses may be statements from friends and family that speak to your suffering.
Do Not Make Any Statements About Your Case
The phrase, “What you say or do can be used against you,” has taken on a whole new dimension in the age of social media. Claimants pursuing compensation for slips and falls do best to refrain from making comments about their cases to the public. Seemingly harmless statements are vulnerable to being twisted to cast doubt on the validity of your claim or its true value.
Additionally, do not speak with any insurance representatives, the premises owner, or lawyers who work for someone else before you consult with an attorney. Too many injury victims lose out on valuable compensation by having their words used against them.
Consult with an Attorney
Schedule a consultation with the one professional who has your best interests at heart. You need to be on equal ground with the insurance companies, or you may face a denied or reduced claim payment.
By letting an attorney handle the process for you, you can concentrate on recouping your life and livelihood. All paperwork, communications, and negotiations will be managed by a professional with experience taking on insurance companies.
When you first meet with a slip and fall attorney, it will be helpful to bring any documentation you have collected, plus the medical record of the injury, a report of the accident, and evidence of your losses.
Just remember that there is a statute of limitations that gives you two years in Virginia to file a claim. In neighboring states, you’ll find the same or similar time constraints. As such, acting fast is important to keep your claim from becoming void. Acting quickly also helps your attorney build a solid case. Waiting too long after an accident leads to missing witnesses, missing evidence, and foggy memories.
Contact The Joel Bieber Firm for a complimentary consultation.