Slip and fall accidents are very common, and many result in little or no injury beyond a bruised ego. However, some such accidents can lead to serious injuries with lingering consequences. If you suffered a slip and fall on someone else’s property, they might be liable for damages. If you plan to explore a fall-related lawsuit, here’s what you’ll need to do to improve your chances for success.
1. Get Help First
The injuries that accompany these accidents can be serious, and their effects may take time to fully manifest, as with bad concussions. Your first step should always be to call for help and to seek medical attention to catch any potential internal injuries early after the accident occurs.
2. Document the Accident Scene When Possible
Establishing that a property owner had a duty to prevent dangerous conditions and failed to do so can be tricky, especially if conditions change after the fact. If you’re able, take photos of the accident scene as soon as possible after the accident, or ask a friend to do so for you. This evidence will be important later.
3. Make the Property Owner Aware of Your Accident
It is a good idea to inform the person responsible for the property about the accident you’ve had, which will allow them to start their own processes, such as contacting their insurance company. You will want to gather their information at this stage. Avoid angry confrontations and calmly collect what you need.
4. Avoid Signing Anything
The property owner’s insurance company may contact you with a settlement offer, or you may be presented with waivers to sign away your right to sue. Always avoid paperwork until you’ve consulted with a legal professional.
5. Seek Out Witness Contact Info
If anyone else saw you fall, you should try to contact them to gather their details as well. Their eyewitness testimony may be important for demonstrating that the property owner failed to create safe conditions.
6. Maintain Evidence Related to Your Injury
It can take some time for a slip and fall case to develop as there are often negotiations and discussions taking place behind the scenes. Hold onto all your evidence and keep it organized in one place as you prepare to move ahead.
7. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
Part of winning a personal injury suit involves proving lasting damages from the accident. If your doctor provides you with specific treatment advice, follow the instructions. Courts will not look kindly on plaintiffs who claim a disabling injury but continue engaging in rigorous activities.
8. Contact a Law Firm for a Consultation
You will need good legal representation to bring your case to trial or to achieve an equitable settlement. Choose a firm that has an established track record in working on personal injury cases. Particular experience with slips and falls is especially important.
9. Establish Your Case and Proceed
Use a free consultation with your chosen law firm to discuss your case and to determine if your incident meets the legal criteria for negligence on the part of the property owner. Only proceed upon the advice of your slip and fall attorney.
10. Don’t Delay — There’s a Time Limit
There is a statute of limitations applicable to personal injury claims such as slip and fall accidents in California. You typically have only two years from the date of the accident to bring a legal claim against the property owner.
Find the Assistance You Need Today
What starts as a simple accident could have long-lasting effects on your life. If you’ve suffered from a slip and fall, a property owner could be liable and accurate insight is important to determine your next move. Contact HHJ Trial Attorneys today to discuss the facts of your case.
Testimonial from Todd, a slip and fall victim from San Diego
Mr. Hepburn and the team at HHJ Trial Attorneys settled a gym slip and fall case. Mr. Hepburn is straightforward, trustworthy, and works hard.