Knowing what to do after you or someone you love becomes injured after a fall on someone else’s property isn’t always common sense – especially when you need to gather evidence for a possible lawsuit. If some time has lapsed since the incident, chances are the property owner is gearing up to protect their liability and is ahead of you in the documentation process.
On just about any property – be it at work, a personal residence, school, government building, business park, retail store, big-box retailing space – there are plenty of ways for a slip-and-fall injury to occur.
Some of common reasons for this type of injury to occur include:
- Wet floors
- Uneven pavement
- Cracks or potholes in pavement and asphalt
- Electrical cords laid across walking paths
- Patches of torn carpet
- Weak or poorly installed railings
- Lack of appropriate warning signage
Fortunately, documenting an injury stemming from any of these reasons is a relatively straightforward process – albeit requiring thoroughness and great care.
Immediately After You Fall
As soon as you fall, call for help or have someone you are with do so. If there are other people around you, chances are likely a good Samaritan will go get help as well.
While you may or may not have the presence of mind to do so after a slip-and-fall injury, it’s important to try as best as possible to document the scene immediately after the incident. Photographic and video evidence can reveal details later on that went unnoticed by you or witnesses as the immediate aftermath unfolded.
Report the Incident
As soon as possible, report what happened and your injuries to whoever’s in charge of the premises. This may be a landlord, your boss, a manager, etc.
You will likely be asked to fill out paperwork to help the property owner document the incident, but you should never sign anything that appears as if you are foregoing your right to pursue a lawsuit. You should also not discuss the incident further with someone who may have an interest in using such information to challenge your lawsuit.
In any case, be sure you get a copy of the written report for your records.
Collect Witness’ Contact Information
Just like a car wreck, if there are any witnesses to your fall and injury, do your best to identify them and collect their contact information. There’s a good chance your attorney will want to speak with them about what they saw to help you build your case.
Seek Medical Attention
While a lot of things will feel like they’re happening at once, you’ll want to seek medical attention as soon as possible – especially if you are experienced severe lacerations or broken bones. Ask for copies of your medical records related to the injury and keep track of all invoices you get from health care providers.
Compile Everything in a Journal or Diary
Writing down your narrative of the experience from just before you fell to your medical treatment can create a comprehensive timeline rife with details and evidence. Such contemporaneous evidence can strengthen your case when you decide to bring a slip-and-fall personal injury lawsuit forward.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible
Some people wait to see how serious their injuries are or if they’re going to be saddled with immense medical costs before seeking an attorney’s assistance. While this is the final item on this list, you should not consider reaching out to a lawyer as the last thing to do.
A more appropriate time to reach out to an attorney is as soon as you feel well enough after receiving medical treatment. While you technically have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, contacting an attorney while the facts are freshest can lead to your strongest possible case.
At Bailess Smith PLLC, we can help you seek fair and just compensation through a slip-and-fall personal injury lawsuit. Recoverable damages can include medical expenses, lost wages and income, loss of enjoyment, and other types accounting for the aftermath of a serious injury.
Contact us online or call (304) 553-0337 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.