Slip and fall accidents are extremely common. Most people may not realize this, but these accidents can also lead to significant injuries and health issues. Unfortunately, many businesses and workplaces do not take adequate precautions for safety, leading to over a million cases a year. Most slip and fall accidents are the fault of the business or workplace that it occurs in. Most injuries are minor, but you can develop severe health issues from the accident. It may be confusing and disorientating to be a victim of an accident. Here are some tips on how to best proceed following a slip and fall accident:
Get Medical Help
The most important thing in any accident is your health, and it should also be your priority following a slip and fall accident. You must seek medical help even if you are not sure it is a larger issue. Most slip and fall accidents result in soft tissue injuries such as an ankle or wrist sprain. Unfortunately, soft tissue injuries cannot be observed externally and can develop into something more serious such as a ligament tear. Only a healthcare professional would be able to tell you the severity of the injury. Ignoring these issues and allowing them to fester can lead to improper healing and cause chronic pain in the future.
Most slip and fall accidents result in minor injuries, but some can leave victims with severe disabilities. One of the most common severe injuries you can receive is a hip fracture (95% of hip fractures result from these types of accidents). Hip fractures will require immediate hospitalization, and the most common course of action is surgery to either repair or replace the hip. In rare instances, victims can injure their spinal cord and cause paralysis, either temporarily or permanently. Seeking a medical professional regardless of the severity of the injury will minimize medical issues.
Report The Accident to Owner
Whether the issue occured at a workplace or business, you should report the accident to the owner. If you hurt yourself on commercial property, it is better to report to the manager or person in charge. Public injuries can be reported to the city. Reporting the incident will best assist you in a lawsuit, should you decide to pursue one. This is especially important for individuals who had no witness for their accident. Claims become more difficult as time passes. If witnesses were present, it is beneficial for your claim if you have their name and multiple forms of contact information. They can be what stands between you and proper compensation for your difficulties.
Record Relevant Information and Take Photos
Slip and fall accidents can be tricky, so recording as much relevant information as possible is best. Be sure to record the exact location you fell and take multiple pictures of the spot, so there is no “blind spot.” Important things to focus on are any conditions that may have caused the fall (ex., wet floors, stairs, or ice). Write down any information you remember as it comes to your mind. People often forget or get confused following an accident. If you receive a head concussion, this information will be extremely important. You can also record how you feel, time, day, or even what happened right before the incident. These details are all important in building your case against the owner. Any item of clothing you wore can be used as evidence, so be sure to keep things in an “as-is” condition and store them away safely.
Fill Out Accident Report Forms
Depending on where you fell, you may be required to fill out an accident report form. This is most common with commercial property owners. You are not legally required to fill out the form, but it can help you accurately recall how you were hurt. It is also further written proof of your accident.
Do Not Give Statements
An insurance adjuster will likely contact you following the accident and ask to get a tape-recorded statement from you. Generally, you should decline. Keep communication strictly between your lawyer and yourself. No details about the incident should be given to anyone else or publically posted on social media. You do not want to accidentally take the blame for the incident, so be sure to contact a lawyer before giving any statements.
Contact an Accident Injury Lawyer
The Barnes Firm, a law firm specializing in connecting you with an accident injury lawyer in NYC, recommends that anyone in an accident contact a personal injury lawyer for better legal assistance. You want a professional on your side when considering a lawsuit and being entangled with legal actions. Personal injury lawyers are looking to best serve you and help you receive rightful compensation for any financial, emotional, and physical difficulties you received from the incident.