While people may think that property owners are automatically liable when someone slips and falls on their property, the truth is injury victims are required to prove the owner was negligent in order to win compensation. You will have to collect compelling evidence that the owner knew, or should have known, that a defective condition existed and that the condition led to your injury.
This is not as straightforward as it seems. The documents and testimony you provide are key to building a strong premises liability case and play a vital role in securing the compensation you need for your losses.
Essential Documents for a Florida Slip and Fall Injury Case
Property owners have a duty to discover any potentially unsafe conditions and repair them in a timely fashion—or at least warn visitors of the hazard until it's remedied. When you file a slip and fall lawsuit, you have to provide evidence that the owner breached these duties.
Your case will be much stronger if you're able to provide the following documents:
If you fell on commercial property such as a grocery store, department store, or parking lot, you should report the accident immediately to the manager on duty. Businesses will often ask injury victims to fill out an incident report when an accident occurs, gathering the necessary information to allow the company and insurer to follow up with you. While you should absolutely complete this report before leaving the site of the accident, stick to the facts of the injury—such as the date, time, and location—and request a copy of the report for your records.
If your slip and fall accident resulted in a call to law enforcement, you can request a copy of the police report completed at the scene. This helps substantiate your claim if you lost consciousness or were taken away from the scene by emergency responders.
A Written Account of the Accident
If the police weren't called and the accident didn't occur on commercial property, you should write your own comprehensive report of the incident. Be sure to include:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- A detailed account of the environment
- What you were doing immediately before the accident and what happened afterward
- Any noteworthy conditions at the scene, such as fallen branches or an overgrown lawn
- People who were present
- Any other specifics that could be relevant to your case
Photos and Videos
One of the most helpful pieces of evidence in a slip and fall case is photographs of the accident scene. Pictures show details a victim might not have noticed, and videos capture the actions of the negligent parties and their responses to the injury.
If your accident occurred in a public place, anyone who witnessed the accident could provide testimony on your behalf. If you're able, collect as many names and telephone numbers of people at the accident scene as possible so your attorney can contact them to corroborate your story.
Emergency Treatment Documentation
It's always worth a visit to the emergency room after a slip and fall injury. Not only does seeking immediate medical attention benefit your health, but it also strengthens your injury case by creating a record of detailed and timely medical evidence.
For example, if you go straight from the scene of the accident to a doctor and your x-ray shows your wrist is broken, it's hard to argue the break wasn't a result of your fall. However, if you go home after the accident and see the doctor a day later when the pain has become too much to bear, the negligent party may claim you suffered the injury after leaving the accident scene.
Request thorough documentation of all tests, treatments, and doctors' recommendations related to your injury, from your first visit through to your most recent follow-up appointments. In addition to records provided by the hospital, you should save:
- All medical bills
- Prescription receipts
- Co-pay receipts
- Receipts for additional out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries and treatment
Your medical records can also be used to predict your long-term prognosis, future earning potential, likelihood of permanent disability, and quality of life—all of which will be used in the calculation of your damages.
If you're unable to work as a result of the accident, our attorneys will need pay stubs showing how your paid time off or extended sick leave balances were affected, as well as your loss of income, and other financial losses.
If you were hurt on someone else's property, contact our injury team today. When you work with us, we pay all of the initial costs necessary to pursue your claim. You're not responsible for any of our fees unless we secure a recovery. Simply call our offices today, or fill out the brief contact form on this page to set up a consultation with our Florida slip and fall attorneys.