After you're hurt in a slip and fall accident, you may simply want to go home and recover from your injuries.
However, the actions you take immediately after an injury are vital. They provide some of the best opportunities to prove that a property owner was negligent.
If you don't act quickly, you could make mistakes that put your recovery at risk.
Common Mistakes People Make Immediately After a Slip or Fall
Many people are embarrassed at having fallen in public, afraid of causing a scene or calling attention to themselves. While it may feel awkward, it can benefit your health and your injury case to stay at the scene for at least a few moments after the accident occurs.
After falling on someone else’s property, you should never:
- Get up quickly. It's important not to get up immediately after a fall. You could pass out after taking a few steps and suffer further injury. Stay right where you fell, and figure out if and where you're hurt. If you cannot move or cannot sit up without pain, call 911 and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
- Fail to gather evidence. It's a good idea to take pictures (or a short video) of the scene with your phone. Video can capture a lot of information that you may not remember later—such as the time of the fall and the people who were there. If you're too injured to move, ask a friend or family member to take pictures of the dangerous condition for you and record the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Leave without filling out an accident report. If you fall in a public place, you should notify the property manager so that they can fill out an official report. These reports can be used as evidence later in your case. If you fell on private property, your best chance of creating an independent report is calling 911. If you don't document the dangerous condition, the property owner may attempt to fix the problem or make repairs as soon as you leave. While this prevents injuries to others, it will also destroy evidence in your case.
If you didn't do these things before leaving the scene of the accident, it doesn't mean you don't have a viable slip and fall case. We can track down evidence on your behalf, including getting copies of surveillance videos and public records that prove that a dangerous condition existed. The steps above simply give us a better opportunity to build the strongest possible case.
What Not to Do as You Recover from a Fall Injury
In the days and weeks after a fall injury, most victims are preoccupied with pain management and figuring out how to pay their bills while they're unable to work. Unfortunately, they may make mistakes during their recovery that can further hinder their ability to get compensation, such as:
- Delaying medical treatment. Failing to see a doctor can hurt you both physically and financially. Insurers may deny claims where victims didn't see a doctor for several days after an accident.
- Giving a recorded statement to the insurance company. Insurance adjusters often contact victims in an attempt to gather information that can be used to devalue or deny the claim.
- Accepting a settlement without an attorney. Once you accept a settlement, you give up your rights to ask for any additional damages—even if your injury gets worse over time.
Have you been injured in a fall accident? Our injury team will fight to get you the compensation you're owed for a property owner’s negligence. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to schedule a confidential consultation.