The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 800,000 Americans are hospitalized each year due to fall injuries, with injury and hip fracture accounting for a majority of the cases.
When a slip and fall happens, liability is often attached to the owner of the premises. Under the law, regardless of whether a property is privately or government-owned, you have the right to take the matter to court. This can be done by filing a personal injury lawsuit, which an Irvine injury attorney can assist you with.
With this type of lawsuit, you seek to recover compensation for the injuries sustained. This can include payment for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, and emotional suffering caused by the accident.
The Necessary Steps in Filing a Slip and Fall Claim
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, remember that the steps you take following the incident can go a long way in protecting your potential claim. These steps will also help your attorney build the best possible legal case and settle the claim for the maximum possible value.
This article will help explain how to file a slip and fall claim and the steps you can take to better support your case in court.
1. Seek medical treatment
Calling for medical attention is the first and most important step you need to take when harmed from a fall. This will help you document the incident since medical facilities take note of the time and date you received treatment for your injuries. At the same time, prompt treatment will prevent your condition from worsening.
2. Report the accident
After getting treatment, be sure to file an incident report with authorities as soon as possible. Likewise, you should notify the property owner regarding the incident. By informing the owner, they can address the situation and ensure that similar incidents will not happen again. Giving notice to a person of authority will help you prove the consistency of your story later on, as they may be called to testify in court.
3. Document everything – pictures are extremely important
Another important step you should take when you have been injured in a slip and fall accident is to gather all information that can serve as evidence to support your personal injury claim. This can include specific details from any eyewitnesses and pictures of the accident site, as well as your injuries. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may ask a family member or friend to do this on your behalf.
Note that the quality of the photos is extremely important. The pictures need to be in focus and in high resolution. Your attorney will need close-up pictures showing the defect that caused you to slip. These include top-down views, angled views, and at least a few photos from ground level.
Channel your inner photographer or send someone with a handy camera to generate good evidence. If you call an attorney immediately after the incident, sometimes they can even get to the scene and document the dangerous condition for you.
4. Explain to healthcare providers how you got hurt
Once you are taken to the hospital, clearly explain how you were injured to the nurses and physicians attending to you. This will allow them to create a detailed medical report about your injuries. The medical records will “testify” for you in court later on, so be thorough with the doctors.
Keep in mind that medical reports can greatly help your attorney build a credible case since they are seen as reliable proof for their clinical significance.
Moreover, you will likely be placed under medical care after your accident. As such, be sure to go to all of your follow-up appointments. Note that your lawyer will need your complete medical records to prove your injuries and other losses stemming from the slip and fall incident.
5. Refuse to give a recorded statement
These days, recorded statements can be easily manipulated and thus taken out of context. They can be edited to present false or modified information regarding the events of the incident. As such, it is best to refuse to give any recorded declarations unless otherwise advised by your attorney, especially since it is not required by law.
If a lawsuit is filed, you will give a deposition, and that deposition will be defended by your attorney. It is a big mistake to speak to the defense without the representation, counsel, and protection of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
6. Meet with your attorney
If you’re considering filing a slip and fall claim, you should consult your attorney regarding the matter. When you ask for legal advice, you can clarify what can be done to support and pursue your personal injury claim. At RMD Law, our experienced injury attorneys provide a 100% free consultation.
Find the Necessary Legal Support
Fall accidents in California are often caused by property conditions such as hazardous surroundings, wet floors, uneven surfaces, and loose cords. Thus, property owners can be held liable for the injuries sustained by victims. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you must prepare and gather all the necessary evidence to support your personal injury claim. This way, you can have a better chance of securing compensation.
With RMD Law’s team of experienced lawyers, you have access to experts ready for the tireless representation you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation.