Expert Legal Advice

What Should I do After a Slip and Fall Accident?

When someone thinks of a slip and fall accident, they typically think they are no big deal, usually resulting in minor injuries. However, slip and fall accidents can cause great harm in many instances. Sometimes they can cause serious, life-altering injuries and even death, depending on the circumstances.

According to the National Safety Council, injuries resulting from a fall are the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in the United States. In 2016 alone, nearly 35,000 people died from falls at home and at work. Based on these same statistics, an American is accidentally injured every second, and one is killed every 3 minutes, each and every day.

Fall-related injuries can be especially dangerous for older adults.

Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall.

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Even when an older or elderly adult survives a slip and fall accident, they may experience years or even decades of considerable physical pain and mental trauma associated with these types of accidents. Federal, state and local governments have enacted legal regulations concerning public safety in an effort to avoid or at least, minimize risks associated with accidental injuries.

Premises liability laws are enacted to help ensure a safe environment for individuals on the property and they can pertain to both businesses and homeowners.

Safe property regulations are aimed at reducing accidental injury and death.

Property owners have the legal obligation to keep their property safe. This is something most people simply take for granted when they go over to a friend’s apartment, go grocery shopping or see a movie at a theater. Generally speaking, pretty much everywhere we go, the floors are safe to walk on, handrails are stable and supportive, objects on shelves are secured and aren’t likely to fall onto you or another person. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case, as nearly every second of every day, someone becomes injured on another person’s property.

These types of accidents typically become legal matters. Court cases arising from accidental injury are usually classified into a type of “premises liability” cases. When a reasonable risk to people who visit a property is created due to a property owner or caretaker’s negligence, the victim is entitled to damages when an accident occurs. These will go towards paying for any medical bills, time lost from work and pain and suffering resulting from the accident.

The duty of the justice system would be to determine the amount of liability that is imposed upon the property owner due to negligence that resulted from an injury. The types of premises liability cases include a number of different types of accidents.

  • Slip and fall hazards caused by liquids, powders or other foreign substances on the ground. Ice and snow or even yard waste could be included in this category as well.
  • Unsafe property conditions such as clutter or debris that creates a trip hazard. Damaged property like holes in the ground, mutilated flooring, or merchandise that has fallen into a walkway could all potentially cause unsafe property conditions.
  • Construction site dangers that include fall hazards from ladders, cranes or scaffolding that malfunctions, or isn’t used properly.
  • Inadequate lighting can also lead to a slip and fall accident. Dark hallways, stairways and parking lots can make it difficult to see where you are stepping or recognize changes in the floor’s surface. Moving to and from well-lit, to poorly lit areas can also cause temporary blindness that could create circumstances leading to a slip or fall accident.
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If you have been injured on another person’s property, due to no fault of your own, you might be eligible for compensation.

Hundreds of these types of incidents occur every day in America because property owners fail to ensure the safety of their visitors for a variety of reasons. Injuries that have occurred due to a property owner’s negligence warrants the victim to receive compensation for their medical bills and other losses.

What should I do if I’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident?

First and foremost, seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Many people who experience a slip and fall accident tend to want to leave the scene of the accident as soon as possible. It can hurt really bad and cause emotional distress. Many people are simply embarrassed by the accident and want to leave before a lot of people notice. This is one of the most common mistakes people make in the moment as they are shaken, they want to get up and leave.

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Many slip and fall accidents are not reported, because the person who fell is too embarrassed to report it.

This type of swift departure from the scene of the accident could be detrimental to building your case. After an accident, if you are not seriously injured, you should do the following:

  • Speak with the property’s manager or supervisor. This just needs to be a polite, brief encounter to ensure another source of documentation, which can prove in court that management was aware of the accident taking place. Don’t answer any questions or elaborate too much about what happened. Your personal injury attorney can do this for you, at a later time. Remember you’re only seeking awareness of the accident taking place.
  • Contact law enforcement officials if you feel it is necessary. Filing a police report is a great way to gather information about the incident. This is especially true if the hazard could potentially cause harm to others. Informing your local law enforcement agency could prevent others from becoming victims as well.
  • Gather contact information from any witnesses. If someone saw your accident, they can help tell your story in court.
  • Take pictures or videos of the area where the accident took place. This helps provide a visual description of the circumstances and environment that led to the accident taking place. Provide notes with each photo or video. This can help you describe and remember what the important facts of the case really are.

In accordance with these suggestions, it is always a good idea to keep track of any medical records that may arise from the injury you have sustained. If at all possible, see if there is any footage of the incident that may exist. Surveillance videos from gas stations, grocery stores and other public places could help demonstrate negligence in your case. Most commercial places follow strict rules on reporting and documenting accidents. See if there are any incident reports that may have been filled out by managers or employees concerning your accident.

Proving negligence in a slip and fall accident can be surprisingly difficult. All of the forms of evidence listed above are key to helping your personal injury attorney build a strong case. Adequate and just compensation from the case can help you get back on your feet.

If you have been injured in any type of accident, at no fault of your own, we can help you. Caldwell Law Group’s skilled and dedicated injury attorneys will ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses. We can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. If you were injured at work, we have handled worker’s compensation claims in both Idaho and Washington state. We can even schedule a free consultation over the phone and review your case, for your own peace of mind.

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Call us at (208) 743-5299 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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