Often, when people trip and hurt themselves, it is not actually the fault of the victim. We have laws that require homes, walkways and other buildings to maintain a basic level of safety. If you’ve ever looked at building codes, you probably recognize that many of the regulations relate to safety.
Injury attorneys often refer to these cases as “slip and falls.”
Still Confused? We wrote all about the basics of slip and falls HERE.
If you think you might have a slip and fall case, find an attorney. the laws surrounding these sorts of injuries are complex. With the help of an attorney’s expertise, you’ll be able to to get back on your feet in no time.
If you have slipped and fallen on someone else’s property, your first steps after the accident can make or break you case. Follow these six steps, and your attorney will be that much closer to helping you get your life back together.
- Seek Medical Care
It’s true that having your injuries documented by a healthcare professional will speed up your case, but this isn’t why we recommend it first.
The health and wellbeing of you (or your loved one) should be your top priority. If you are hurt, do not try and tough it out. Go to an emergency room, get checked out and follow up with your doctor.
Focus on healing.
- Report the Incident.
Find the person ‘in charge’ of wherever you were injured, and tell them what happened. If you were injured at an apartment building, you’ll want to inform the landlord or property manager. If you were injured in a business, you should seek out an owner or manager. Most businesses actually keep special forms for exactly these sorts of accidents.
Before you leave, make sure you get a copy of your report. If you speak to someone, write down what you spoke about, or make a recording.
- Take Photos
Document the exact location you fell. Note the condition of carpets, stairs and railings. If the weather is snowy and you slipped on ice, take pictures of that too.
Take pictures of the entire area.
Unfortunately, some less-than-honest property owners will try to hurriedly “fix’ the conditions that caused your accident. These photographs will serve as important evidence if you decide to advance with your case. That’s why it’s so important you take photographs.
- Get Information
Who were you standing with? Write down their name. Did anyone help you up? Write down their name. Get the names of everyone involved.
After you’ve filed a report you’ll also want to get the name and contact information of the managers and landlords you may have spoken with.
Be sure to make copies of any paperwork or documentation that is exchanged.
If you’re really eager, you can check into the insurance policy that covers the building. Many property owners will volunteer their insurance agent’s contact information. Capture this information and make sure you add it to your list.
- Try to Stay Calm
This one might seem strange. The truth is, getting angry at those involved only slow down the process.
An accident like a slip and fall is embarrassing and painful. Often, the first person you encounter after your accident might be a supervisor or manager. They might seem standoffish or cold.
Rightly or wrongly, many places of employment have strict rules as to what supervisors and managers can say to people who appear to have been injured on-site. While this is incredibly frustrating, try and remember that the person you’re speaking with is just trying to do their job. Some employers even try to blame a manager for an accidents that are the fault of the business owner.
One of the reasons that people hire attorneys is that attorneys live for uncomfortable disagreements like these. Remain calm, write down what happened and carry on to step six.
- Begin your attorney search
The earlier you find an attorney, the better. If you were injured in a large chain store, you may be surprised to discover just how much legal muscle your favorite store has. Businesses will almost always get legal representation to defend them.
You will want experienced legal representation as well.
An injury attorney will be your voice. The closer to the accident you can find an attorney, the better: the details will still be fresh in your mind.
Check out our guide to Denver Attorney Reviews HERE