After being injured in a slip and fall accident, it can be confusing and unclear what you should do to protect your legal rights and receive compensation for your injuries. However, taking the proper steps immediately after a slip and fall can make all the difference if you find yourself having to file a lawsuit after the accident.
Timing is critical.
- Get Medical Treatment for Any Injuries: First and foremost, if you are injured in a slip and fall, no matter how minor the injuries are, it is important that the injured individual seek medical attention as soon as possible. Most slip and fall accidents result in relatively minor injuries, but more serious injuries, such as trauma to the head or broken bones, can occur. Additionally, many injuries do not manifest until after the accident, so it is important to document what happened by seeing a medical professional and getting a professional diagnosis in writing of any injuries that may have occurred. It helps to see a doctor quickly, as well, while the incident is fresh in your mind in terms of what happened and how you were injured.
- Report the Accident to the Property Owner: If you are hurt in a slip and fall accident, it is important that you notify the property owner or at least someone responsible, such as a supervisor or manager who is present. If you suffer a slip and fall while on public property, such as in a city building or park, the injury needs to be reported to the city or town as soon as possible. The first report may be made verbally to that person as soon as the accident happens, but a written notification or report should follow soon thereafter, especially if the person to whom you made the verbal report disputes that the report was made. Get the contact information and name of the person who received the verbal notification and make sure to include that person’s name in the written notification, as well.
- Inspect the Area and Take Pictures: Most slip and fall accidents occur as the result of inadequate property maintenance. Usually something leads to the accident whether it is liquid on the floor, loose carpet or uneven flooring. Document what happened and what you believe caused your fall. Details can fade over time. If you are able to, take pictures of the conditions that lead to your fall.
- Get the Video Surveillance Footage: If the accident happened on public property, odds are there is some type of video surveillance that can document the accident. If the fall was at a store, ask the store owner or manager for copies of the video for that specific area at that time. They should provide this to you, but if not, you may need legal assistance to acquire this valuable evidence.
- Get Names of Witnesses: Before leaving the property that day, make sure you get the names, addresses and phone numbers for all individuals who were present and/or witnessed the accident. Even if someone did not actually witness the fall, that person may still be able to document the conditions of the store at the time, such as lighting, whether any hazards were present and how the store or property owner reacted when the fall happened.
- Be Careful What You Say: In the days following the accident, you may be contacted by the property owner, their attorney or insurance company. These professionals may try to get you to agree to something that is not in your favor, a quick or small settlement amount to ensure you will not pursue a lawsuit against them. Keep in mind that whatever you say to these individuals can be used against you later so be cautious of what is said.
- Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Attorney: Even if you do not believe you need an attorney at the time, it helps to at least sit down and speak with one who specializes in slip and fall accidents. Most attorneys who handle these types of cases will offer a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and determine if you have a case.
As experienced Miami slip and fall accident lawyers, we understand Florida’s slip-and-fall laws and how to hold businesses accountable for our client’s injuries, lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. If you have suffered a slip and fall at a grocery store, restaurant or retail store in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, The Keys or anywhere in the State of Florida it is critically important for you to consult with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer who will fight to protect your legal rights. When selecting a lawyer- ask them about their qualifications and experience in claims against grocery stores, retailers and restaurants. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer and our firm, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully represented people and their families in slip and fall claims across the country since 1991. Call us today for a free initial consultation 1-866-597-4529 or email [email protected] and speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer about your potential claim.