Slip and Fall | Trip and Fall First Steps
“…I’ve fallin’ and I can’t get up!”
― Life Call TV Commercial
The very first thing you should do after suffering a slip and fall or trip and fall injury is call 911. You want to get on the record immediately what happened and where. After that, if you are able to move and aren’t in horrible pain, use your phone to begin taking pictures. Take pictures of what made you fall – perhaps it was a pot-hole in the street, or maybe food on the floor of a restaurant. Take pictures of everything around you such as street signs and landmarks and especially any injuries you may have. If you are bleeding, take a picture of the cut or scrape. It may sound disgusting, but those pictures will help explain what happened during the accident and immediately afterwards. At a later point, investigators from the Ticktin Law Group will go back and using a tape measure, take more photos of the scene of your fall.
If your fall happened in a restaurant or store, ask to speak with a manager immediately. Notify him or her of what happened and ask to fill out an incident report. Most likely, they will begin taking pictures as well.
There is an important aspect of Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall accidents that I want you to consider… it’s called “constructive notice.” What does this mean? Well, to put it simply, a location is not responsible for your fall unless they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. How do you prove that someone should have known about a dangerous condition? Easy – by showing that the dangerous condition was there for a significant amount of time. The classic example is someone falling over a banana peel in a restaurant. If the banana peel was yellow, chances are the restaurant won’t be responsible for the accident. However, if the banana peel was brown, then there is a good chance that they would be. Why is this? A yellow banana peel signifies that it had not been on the ground for a significant amount of time. A brown banana peel, on the other hand, signifies that is had been sitting on the floor for a while. If the banana peel had time to turn brown while it was on the floor, the employees of the restaurant should have known that it was there.
This is another reason why photographs are so important immediately after an accident. By taking pictures of what made you fall, many times you can prove that the location had constructive notice. I had a client who slipped in a puddle at a supermarket. She immediately took pictures which ended up being the determining factor of the case. The pictures showed that the puddle was dirty and was tracked up and down the aisle. That was enough to prove constructive notice!
If you find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of being hurt because of someone else’s actions, the best thing you can do is to call the Ticktin Law Group at (954) 570-6757 as soon as possible. By speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer and going over all the facts of your particular claim, you will get a much better idea of what steps you should already be taking and what compensation you may be entitled to.