Getting your Personal Injury case started on the right foot can be the difference between a case that falls flat and a case that earns maximum compensation for your injuries. Because your award is impacted directly by your actions, there are a number of things to pay attention to after suffering a trip and fall (or slip and fall) injury.
The reality is that a slip and fall accident can happen almost anywhere. They are so common that most people will suffer a slip and fall injury at some point in their lifetime. If the injury is to occur on someone else’s property (Premises Liability) then the injury could, in fact, be the direct fault of someone else. And when it is, you will want to make sure you know what to do.
Immediate Steps After Suffering a Slip or Trip and Fall
The very first thing you should do after suffering a slip and fall or trip and fall injury is to call 911 to get the medical treatment you need. You also want to get on the record immediately what happened and where.
If you are able to move and aren’t in horrible pain, use your phone to begin taking pictures. This is part of documentation. Take pictures of what made you fall – perhaps it was a pothole in the street, or maybe food on the floor of a restaurant. Take pictures of everything around you 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 afterward. 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. Additionally, get the names of any witnesses to your accident.
Finally, you should speak to an attorney. The Ticktin Law Group offers free preliminary consultations with our experienced Personal Injury attorneys. Personal Injury cases are also taken on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay anything unless we recover money for you.
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Proving Fault: The Importance of Constructive Notice
There is an important aspect of Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall accidents that you should 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 prior to the accident.
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!
- Related – Lay the Groundwork for A Successful Personal Injury Claim: Your Crucial First Steps After A Car Accident
For A Free Slip and Fall Consultation, Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
If you find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of being hurt because of someone else’s actions, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced Personal Injury attorney. The Ticktin Law Group offers free consultations. Call (561) 232-2222 or complete the contact form here to schedule your appointment. By going over all the facts of your particular claim, you will get a much better idea of what steps you should take.
About the Author
Attorney Grant J. Skolnick is the Director of the Personal Injury Department for The Ticktin Law Group. Mr. Skolnick focuses on personal injury, wrongful death and products liability law. He is committed to providing each of the firm’s clients with the exceptional customer service, attention to detail, and dedication they rightfully deserve.