After a slip and fall accident, you might wonder if you are responsible or if the property owner or manager can be held liable, especially if unsafe conditions existed that caused your fall. The dangers of these incidents cannot be underestimated as at least one study shows that eight million people annually need to go to the emergency room due to a fall, with one million ER visits due to a slip and fall.
The Prevalence of Slip and Fall Injuries
A slip-and-fall accident can occur almost anywhere – at home, work, school, or while playing. Common locations for accidents include grocery stores, offices, parking lots, schools, amusement parks, restaurants, apartments, shopping malls, and many more. While property owners are responsible for upkeep at the locations, visitors also need to be aware of their surroundings. In other words, if you are the victim of a slip-and-fall accident, make sure that you were taking the necessary precautions to avoid injury.
The wide range of injuries caused by a slip and fall accident can take weeks or even months to heal. Just some of these include all types of twists and sprains, broken bones, torn tendons or ligaments, pulled muscles, strains, spinal or spinal cord injuries, head injuries or concussions, bruises and cuts, brain injuries, bleeding, loss of consciousness, and even paralysis or death.
Building a Solid Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Although a victim might immediately want to hold the property owner responsible, the owner might contend that they were not liable. For example, if another visitor to the facility dropped a banana peel on the ground and you tripped on it five minutes later, the property owner could not have prevented that. In fact, the property owner might insist that the victim should have stepped over the banana peel.
However, you can take proactive measures to back up your claims and show that the other party was responsible. The following steps will help you protect your rights after an injury-accident. First, seek immediate medical attention, depending on the severity of your injuries. Next, report the incident to a property manager or owner on site in order to begin the documentation process. This shows that you followed standard protocol after the incident. You will also want to take pictures. In today’s world with easy access to cellphones and cameras, almost everyone can take out an electronic device and snap a picture or even a video. Include pictures of the following: the injury, the reason for the injury, an overview of the area, and any missing warning signs.
If witnesses saw what happened, ask for their contact information. After the accident, take the time to either record your version of what happened or to write it down as soon as possible so that you will not forget important details. Finally, put the clothes and the shoes you were wearing in a safe place in case the physical evidence on them can help in a potential lawsuit.
Proper documentation after a slip and fall injury can make or break a civil lawsuit. If you have questions on the validity of a potential case, talk to one of our experienced premises liability attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys for more information. Contact us today!