Property and business owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe, which includes outdoor areas such as sidewalks, stairs, and parking lots as well. Being hurt in a slip and fall accident can have serious repercussions. Injured victims often wonder how they will pay their medical bills, make up for lost time off work, and care for their families. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident that was due to someone else’s negligence, it is important to take certain steps to protect your rights.
Seek Medical Attention
After any accident, it is critical to receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Even if you believe you are not seriously injured, symptoms of a condition may not appear until days or weeks later. Visiting the emergency room or seeing a doctor soon after your injury can help to ensure you get the care you need, and provide valuable evidence that a good personal injury lawyer can use to back up your claim down the road. Keep all bills and receipts for any treatment and medications you receive, transportation to and from appointments, and any other accident-related expenses.
Take Photographs or Video
Photos and video of the premises provide concrete evidence of dangerous conditions. Take photos of the area in which you fell and any hazards that may have caused you to slip, trip, or fall. It is also a good idea to take pictures of your injuries. If you are unable to take photos yourself, ask a bystander or someone with you to snap a few pictures.
Jot Down or Dictate Notes
Write down everything you remember about how the incident happened while it is still fresh in your mind. If you do not have a pen and paper handy, use the recorder on your phone to document what happened.
Gather Contact Information from Witnesses
Ask any potential witnesses for their names and phone numbers. Even if a person did not see you fall, he or she may have seen the negligent act or dangerous condition that caused your injury. For example, if you are shopping in a grocery store and slip on water from a cooler that is leaking onto the floor, other customers and workers may have seen the water there before you fell and became injured.
Make an Incident Report
Ask to make an incident report with the manager or owner of the business or property. Provide only factual information on the report. Do not say anything that could be construed as a fault on your part. Make sure to obtain a copy of the report before you leave. If a manager or owner is not available, ask for their name and phone number.
Do Not Give a Statement or Sign Anything from an Insurance Adjuster
It is vital to remember that insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. They will do almost anything to pay as little as possible or deny claims altogether. If an insurance adjuster contacts you, do not speak to them, sign anything, or accept a settlement before contacting a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer.
Contact an Accident Attorney
An accident lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you of the most effective course of action to recover compensation. He or she will gather evidence to support your claim and handle all negotiations with the insurance company. Your lawyer will act as your staunch advocate and fight to help you get the maximum compensation you need and deserve. Personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so you do not have to worry about incurring any up-front costs, even if you do not move forward with your claim.