Whether you sustain an injury at a public place or a private residence, a “Slip and Fall” case can be a serious matter. While most restaurants, department stores, and other businesses have worked to reduce their liability with “Wet Floor” signs, rubber mats, and other features; worker neglect and poor upkeep can still lead to a plausible case. In many cases with storefronts, safety is neglected in order to maximize product space or to restock shelves. As weather turns cold, the likelihood of ice forming on public and private properties will increase. It is important to to know the steps you should take towards right after a Slip and Fall in order to protect your claim, and defend your rights. With the help a Personal Injury Attorney, you may be able to get the compensation you deserve.
If You Are Injured & Need an Injury Lawyer:
Seek medical attention immediately. If the injury is bad enough that you need assistance, you may want to call an ambulance. Emergency medical professionals can make a quick assessment of not only your injuries, but of the scene in question, including witness statements. The doctor or physician who you go to can give you a more in-depth analysis; as well as a course of action towards recovery.
Follow Through With Medical Treatments
Follow Your Doctor’s Prescribed Plan. If this includes prescriptions, physical therapy, etc., do not neglect his/her judgment. Not following the doctor’s plan can lead to further injury or disability. Also, not following through with medical treatment signals to the insurance companies that the injuries sustained were not serious enough that legal action should be warranted.
Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Firm
Once you are physically able to, or with the help of a loved one, hire an attorney to work with you. They will help you work through the tricks and traps that insurance agencies create to minimize your claims and to protect themselves. Having a lawyer to help you through all the jargon and pursue the proper legal actions can give you an opportunity to focus on your recovery.
Do Not Record a Statement for Insurance Companies. Wait Until You Meet With Your Attorney
The questions they ask are designed to devalue your claim by making you explain your injuries in a less severe manner than they might actually be. This statement is not required to make a claim, and the insurance companies are not entitled to it. You have the right to refuse giving a statement to the company.
Preserve Evidence of the Scene
Take pictures if possible, and save the clothes that you were wearing. Seal the clothes in a protective bag, and do not wash them. The clothes might have taken up any powder or liquids that might be on the floor when you were injured.
Make Notes Regarding the Injury and Treatment
Get the time and date of the incident, contact information of people who came to help you, etc. If you fill out an accident report, make note of that. Keep a personal record regarding recovery, as well as a daily journal of pain and effects from the injury, including limits in range and motion, and hours missed from work due to the injury. A record like this can be helpful for discussing legal action with your attorney.
Stay Quiet Online
Social media silence can be a vital part of building your case. Avoid writing anything on social media regarding the injury or doing anything physical. Avoid posting photos, especially if they show you being active. Similar to the recording a statement with the insurance company, things posted online can come back to bite you.
Don’t Lose Your Job Over Your Injury
Request from your employer FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) time off. This is a policy to take unpaid leave while protecting your position at your place of employment, if you qualify. It is best to apply for it and not need to use it than to lose your job due to your injury.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
With a Personal Injury Attorney, discuss the entitlement of your claim. You can receive more than just compensation for the medical bills you have already received. You may be entitled to recovery of lost wages (past and future), future medical costs, pain and suffering (past and future), disfigurement, and long term mobility loss. Claims adjusters from insurance companies often rely on the injured parties not knowing how much they could be compensated for.
Do not exaggerate claims or stretch the truth about injuries sustained. Medical records will, in many cases, disprove the claim. Insurance companies can find out this information very easily during a case. Dishonesty in claims can often lead to losses in trial if (and most likely when) exposed.
Protect Your Claim From the Store’s Legal Team
The store’s representatives are not looking out for you. Do not talk to those that represent the company without first hiring a lawyer and assessing your claims. Some companies might hire private investigators, or send attorneys to speak with you directly. They might have a specific doctor for you to use; to which you should instead go to a doctor you know, or a hospital. Cash settlements are another tactic of corporations in these situations. Make no comment and do not accept anything from the company without first speaking with your attorney.
This blog is meant as public information, and should not be considered as legal advice. Each injury claim is a unique situation that may have more specific circumstances. Your situation may require different actions then what is described for your case.
At D’Agostino & Associates, our competent and trusted disability lawyers can help you sort through all the details, understand what you are entitled to, and fight to get what you deserve. Contact us online here, or call us at 1-888-245-2924.