What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured from a Slip and Fall?
Ryan Zavodnick | July 5, 2018 | Video
If you’ve been involved in a slip-and-fall injury, the first thing you want to do, assuming you are not in need of emergency medical treatment (in other words, you don’t need to be rushed to the emergency room), is take pictures of where you fell and what caused the fall.
Things disappear over time. For example, if you slip and fall in a supermarket on something slippery, they’re going to clean that up eventually, and they may not take pictures of that. So it becomes difficult to prove what you slipped on and what caused your injuries down the line if you haven’t taken pictures and we don’t have photographic evidence of what caused the fall.
It is the same thing if you slip and fall on snow and ice; you want to make sure you take photos because the snow and ice will melt over time. We don’t want to get in a situation where it’s simply your word against the property owner’s word. We want to make sure we have photographic evidence and can demonstrate in court, if necessary, what the condition of the property was.
You also want to look around, see if there are any witnesses. They may be friends of yours, in which case you’ll know the names and phone numbers, or they may be disinterested observers, in which case you want to ask them, “is it OK if I take down your information since you saw what happened.” You want to make sure you get names, phone numbers, addresses, if possible.
The next thing you want to do, is make sure you report your injury to the property owner so that there’s a record of it. There may be specific forms in certain instances, in certain types of cases, that you’ll have to fill out. In others, you may just want to take a name and number and follow it up with a letter to to the property owner advising them of your injuries and confirming the conversation you had on the date of your injury.
Then, you want to make sure you are attended to medically. If you’re in need of treatment, you want to make sure you get to an emergency room, family doctor, whomever you choose to see. You want to make sure you do that and have your injuries documented and looked at.
Lastly, and most importantly, you want to call an attorney. You want to make sure that you find out what your rights are, who’s at fault, and that attorney can assist you in making sure you put all the property owners on notice. There are certain legal requirements. For example, if you’re injured on property owned by a township or municipality, there are certain laws that implicated and there’s notice provisions in those laws (meaning that you have to give notice to the township or municipality within a certain amount of time), otherwise you won’t be able to bring a claim in the future.