There are a number of things you are to observe following a fall and slip accident. And it will be to a claimant’s benefit to follow them in detail, especially regarding the legal proceedings that are to ensue, following a fall and slip claim.
As you work with your legal team towards filing your claim, here are steps to take to ensure not only your safety and well-being but the potential of a successful conclusion of said claim.
Guide on Slip and Fall Accidents
1. Immediate Medical Attention
This is is, and should be the general rule of thumb— that you seek medical attention soon after the accident occurs. There is no room for delaying this, which is why we moved it to the topmost number of this shortlist.
Doing so will let medical practitioners urgently treat your injuries. This, and that they can just as urgently check and diagnose to see if there are internal injuries that may have taken place as well.
But in the context of legal matters, this is a step you should not take for granted. More often than not, delaying provisions for medical assistance will be interpreted as the victim aggravating his or her injuries on purpose, to put forward a more substantial amount for the claim.
Similar to the first, expedient report the accident. And be sure to cover all channels— employment, medical, etc. If law enforcement and/or emergency personnel are able to arrive at the scene, report to them, too.
More importantly, ask for copies of the report’s documentation stating that the proper authorities have received your accounting of the mishap. Take note of who the assigned task officers are, and have their contact details at hand as well.
Although your Houston slip and fall lawyer will aid in the collection of evidence surrounding the incident, do what you can to acquire other vital pieces of evidence. Evidence that can be captured, saved, and later, easily corroborated for their validity.
We are talking of none other than photos and videos. Use your cellphone to take shots of every part and inch of the scene of the accident. If your camera is able to record the date and time of when the photos and videos were taken, turn that feature on.
Additionally, do the same for your wounds and/or injuries.
Note: Keep clothes and other items from the day of the accident
Retain them as they are. Bloodied clothes, torn bags, etc.— all of these are to be kept as is. Think of it as you not tampering with the evidence.
4. Free of Blame
Regardless of who the main culprit of the accident was, do not shift blame, nor are you to assign it. In fact, veer away from talking about accident and claim details, even to insurers. Including your own.
Be wary of your statements, where verbal or written, which are about the accident itself. The best way to handle this is to tell inquirers that answers will be given via your attorney. This is an acceptable response, and any breach of it can be used against those who fail to observe it.
5. Talk to Your Lawyer
All particulars of the accident and of your claim are to be coursed through your lawyer alone. Discussions with the defendant, your insurer, the defendant’s insurer, and other personnel are best conducted in the presence (and with the support of) your attorney.
Your attorney has experience negotiating and mediating in such circumstances, with the aim of bringing your claim to a more favourable light. At the same time, your legal representative can coach you on what to say and what not to, what to do and what not to in terms of points in your claim.