Every year there are about 8 million people hospitalized as the result of a slip and fall accident.
And those are just the cases where the victim sought medical treatment, the actual number of injuries is likely much higher.
In some cases the fall was your fault such as if you are walking and texting or, as it is a true accident.
Other times, though, your fall could be the result of someone else's negligence.
You don't want to be responsible for the resulting medical bills if the fall wasn't your fault and could have been easily avoided.
Immediately after your fall, you will likely be in shock.
It will take you a moment or two to realize what has happened and to regain your bearings.
You could also be in a good deal of physical pain, which will make it challenging to figure out what your next steps should be.
That's why it is essential to know what you should do after a slip and fall accident ahead of time.
That will eliminate all guesswork after your fall, and you will know exactly what to do if and when it happens.
In the article below, we will go over several things you should do immediately following your slip and fall accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you are ever injured in a slip and fall accident, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention.
Even if you don't feel injured, you should still see a doctor so you can be sure.
Every day you are injured that you don't see a doctor will reduce the value of your slip and fall case.
Juries or insurance companies will argue that if you were injured due to the slip and fall, you would've seen a doctor right away.
You also need medical records to prove that you were actually injured.
An insurance company isn't going to take your word for it; they need documentation backing up your claims.
Go to the Emergency Room or go to a walk-in clinic or urgent care facility.
Mention every single one of your symptoms, no matter how minor it may seem.
Make sure the doctor knows that your injuries are due to a slip and fall accident.
This will ensure that your medical records reflect that you were injured in the accident.
Why did you fall? Was there something in your way that shouldn't have been? Was there a liquid on the floor? Was the space too crowded?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself as soon as you've gotten your bearings after the fall.
The best time, and sometimes the only time to figure out why you fell, is immediately after your slip and fall accident.
Look around you.
If there is something obvious that helps you pinpoint the cause of your fall, you can work backward to try t figure what, and if anything could have been done to prevent your fall from occurring.
Once you've looked around to figure out what happened, you need to document everything you find.
Collect names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for all potential witnesses.
Witness statements can help prove your claim if you decide to pursue one.
Take pictures of the exact location of the fall as soon as you can after the fall.
Photograph any stairs, icy patches, liquids, obstructions, or any other conditions that could have contributed to your fall.
Make a note of what you were doing right before the accident, the way you fell, and any other details, including the time and date.
It's also a good idea to place the shoes and clothing you were wearing in storage.
At least take photos of them because they could be essential pieces of evidence later on.
Report Your Accident to the Proper Authorities
Once you've inspected the scene and documented as much as you can, you need to report your accident to the proper authorities.
Determine if you fell on private or commercial property.
Also think about if there was anything you should have or could have done differently to prevent the fall, or if it was completely unavoidable.
If you were trespassing on private property, for example, you wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
On the other hand, if you were shopping at a local retail store and you slipped on a poorly maintained floor, you will likely be able to take your case to trial or reach a settlement.
If you know the accident wasn't your fault, the owner of the property will have to fill out an accident report.
In most cases, they aren't going to be eager to do this.
It's a good idea to contact the police to report the incident along with filing a complaint against the property owner.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
After you have an accident report, police report, and medical records in hand, it will still be the goal of the defendant to pay out as little as possible.
If you speak to the insurance companies, they can take what you say out of context or twist your words completely.
They could even claim you said something that you never said.
Insurance companies are in business to make money, and every dollar they pay to you is a loss.
So they will do everything they can to keep from paying you what you deserve.
That's why you should work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
They will handle the negotiations with the defendant and their insurance companies.
A lawyer will know when to offer information and what information to provide, and they will know when they should keep quiet.
Your attorney will have years of experience handling slip and fall cases, and they will know exactly what needs to be done to get you the compensation you deserve.