Slip and fall accidents do happen. We hate when they do, and we may try to keep them from happening, but inevitably one will happen.
Construction sites are common places for slip and fall accidents, as are food-service businesses. Whether you are working at heights or you are around slick liquids like grease or oil, there will likely be a risk of a slip and fall accident, despite some of our best efforts. That, of course, does not mean we should not put every precaution in place. After all, a serious slip and fall accident can lead to litigation that is time and capital-consuming – which then, of course, impacts the bottom line.
In a litigious world such as ours, it is always important to take all necessary and prudent precautions to prevent these types of accidents. On the other hand, if you are someone who has, or could have, suffered a slip and fall injury, you have to be vigilant in making your case. You almost have to treat such an incident like you would a car accident. Here are five things you should do when you are in a slip and fall incident:
- Check yourself.
First thing’s first. Before you start talking or thinking about how much to sue for, you need to make sure you get yourself checked out medically to ensure the extent of your injuries. Oftentimes, we may not feel very hurt at first, but some significant injuries don’t’ manifest themselves until later. Always best to get a medical opinion first.
At this point, it is a good time to let the owner of the property know (and any supervisors on shift at the time) about the accident. Be careful not to be angry or vindictive about it, trying to lay blame. Just provide as much information as you can in a very impersonal way – the who, what, when, where, why and how.
Document as much as you can, including the name(s) of those you directly informed about the incident. Take pictures of the incident scene and record any interviews or conversations when you can so you have documentation. If you have witnesses to the incident, get statements from them as to what they saw and heard.
- Speak little.
Stick only to the facts of the incident when discussing it with anyone –even an attorney, when you hire one. Leave emotion, speculation and blame out of the equation. And do not discuss the issue with anyone not directly or indirectly involved with the case – which means, social-media silence, for sure.
- Lawyer up.
Find a competent accident or personal injury lawyer to represent you and stand up for your rights. Once you find a lawyer, say nothing more about the case and let your lawyer speak for you. Don’t’ risk legal jeopardy more than necessary.