A slip-and-fall accident can occur at pretty much any location, whether it is a wet floor in the supermarket to a cracked or uneven sidewalk. Slip-and-fall accidents can result in serious or even catastrophic injuries. You may be facing thousands of dollars in medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. You may be looking at missing several days of work. You may not be able to return to work or earn a livelihood at all. These are just some of the consequences victims face in the aftermath of a slip-and-fall accident.
Knowing your rights with regard to how to act after the accident and the steps to take can prove crucial when it comes to securing fair and full compensation for your losses.
Steps to Take after a Slip-and-Fall Accident To Protect Your Rights
There are a number of steps you would be well advised to take after a slip-and-fall accident:
- Get medical attention right away. Your health and physical condition should be your number one priority. If you have been injured, it is important to see a doctor so your injuries can be properly documented. Your medical records will be a crucial piece of evidence if you decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties.
- Be sure to file a report of the incident. Regardless of where the slip-and-fall accident occurs, make sure you report it to someone in charge such as a manager, property owner or landlord. Remember to get the incident details in writing and get a copy before you leave.
- Document everything including names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for all potential witnesses. Also, be sure to take pictures of the exact location where you fell whether it was stairs or in a supermarket aisle where there was a spill. Write down all details including what you were doing right before the accident, the way you fell and other details including the exact time and date. Save any type of physical evidence that may be relevant to your case. If you can get surveillance tapes of the incident that corroborate your account of the incident, that could be extremely helpful.
- Do not communicate with the property owner or manager unless it is absolutely necessary. Don't talk to the insurance company until you have spoken to your own injury lawyer. Don't admit fault or place blame on anyone. What you tell the insurance company or anyone else can and will be used against you.
- Do not post any information about the incident on social media. What you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other site or blog online can seriously hurt your claim. For example, if you claim that you have a sprained ankle and post a video of yourself skiing or participating in other activities, that could be used against you. The insurance companies are always scouring the Internet for evidence they can use against you. So, if you are planning to file an injury claim or have already filed one, it is a good idea to shut down your social media accounts temporarily and limit your online activity so you don't jeopardize your case.
- Contact an experienced lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your losses. Choose an attorney who has experience handling similar cases and one who will work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay any fees until you receive monetary compensation.
Slip and Fall Compensation Rights – How Much Can I Receive?
The value or worth of your claim will usually depend on the nature and extent of your injuries and the liability of the parties involved. When it comes to premises liability compensation, there are several things you need to know. Depending on the nature and circumstances of the incident, you may be able to seek compensation for the following damages.
Medical bills: You may be able to seek compensation for your past and future medical treatment related to your accident. In addition to seeking compensation for doctor's visits, emergency room costs, hospitalization, surgeries and cost of medication and medical equipment, you can also seek compensation for rehabilitative therapy and treatments.
Lost wages: If you missed work because of your injuries, you are entitled to recover the value of income you would have earned during that time. You will need to verify the amount of time you missed by providing a pay stub or a tax return. Your employer may also need to verify that information including your salary.
Loss of earning capacity: If your injuries are so severe that you are unable to perform your job or return to type of work you were doing prior to the injury, you may be able to recover an amount that is meant to compensate you for your lost earning capacity. In addition, you can also receive compensation for vocational training in a different field.
Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical pain and mental suffering you experienced as a result of the slip-and-fall accident. Physical injuries can also result emotional and psychological problems including depression or post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Premises Liability Claim
Depending on the facts of your case, there are a number of parties who can be held liable for a slip-and-fall accident including property owners, property managers, or even a corporation if your incident occurred on a property such as a retail store or a supermarket. Bringing a personal injury lawsuit or premises liability claim against a large corporation can be intimidating and challenging. As the plaintiff you have the burden of proof, which means you need to prove that the defendant was negligent when it came to maintaining the property in a condition that was safe for visitors, guests or tenants (depending on where the incident occurred).
The experienced Orange County premises liability lawyers at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates have a long and successful track record of successfully protecting the rights of injured victims. We understand how a slip-and-fall injury can turn your life upside down. We will help you seek and obtain maximum compensation for your tremendous losses and hold the at-fault parties liable. Call us at (800) 838-6644 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.