Knowing what to do after a slip and fall accident can mean the difference between winning compensation and having the insurer deny your claim. Regardless of whether you suffer injuries in a business, public place, or in your friend’s home, follow these six steps:
Prioritize Your Health
Getting the medical care you need should always be your top priority. If you need emergency care, have a friend complete this list or do what you can while you wait for first responders to arrive.
You should see your doctor or visit the nearest emergency department as soon as possible, even if you do not think you suffered injuries. Many serious injuries — including some head and back injuries — do not appear for several hours or even days after a fall.
Getting medical attention as soon as possible also creates a medical record that will link your injuries to the fall if you need to file a claim.
Determine Why You Fell
Carefully look around the area. In many cases, the cause of the fall is evident. Spilled food or drink in a restaurant, tracked-in rainwater, loose carpeting, and broken handrails are all common causes. Identifying this hazard will play a key role in assigning liability if you need to file an insurance claim to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Get Contact Information from Witnesses
Collect the name, address, and phone number for anyone who saw you fall or came to help. Do not worry about asking what they saw, or if they can verify your version of the accident. Simply have them write down their information, give you a business card, or save their contact in your phone.
When business or property owners dispute claims, these witnesses play a vital role in preventing the case from simply being your word against the owner’s.
Our lawyers will interview eyewitnesses for you so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Document the Scene
Document the scene by taking pictures with your cell phone. If necessary, have a friend or bystander take as many pictures as possible of the hazard, your injuries, and the surrounding area. Staff members often clean hazards such as tracked-in water or spilled food before first responders arrive. This means your images could be the only documentation that there was, indeed, a hazard.
Follow Proper Reporting Procedures
Most businesses have a procedure in place for reporting slip and fall accidents and other similar incidents. These reports can actually support your claim in several ways, so it is important to report your fall to management.
Most companies not require you to do anything besides provide your name and contact information. If you do not need an ambulance, do not to tell them that you did not suffer injuries. Instead, tell them you will see a doctor as soon as possible.
Discuss Your Case with a Fort Lauderdale Slip and Fall Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall, you should schedule a time to discuss your legal options with a Fort Lauderdale premises negligence attorney as soon as possible. When you slip and fall at a Fort Lauderdale business, in a public place, or in a private home, you may be eligible to file a third-party insurance claim to receive compensation to cover your medical treatment and other losses.
There are, however, time limits on this type of claim. Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a) gives you four years to file a claim in most situations. If the fall occurred on municipal, state or federal property, the deadline for sending notice of your injuries could be as short as 30 days from the fall.
Contact Coffey Trial Law for an Appointment Today
The Fort Lauderdale premises liability lawyers at Coffey Trial Law offer free initial consultations, allowing you to learn more about the legal options available to you after a fall. Call us today at 954-541-3194 to schedule your appointment.