Slip and fall accidents are all too common in Miami and across the country. In 2016, about 9.2 million people visited emergency rooms for treatment for slip and fall-related injuries.
An unexpected slip and fall can happen at any time and have unforeseen consequences. How you proceed immediately after can affect the outcome of your case. Don’t make common mistakes that could jeopardize your medical care or a potential settlement.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
You may not feel pain immediately after the accident. With some injuries, the pain is dramatically worse after the first 24 hours. Receiving medical assistance will put you on the path to recovery as quickly as possible. You will also need medical records if you decide to file a lawsuit.
If there are no obvious physical injuries present, qualified medical personnel can tell you how to look for signs of more serious injuries. They might even be able to discover injuries that you did not yet realize you had. This is all necessary to build up a solid record for a potential case so that you get the settlement that you deserve.
You should take photos of any visible injuries. It is fine to use the camera on your phone. Make sure that you clearly record the size of an injury. For instance, you can hold up a quarter near the site of a bruise to give an idea of its size.
Inspect the Area Where the Accident Occurred
Was there an uneven sidewalk? Was there liquid on the floor? Was there an obstruction that was not clearly marked? It is essential that you look around at the scene of the fall immediately afterward to determine what caused the fall.
And again, take photos of anything that looks unusual. Take photos from different angles, at close range and further out, so a full perspective can be seen. You’d be better off having too many photos than not enough. Your attorney can weed through them and determine which ones are most relevant.
Look for Witnesses in the Area Who Saw What Happened
Witnesses can be very useful to verify your version of what happened. You should look around to see if there was anyone around. Ask them for their contact information such as an address, phone number, and email. You can also ask them what they saw and record this information.
An attorney can reach out to witnesses and get statements from them. Having witnesses who support your version of the incident can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
Write Down Your Description of the Accident
You should write down all the details of the accident as soon as possible. Try to be as detailed as you can. Your memory of the details can be lost over time, quicker than you think. Promptly recording your version of the accident will be useful in preparing your case.
You can also write down the details of your injuries. You should write down the type of pain you felt and for how long. You can keep a log of your medical treatment, tests received, medications prescribed, and doctors’ appointments.
See an Attorney Sooner Rather than Later
An insurance agent for the other side may reach out to you. You may want to discuss details with your attorney before you speak to an insurance agent. An attorney can also advise you on settlement offers that may come quickly from the insurance company.
A good client is a client who is organized and prepared. You can make your attorney’s job easier and assist in the favorable outcome of your case.