Slip and fall accidents can be very costly, causing serious and permanently debilitating injuries. When this type of injury was caused by another person or a business, a slip and fall lawsuit may be in order.
Sometimes it’s the only possible way for a victim to recover the high costs of medical expenses and lost wages. That said, in order to win a slip and fall case, you’ll need a preponderance of the evidence in your favor, as the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff in liability cases.
Because it’s often difficult to know how serious your injuries will be, it’s best to be safe by protecting your ability to pursue damages. After a slip and fall accident, you’ll need to know exactly what to do, and what evidence to collect.
Get Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
All of us have slipped and fallen at one time or another. Most of the time you get up, dust off and have a laugh at your own expense. However, these accidents can also cause serious injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries or internal damage.
If you slip and fall and think that it’s possible you’re hurt, seek immediate medical attention. The reason for this is twofold:
ONE: It’s important to get checked out for your own safety.
TWO: Seeking immediate medical attention demonstrates the severity of your injuries should you seek damages.
When seeking medical attention, be sure to explain exactly what happened and how you were hurt to your medical providers. Your medical records will be important evidence later on, and you want everything to be consistent.
Finally, be sure to attend all of your medical appointments and treatments, and keep all visit summaries and billing statements. If you require ongoing treatment, consider seeing a doctor that specializes in personal injury cases.
Collect As Much Evidence as Possible
At the scene of the accident, collect as much evidence as possible while you’re waiting for help to arrive. This may include photos of the scene and what caused you to slip and fall, and the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Once you’ve sought medical attention, return to the location of the accident and look for any details you might have missed. If necessary, take more pictures.
Report the Accident to the Necessary Authorities in Florida
If your slip and fall accident happened on commercial property, you’ll need to report the accident to the property owner. You’ll most likely be required to fill out an accident report. Make sure that you fill out the report accurately, including as many details as possible.
If the property owner asks you to give a recorded statement, understand you aren’t obligated to do this, and we recommend against it.
If you’re not sure what your obligations are or how to approach the property owner, check in with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney, who can advise you on how to proceed.
Last, we recommend you try to remain as calm as possible, collecting as much evidence as you can and being aware of how you communicate with the property owner and management. Taking just these few steps immediately following a slip-and-fall incident will likely make the difference between your ability to seek damages and not being able to get the help you need.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.