#1: Seek Prompt Medical Care
You should obtain medical care immediately if you know you suffered injuries after your slip and fall accident. Even if you do not believe you were hurt, you should be examined by a physician within 72 hours of your fall. You protect your health by doing this since you may have suffered a hidden injury, such as a traumatic brain, back, or spinal injury, and not experience any symptoms for days or longer after your accident.
You also strengthen your claim and help avoid disputes with the insurance company by seeking prompt medical treatment. If you delay getting medical care, the insurance adjuster could make the following arguments to try to deny your claim or pay you less than the full value of your claim:
- Another incident caused your injuries before your slip and fall accident.
- Your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
#2: File an Incident Report
You should notify the property or business owner right after your slip and fall accident and file an accident report. This puts their insurance company and owner on notice of your accident and claim and can help establish that your fall occurred if they dispute this. Get a copy of the report or take a photo of it before leaving the scene of your fall.
#3: Get Contact Information
Obtain the contact information of the owner and their insurance company. You cannot file a claim without this information.
You also need to get this information for anyone who witnessed your slip and fall accident. Neutral eyewitnesses who do not know you and have no personal stake in your claim can be powerful witnesses who can help you prove the owner’s negligence caused your injuries. In addition, you should obtain the contact information of any employees who helped you after you fell.
#4: Take Photos
Take photographs of the scene of your fall and what you believe caused you to trip, slip, or fall. Be sure to take photographs of your injuries too. Photographs are compelling evidence to show a jury if your case goes to trial.
#5: Notify the Owner to Retain Security Footage
If your slip and fall accident happened at a store, office building, or another public place, the owner might have a security camera that recorded your fall. You must immediately ask the owner to preserve any security footage. If you do not take this crucial step, footage of your accident may be recorded over or deleted.
#6: Do Not Make Statements to the Insurance Company
The property or business owner’s insurance company may contact you soon after your slip and fall accident—even before you leave the hospital. You must be very careful what you say to the insurance adjuster so that you do not make incriminating statements that they can use against you to deny your claim or pay you less compensation.
The insurance adjuster may ask you to give a verbal or recorded statement, which is a tape-recorded answer and question session that is transcribed into a written document. You are not required to give a recorded statement to settle your claim and should politely refuse to provide one. No matter how careful you are, you could say something that hurts your case.
#7: Hire a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
As noted above, you should immediately retain a knowledgeable slip and fall accident attorney after your slip and fall accident. They can protect your rights, collect the evidence you need to win your case, and can go up against the insurance company so that you receive a fair settlement.