A slip and fall accident, more commonly known as a trip and fall, is one of the most common accidents in the United States. Trips, slips, and falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the country for people over 65 years old. You can be walking on some uneven pavement or sidewalk that has some water on it, you might trip over something in your house, or you might get off an escalator before the floor is completely flat.
And while these accidents can be embarrassing and scary for the people who experience them, there are certain steps that should be taken immediately afterward to ensure safety and recovery. If you found yourself wondering, “what should I do after a slip and fall accident?” consider the following:
Call emergency services
The first thing to do when involved in a slip and fall accident is to call emergency services immediately if necessary or request assistance to get help. If it was simply an injury caused by the accident, then only call if the injury warrants immediate medical attention, or you need EMS to assess your condition.
Call law enforcement officials
Be sure to contact local law enforcement with jurisdiction over the property where the slip and fall accident occurred. Be mindful of any apparent safety hazards like obstructed signage or unsecured rugs or mats that might have contributed to the accident circumstances.
Seek legal counsel after slip and fall injuries
After being involved in a slip and fall injury accident, it is common for people to be overwhelmed with their injuries as well as the immediate aftermath. People don’t understand what to do, that is why they may not immediately seek legal counsel.
This is a mistake because slip and fall injuries can lead to long-term damages that build up over time, such as missed work and medical expenses. Furthermore, slip and fall accidents tend to be under-reported, so there’s no telling how many slip and fall injuries are out there. For instance, if you live in Phoenix and you have slip and fall injuries, it’s recommended that you hire a slip and fall lawyer in Phoenix to take care of the legal issues for you. It will help reduce stress, but it can also ensure that your slip and fall accident is properly dealt with by the law.
Call your insurance carrier
It is extremely important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after being involved in a slip and fall injury accident, this should be done before speaking with any other parties involved or potential defendants. Make sure you have all their numbers on hand at all times. If you are unsure of who may be responsible for the accident, you can always contact your insurance carrier for advice.
Seek medical care as soon as you can
Seek medical care as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident. This is important to do right away so that any damage sustained by the bones or joints can be properly diagnosed. Some of the injuries that could result from a slip and fall injury accident include sprains, tears, dislocations, fractures, and ruptures. It is a good idea to find out if you need an X-ray of the affected area at a hospital after a slip and fall injury accident. Do not try to self-diagnose or self-treat your injuries after slipping and falling because you may do more harm than good.
Preserve evidence for personal injury claims
Slip and fall accidents are not limited to slippery floors, sidewalks, or escalators. They can happen anywhere at any time, even in your own home. It is important to realize that you must not alter the scene before calling the police if it was a slip and fall accident that caused injury or damage to property other than your own person. After notifying the police and calling your own insurance company, remain at the location of the accident until you have gathered all evidence that is required for a successful claim.
This is important to record the injuries that are present at the time of the incident. The photographs should represent the severity of the damage, so it’s best to take multiple pictures to capture close-up photos along with wider shots of different angles.
Going through the process of taking photos can be difficult if you are suffering physically, so it’s best to get someone else to do the work for you. This person must be careful not to move anything or touch anything at the scene of the incident, lest they interfere with evidence.
Rather than mixing photographs together into one album, keep them separated into two piles; before and after. This way, it is easier to compare the two by placing them side-by-side.
Average settlements in a slip and fall case can be anywhere between $15,000 and $45,000. However, some people with an extensive injury may be able to get more than the average amount, depending on the factors involved with the case.
It is important to have a lawyer if you are looking to make an injury claim because it’s often necessary for them to prove negligence on behalf of the defendant, such as faulty flooring or locking mechanisms on doors. Make sure you do not admit liability for any injuries at the time of making your claim and continue thorough medical treatment, so there is no question as to the severity of the injuries.