Showing someone slipping and falling in a television show or movie is an easy way to get a quick laugh from the audience. But for many adults, falls are no laughing matter. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people who have slipped and fallen to become permanently disabled and to suffer from chronic pain for years or even the rest of their lives from their injuries.
That’s why premises liability is such an important responsibility for property owners and managers. When people fail to keep their properties safe, they can and should be held liable for any injuries that people suffer. But getting compensation isn’t always easy for victims.
If you or someone you love recently slipped and fell because of a hazard on someone else’s property, here’s what to do to protect your health and your rights to compensation.
If you or someone in your party can do so, report your fall to the homeowner, business owner, or property manager as soon as possible. Successful premises liability claims require establishing proof that the fall happened when and where victims say it did. If you wait too long to report your fall, the property owner or manager may become skeptical of your claim, as will the insurance company. The hazard that caused your fall could also be cleaned up, and then it will be much more difficult to prove it was there at all.
When reporting your fall, be sure to tell the property owner or manager exactly what happened, including what type of hazard caused you to fall. Liability can be much easier to prove if the hazard was obvious and unaddressed by the property owner or manager, such as a broken step, a loose rug, or an electrical cord in a walking path.
After reporting your fall, your next priority should be getting medical attention. For some victims, this step takes precedent, as they may be knocked unconscious by their fall or in need of immediate treatment. Whether you call 911 and travel to the hospital via ambulance or you arrange your own transportation to the emergency room or your doctor’s office, don’t wait to get evaluated and treated.
If you wait too long to get checked out, your injuries may worsen. You also may have a more difficult time getting compensation. The more time that passes, the more opportunities will arise for your injuries to have occurred elsewhere—at least, that’s how the property owner and the insurance company will view the situation.
Your version of what happened in your slip and fall accident will likely be disputed by the property owner or manager and their insurance company. The best way to protect yourself and your rights is to document your fall as meticulously as possible. If you’re able to do so, take pictures of the hazard that caused your fall.
You should also collect contact information from any witnesses, houseguests, or employees who either saw you fall or helped you after you slipped. Their statements about what happened can paint a clearer picture of the property owner’s or manager’s negligence and the role it played in causing your injuries.
Slip and fall injuries aren’t just painful and disabling—they’re also expensive. That means you need compensation for what you’ve gone through, but you may be too hurt to take all the necessary steps to ensure you get a fair settlement by yourself. That’s where our lawyers come into play. We know how to build successful premises liability claims, and we’ve won compensation for many people just like you.
At Vance Law Firm, we’re always ready to help innocent victims get the money they’re owed for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We know that the complications of slip and fall injuries can be devastating, and we work hard to ensure that insurance companies understand the pain and disability victims face. Contact us today for a free consultation.