My Love Of The Law

Five Crucial Factors To Record If You Suffer A Slip And Fall Injury

by Alan Medina

The jarring impact when you slip and hit the ground can tend to shock rational thoughts out of your head, so figuring out what to do while the event is occurring isn't a good idea. In such an embarrassing situation, you may find yourself attempting to leave the scene as quickly as possible rather than gathering the needed information. Instead, work out in advance what you'll do if such an accident ever happens to you. If you suffer a fall injury on privately owned property, such as inside a store or out in the parking lot, you may have a personal injury case, so gathering evidence is necessary. Here are five critical factors to record that may be essential in a lawsuit regarding the situation and that your personal injury lawyer may recommend getting.

1. The surface you slipped on

Sometimes a fall hazard is caused by water or ice on a surface, but other times the surface itself may be smooth enough to allow your shoes to slip. Photographing the area from several angles can document the condition of the surface and serve as evidence later on. Be sure to ask what type of material the surface is made of if you're not sure. For example, it looks like wood but you're not sure if it is or not.

2. Any warning signs, safety railings, etc.

If there are warnings or safety measures in effect, these may influence your case. Be sure to photograph any you see in the area and estimate how far they are from the spot in question. If you see no signs or warnings, ask the manager about it to be sure you didn't miss something.

3. Acknowledgement by the manager plus contact info

In many cases, the store or business will provide an accident report that you can fill out. Be sure to ask for the owner or manager as soon as the incident occurs. Even if they don't offer you an accident report, you'll need to be sure they know about the fall and obtain their contact information.

4. Witnesses who saw the accident

If the event occurs in public, you'll probably find there are several people nearby who saw it. If you can obtain a name and phone number from each of several witnesses, do so. The more people you can contact later about the incident, the better. Don't stop at one or two unless you have to; one of them may be out of town when your case comes up, so gather three or more contacts if possible.

5. Medical documentation

You'll need to keep on file not only your medical diagnosis and prescriptions, but also the bills (this is important if you end up getting treatment costs reversed) and things like the doctor's instructions, which can be important in some cases.

Use these five crucial factors to help you work out a sequence of actions to follow in the immediate aftermath of a fall. If you're in significant pain or badly injured, call 911 first and then deputize someone else (a friend or relative, if you have one on-site, or else a bystander who witnessed the scene) to gather the information while you receive medical treatment.