Five Things You Need to Do If You Slip, Fall, and are Injured
1. Report the Accident to the Owner of the Premises
If you get hurt in a slip and fall (or trip and fall) accident, you should report the accident immediately to the premises owner or supervisor.
If you get hurt on commercial property, report the accident to the highest ranking person that you can find there. If you get hurt on public property, and the injury is not severe enough to require an emergency response, report it to the city or town that day if possible.
Even a short delay in reporting the accident can seriously jeopardize your claim.
2. Gather evidence
If you have a slip and fall accident, take pictures immediately.
Photograph and video the accident scene from as many angles as you can before you leave the scene. If you do not have a camera or are not physically able to take any pictures after your injury, have a friend or relative take pictures as soon as possible, before anyone fixes or changes the area of the accident. Gather the names, numbers, and addresses of any witnesses to the event.
We have had potential clients that we were not able to help out because they could not identify exactly where they slipped or tripped. Photographic evidence is easy in these modern times with a phone.
Getting the information at the scene of the accident is important. Many times you do not reach out to an attorney until much later so it is hard to remember all of the facts exactly.
3. Medical Treatment
If you are hurt, it is important to seek medical attention immediately after the accident, or as soon as your injuries are felt. If you do seek medical attention, be sure you identify the accident to your medical professional as the cause of your injuries to your medical professional.
Insurance companies and juries will later see this medical record and will be unlikely to award the victim money for an injury that is not reported to their medical professional right after the accident. It may seem redundant or annoying but make sure the treating doctor knows the reason why you are hurt. Make them document the file specifically.
It is equally important to attend all of your scheduled medical appointments. Again, the insurance company and the jury will see your record of medical treatment, and if you regularly miss scheduled medical treatment, it will lead them to assume that your injury was not severe or that you healed as of the time that you started to miss your appointments.
I always tell clients, “hurt people go to the doctor.” You must go to treatment as the doctor orders.
4. Time Limits to file an action
In Louisiana, the time limit to file an action, called the statute of limitations, for a slip and fall case is one year. This is the case for all negligence claims. (La CC. Art. 3492). You must file an action in court within one year from the date of the slip and fall accident.
5. Get an attorney before speaking to an insurance company
Securing a competent personal injury attorney after your accident is imperative, not only because of the short time limit to file your action, but also to help you deal with the insurance companies.
After you report the injury, you will likely receive a call or a visit from an insurance adjuster asking you to give a tape-recorded statement describing the accident and your injuries. No law requires that you provide the insurance company with this recorded narrative, and, as a general rule, giving such a statement will not help you if you do not have a lawyer.
Contact the experienced Louisiana, Texas, and California personal injury lawyers at Smiley Law Firm for professional help with your slip and fall case.
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