What to Do if you Have Been Injured in a Slip-and-fall Accident
The experienced California slip-and-fall attorneys at Bisnar | Chase have a long and successful track record of helping injured victims and their families obtain fair and full compensation for their damages and losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, please contact us for a free comprehensive consultation at 949-203-3814.
A slip-and-fall accident may result in serious or even catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Slip-and fall victims may have to spend several days in the hospital and possibly months in rehabilitation and physical therapy. They may also incur tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and even more in lost wages due to time they must take off work to recuperate from their injuries. If you have suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.
Measures to Take
The actions you take after being injured on someone else's property will directly affect your ability to receive financial compensation for your medical bills and other related damages. Immediately after falling, take a moment to assess the situation. Have you been hurt? Can you move without causing additional injuries? If you are only suffering from a minor bump that will not require medical attention, you should report the hazardous condition to the property owner to prevent future incidents. If, however, you have suffered a significant injury, there are a number of steps you should take to protect your rights:
- Call for help. If you have hurt you head, neck, back or legs, you should not risk getting up. Stay where you are and call out for help. If you have a cell phone, call 911.
- Notify the authorities. An ambulance should be called and the authorities should be notified that an injury accident occurred on the premises.
- File a report with management. If the accident occurred at a place of business, the property manager should be told right away. Ask to fill out an injury report and obtain a copy of the report before you leave.
- Collect contact information. Request the name, address and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident. If you choose to file a claim, it could prove useful to have first-hand reports that back up your account of what caused the accident.
- Take photos. If you have a camera or a smart phone, take photos of where the accident occurred. Make sure to photograph the hazardous conditions. Was the floor wet? Did you trip on debris? Was the carpeting uneven? Did you trip on a broken stair? Were there signs, cones or caution tape around the location? If not, take a wide enough photo to show that no warnings were posted. It is also advisable to photograph your injuries.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Seeing a doctor right away will increase your chances of a full recovery. Furthermore, your medical records are legal documents that can be used in court to prove that you were injured.
- Keep your records. It is important to keep organized records of all the financial losses you have suffered after being injured. Keep track of your medical expenses as well as your prescription drug bills, lost wages and other related damages.
- Maintain a journal. If you sustained a serious injury, you may be able to receive financial compensation for the pain and suffering you undergo during the recovery process. Keep a daily journal of your struggles since being injured. Are there important activities that you are no longer able to participate in because of your injuries? How has your life and livelihood been affected? Are you more stressed, depressed or fatigued since the accident? Have you had to hire a housekeeper or a gardener because you have been unable to cook or maintain the house? These are important pieces of information you would be well advised to document.
Liability in Slip-and-Fall Cases
Property owners and managers are responsible for keeping walkways clear and dry. They must repair damaged steps and railings. They are required to post warning signs around areas that are under repair. Property owners must also act within a reasonable amount of time to fix a hazardous location. Failure to do so is a form of negligence.
In order to determine liability for a slip and fall accident, injured victims in California must prove that:
- The owner created the hazardous condition.
- The owner knew the condition existed and failed to fix it.
- The condition existed for a long enough period of time that the owner should have discovered it and corrected it before the slip-and-fall accident occurred.
Receiving Fair Compensation
It is common for property owners and insurance providers to deny responsibility for these types of accidents and for victims to struggle to get the compensation they need. An experienced California personal injury lawyer will fight for the victim's right to fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, the cost of rehabilitation services and other related damages.