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Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall

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Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall

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Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall

Brubaker Injury Law

February 7, 2022

You were at the grocery store or some other public place, and you’ve just suffered a terrible fall. One moment you were walking, the next your feet flew out from underneath you, and now you’re lying on the ground, in pain, and not sure what to do next.

1. It’s not your fault

Falls in public places can be embarrassing. Everyone can see you fell, and we all have that immediate impulse to stand up, brush it off, and show anyone who’s watching that we’re fine. But the truth is, we’re not always fine. The team at Brubaker Injury Law has worked on cases with clients who suffer fractures, spine injuries, brain injuries, ACL tears, shoulder tears, and endless other injuries from slips and falls that were not their fault. It’s important to remember that you’re a customer, and the owner and/or tenant of the store in which you fell has a duty to provide a safe environment for its customers. The moments after a fall are crucial to strengthening and protecting your premises liability claim. The steps enumerated below should be taken after a fall to ensure you have the evidence to prove liability in your personal injury claim.

2. Call an ambulance if necessary

Your health is more important than any advice contained in this article. If you suffer a severe or catastrophic injury, you should wait for the ambulance to arrive and allow medical professionals to assist you before you concern yourself with taking the steps listed in this article.

The steps listed below should be taken by those who don’t feel pain right away or those who feel injured but intend to seek out medical care after leaving the scene of the fall. Many, if not most, of the injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident aren’t fully appreciated or understood until days or weeks after the fall. If you are able to remain at the scene before seeking medical care, you should take the following actions to strengthen and protect your premises liability claim.

3. Survey the area for witnesses

A witness to the fall is an invaluable resource to your personal injury attorney. If a fall occurred in a store like Walmart or Publix, chances are there is surveillance of the fall, which will put to rest any questions of whether the fall occurred; however, if your fall occurred in less public space, a witness may be the only way to confirm the fall, outside of your own testimony. Most witnesses do not choose to wait at the scene to fill out an incident report regarding a fall that does not involve them. Be sure to ask for the witness’s name, phone number, and address so that your attorney can reach out to take their statement at a later date.

4. Photograph the scene

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The associates who work at the store are trained and incentivized to deny and/or limit the potential value of your personal injury claim. The surveillance may show that you fell, but it may not be clear enough to show the substance that caused your fall. For example, a negligently mopped area or spilled water. Close-up photographs of the wet area and/or your wet clothes will prove to be invaluable in resolving questions of liability and causation at later stages in your personal injury case. In photographing the area, make sure to take pictures of the area surrounding the wet substance to confirm whether the store owner made any efforts to warn its customers of a wet area with a caution sign.

5. File an Incident Report

In most slip-and-fall accidents, the police do not respond to the scene, so it’s unlikely that a police report will be filed in connection with your fall. Please also keep in mind that in many of the public places where falls occur, there is limited surveillance or no surveillance at all. In light of these facts, it is imperative that you address a store associate or the property manager where the fall occurred, inform them of your fall, and advise that you are injured. Make sure that you ask for a copy of the incident report, as this will be important for your personal injury attorney to review prior to taking on the case.

6. Seek medical attention

Even if your post-accident symptoms were not severe enough to warrant an ambulance or a trip to the hospital on the same day as the fall, you should seek emergent follow-up care if you are in pain after the fall. It’s important to document your symptoms and note that they stem from a fall as soon as possible. Those who wait too long to report their injuries because they hope the symptoms will fade in time invite arguments from the defendant that the injury is not causally related to the fall on their premises. Most of our clients never experienced pain in their neck or back prior to a fall, so they don’t know where to turn for post-incident medical attention. At Brubaker Injury Law, our primary goal is to ensure that victims of negligence receive the medical attention they deserve in order to diagnose their injuries and recover their health. Our firm has relationships with medical providers throughout the State of Florida who will provide expert medical attention to those injured by the negligence of others.

7. Call your lawyer before you call the store or their insurance company

The store where you fell and their insurance company are not motivated to pay out on personal injury claims. The insurance adjuster assigned to your case is incentivized to deny and/or limit the potential value of your personal injury claim. Much of their questioning is made with the purpose of gathering information to deny or limit your case.

An improper response to their questioning may jeopardize the viability of your claim. For this reason, your lawyer should handle all the communication with the store and the insurance company. Most importantly, don’t wait to call your lawyer! Most private businesses overwrite their surveillance footage on a routine schedule. If you do not send their registered agent a notice to preserve evidence of your fall, the evidence will be overwritten, and the most powerful piece of evidence in your case will be lost.

When you retain Brubaker Injury Law, we take immediate action by placing the insurance carriers on notice, requesting copies of the relevant insurance policies, and ensuring that evidence is preserved.

Brubaker Injury Law is a client-focused law firm. Our team has recovered millions of dollars for clients injured in slip and fall accidents. If you or someone you know has sustained injuries in an auto accident, contact us today for a free, no-strings-attached consultation.

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