Did you get injured from a fall and have questions? Read these 4 things to learn about your slip and fall claim, then call our lawyers today!
1) First Steps After Injury
- The first thing you need to do if find out what you slipped on.
- Once you figure out what you slipped on the you should immediately take a picture of the area with your cellphone if you have one
- If there were any witnesses, you should talk to them and get their contact information
- Finally, you will want to contact an attorney because they may want to get an expert involved to look at the location of the slip and fall
Slip and fall accidents are one of the more difficult claims that an attorney can prosecute. The reason is that in effect you are saying that there was a dangerous condition that would or should’ve been obvious to the landowner that should’ve been corrected that caused a slip and fall and an injury. Unfortunately, the comeback to that point of view is if the defect or the problem was so obvious and so visible, why didn’t the person that was injured see it and avoid it?
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, there’s several things that you need to do that are very important. The first thing you should do is ascertain on what you slipped and fell. Was it water? Was it coffee? What was the substance that you fell on? Was it a vegetable or a fruit in a supermarket perhaps? You want to discern on what you slipped and fell. Many times we’ll handle slip and fall cases where the client’s asked, “What did you slip and fall on?” “I don’t know.” “Was there any wetness on your clothes?” “I don’t remember.” “What kind of shoes were you wearing?” “I don’t remember,” or “I do remember, and I’ve worn them for the past year, and they’re totally worn out, and I’m about to throw them out.”
If you’re involved in a slip and fall accident, you want to first, if possible, take photographs of the scene of the accident, and that can be done on your cellphone. We all have cellphones nowadays. You want to find out if there are any witnesses, and if there are, you want to get their names, addresses, and phone numbers. You want to give notice to the store or the property on which you fell. If there is a report that’s done, you want to get a copy of the report. Lastly and probably most importantly, you want to contact an attorney early on because he may need to get an expert involved to look at the information, to look at the property. There may be code violations. There may be, for example, faulty handrails. The steps may be unequal. They can be too small or too large according to applicable codes.
2) Claiming Damages
- There are two types of damages; economic and non-economic damages
- Economic damages will include medical expenses or wage losses
- Non-economic damages will be any pain or emotional damage that happened as a result of the slip and fall
The first thing to understand is that you’re basically looking to be compensated through the individual’s insurance, the owner, the renter, whoever it may be. They will very likely have liability insurance either under a general liability policy if it’s a store or under a homeowner’s or renter’s policy if it’s a residential place where the fall occurred.
The key thing to remember is that there are basically two types of damages. There are what we call economic damages that are things like medical bills, any wage loss you have, and that’s both in the past and the future.
There’s also non-economic damages, which are things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience of running back and forth to the doctor, disability or impairment, or loss of the ability to enjoy life’s pleasures.
3) Speaking to the Insurance Company
We got a call just yesterday from a lady whose son was injured when steps were painted at an apartment complex. Her son slipped on the paint. There was no wet paint sign, so he had no idea that the steps were slippery and that he could sustain an injury. She wanted to know if she should call the insurance company for the apartment complex or the apartment complex manager with regard to her son’s injuries. As we told her, there’s always a danger when you put yourself in a situation either as the injured party or as the mother of an injured child speaking with the apartment complex first and especially when speaking with their insurance company.
The first thing you should do is attend to either your injuries or the injuries of your loved one if a personal injury happens. Once you do that, you should contact a lawyer to make sure that the insurance company for the apartment complex, the grocery store, the premises whatever they are don’t take advantage of the situation to pin you down into certain answers. One of the things that we find that happens is that people don’t think through how a fall occurs. We help you think through that situation and ask you questions so that you’re better able to describe the incident to the insurance company. This don’t mean make up how it happened. This means thinking about the right details. We help you explore those things so that you can be fully evaluated for your injuries and that you can appropriately describe the incident to your medical providers and to the insurance company.
If you’ve ever fallen, you know that it’s very confusing. It happens rapidly. You’re not really sure about how things occurred. You don’t need to have an insurance adjustor suggest things to you and pin you down to things that didn’t really happen.
4) Medical Payment Coverage
Oftentimes individuals that are injured in commercial establishments will have a very difficult time proving that their fall was the result of the carelessness or negligence or a dangerous condition on the property, and yet they have in some cases substantial medical bills. Oftentimes commercial businesses and buildings will have what’s called medical payments coverage which will provide benefits, insurance coverage that will pay for your treatment for a specific period of time and up to a certain limit regardless of whether you can prove any responsibility on the part of that business. Oftentimes, there is insurance that will cover your medical bills up to a certain amount and for a certain time after an injury or in commercial building.
Have you been injured in a serious slip and fall accident and have concerns about these 4 things to learn about your slip and fall claim? Contact our experienced Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys, we will fight for you and your family.
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