Accidents can happen anywhere – and they are not necessarily anybody’s fault. However, sometimes, even a simple slip-and-fall can be attributed to somebody’s negligence. The owners of any premises have a legal duty of care to ensure the health and well-being of customers and visitors. Should they fail in this obligation, injured parties have a right to pursue personal injury lawsuits and demand compensation. What should you do when you are the victim of slip-and-fall injuries?
What to Do After a Slip-and-fall Accident?
Sometimes, after a fall in public, all we want to do is get away from the scene as quickly as possible to hide our embarrassment. It is very important to fight against this impulse. Your injuries may be worse than you think, and you may have the right to claim more in compensation than you might suspect. Stay on the scene, get out your cell phone, and take photographs of the area where you fell, especially the floor surface and anything on it that may have caused the fall. Be sure to include any warning signs (or lack thereof) in your photos. Take pictures of any bruises, cuts, or other injuries that you may have suffered.
You should also speak to any witnesses and get their names and contact details, but then do not try to contact them yourself afterward. Hand these details to your personal injury attorney and let them speak to any potential witnesses. Do not leave the scene until the responsible person has filled out an accident report – be sure to get a copy of this report. Get all the details of the manager, owner, employee, or other representative of the business or residence.
Why a Medical Exam is Essential
After leaving the scene, seek medical attention as soon as possible. A medical exam is not only essential for your own well-being – as your injuries may not yet be apparent, or you may have internal injuries of which you are not aware – it can also provide vital evidence. Your medical practitioner’s report and expert testimony can often provide the key to winning your case.
What Makes Slip and Fall Cases Difficult?
Slip and fall cases can be tricky because gathering sufficient proof of negligence can be difficult. With other personal injury cases, footage from traffic or car cameras, police reports, mileage reports and eyewitness reports can all help to build a case. With slip and fall cases, evidence such as this may not exist. The victim’s first-hand account is often the central pillar of the case, along with eyewitness testimony (assuming there are any witnesses). In order to pursue a personal injury case successfully, you need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, that you suffered injuries or damages that resulted in financial loss, and that these injuries and damages were the result of the defendant’s negligence.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
In the absence of the kind of hard evidence that is usually present in other cases, gathering sufficient proof to fulfill these criteria will require the work of a dedicated, experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer will know how to conduct thorough and compliant discovery, so as to collect all the relevant evidence. Your attorney will then build your case and represent you in negotiations and litigation.
If you have experienced slip and fall injuries in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, or North Carolina, speak to a personal injury attorney at Goss & Fentress. Bring us the documentation you have managed to gather, tell us your story, and let us fight to get you the compensation you deserve.