Over one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, or fall injury annually. The term “slip and fall” is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips or trips and is injured on someone else’s property. These cases usually fall under the broader category of cases known as “premises liability” claims. Slip and fall accidents usually occur on property (or “premises”) owned or maintained by someone else, and the property owner may be held legally responsible.
In many cases it is a property owner (or in a commercial setting, a commercial tenant in control of the property) who is at fault in a slip and fall case. There are many dangerous conditions such as poor lighting, torn carpeting, changes in flooring, narrow stairs or a wet floor can cause someone to slip and be injured. Same goes if someone trips on a broken or cracked public sidewalks, or falls down a flight of stairs. In addition, a slip and fall case might arise when someone slips or falls outdoors because of rain, ice, snow or a hidden hazard, such as a pothole in the ground.
1. Address any medical concerns fully and immediately. If you feel that you might be injured, even if it is a minor injury, seek medical attention and get a diagnosis. Besides just helping you get well as quickly as possible, it will document that you were in fact injured.
2. Get a written report and take pictures. Following a slip and fall accident, you need to gather the names and contact information of all witnesses to your actual fall as well as the hazardous condition that caused your fall. Witness statement are extremely important. Also take pictures of the area that will support your case if the matter goes that far. You will want to make sure you get photos of the exact spot where you fell, in addition to any hazardous conditions that may have contributed to your fall.
3. Give notice to the property owner as soon as possible. It is important that you notify the property owner where the slip and fall occurred that you got hurt on the property. Whether the accident happened on a sidewalk, in a store, or at a relative’s house, be sure to report it to the home owner or manager of the property.
4. Avoid social media. Limit your exchanges regarding the incident to face-to- face or phone interactions and be very careful about what you post on social media about the accident and/or things you do or can’t do after the accident. Your comments can and will be used against you if possible by either the insurance company for the property owner or their lawyers.
5. Talk to a lawyer early. If you are interested in pursuing legal action after a slip and fall it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There is often much work that must be done immediately after the accident and there will be a statute of limitations placed on filing a case. Slip and fall cases can be difficult, so you give yourself your best chance of success by getting help early.
At the Law Offices of Brent A. Duque, we maintain a staff of a highly professional, knowledgeable, aggressive and successful Premises Liability Attorneys who represent injured people through our offices all across Southern California. Contact us today at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.
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