Everyone has had a slip-and-fall accident at some point in their lives. Maybe you slipped on your wet kitchen or bathroom floor. You can slip and fall on sidewalks, grassy hills, and even at work. Sometimes your slip and fall only results in embarrassment.
Unfortunately, even a minor slip and fall can also result in significant injuries. When this happens, you often have medical bills along with other expenses, and navigating the complexities of slip and fall accidents isn’t easy. However, if you follow a few simple steps you can simplify the often complicated process.
Get Medical Attention
You aren’t going to need medical attention if your only injury is a bruised ego. Yes, slipping and falling is humiliating, especially when others see you go down.
With that being said, injuries are also common in this type of accident. You may not even realize you’re injured for a few days. Some internal injuries can take a while to exhibit symptoms. Even a small bruise can turn into a significant injury.
Instead of waiting to see if your injuries are severe, make an appointment with a physician—even if you’re given a clean bill of health, at least you know for sure. Making an appointment with a physician also provides a clear connection between the slip and fall accident and your injuries. If you decide to pursue a personal injury case, you’re well on your way to corroborating your claim.
If your injuries aren’t severe or life-threatening, try to document the accident scene, but this doesn’t mean wrapping crime scene tape around the area or dusting for fingerprints. You’re not collecting that kind of evidence. Besides, unless you’re a certified CSI technician, you’re not qualified.
You are qualified to take pictures. For example, if you slip on a wet floor at work and this isn’t a caution sign warning of the potential hazard, this is evidence you want to document. Now, you may have evidence to support negligence in your personal injury case.
Go ahead and get contact information from any witnesses. If security cameras captured your fall, make a note. Your accident attorney will want to view the footage, along with any insurance adjusters.
If there are witnesses, limit your interaction to only getting their contact information. You don’t want to be accused of trying to influence their recollections of the accident. Also, anything you say about the accident can be used against you by the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Report the Accident
Okay, if a slip-and-fall accident happens at home, don’t worry about reporting it. Chances are, you’re not going to sue yourself or your spouse. Your homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the expenses relating to the accident.
If an accident occurs at work, report the incident to your employer, which can be anyone from the floor manager, HR department, or even the company owner. Who you report the accident to can vary, depending on how the company’s management structure is set up.
Some smaller businesses have the owner carrying multiple duties. They may be the owner, manager, and entire HR department. Just follow company protocol and you should be fine.
Slip and fall accidents that happen on city sidewalks are a little different. In Las Vegas, the business owner is responsible for sidewalk upkeep. According to municipal law, business owners are responsible for maintaining and repairing sidewalks in front and adjacent to their property. In this instance, you’ll report the accident to the business located in front of the sidewalk.
If your accident happens in a park, the city of Las Vegas may be the responsible party. If it occurs at someone’s home, the property owner or leaser is the one who will be held negligible. Yes, knowing who to report your slip and fall to is confusing, but an experienced accident attorney will provide guidance.
Keep all Evidence
This is one of the few times being a pack rat is encouraged. In other words, don’t throw anything away relating to your slip and fall accident. You never know what you may need to prove your personal injury case.
Keep all of your medical records and get a copy of the accident report. Even if you didn’t report the accident to the authorities, there should still be some type of documentation. Get a copy of the report and file it with your other paperwork.
You also want to keep receipts from any bills you may be currently paying, and the bills must relate to the accident. You can’t toss in random debts like your phone or electricity bill.
If your accident accidents are preventing you from returning to work, save your current paycheck stubs. You may be able to request compensation for your lost wages.
Contact an Attorney
Even if it’s a workers’ compensation case, it’s still a good idea to contact an attorney. You always want someone fighting for your legal rights whenever the insurance company is involved.
The insurance company will offer you a settlement, but it’s rarely enough to cover all of your expenses. You have no reason to pay out of pocket for any expenses relating to your slip and fall accident.
There are other benefits to hiring a slip-and-fall attorney. Your attorney is familiar with Nevada case law, and it can be complicated, your attorney will also help you calculate your damages.
You may be entitled to non-economic damages, and calculating these costs is complex. From negotiating with the insurance company to filing your case in court, your slip and fall attorney will handle the details so you can concentrate on your recovery.
Working with a Slip-and-Fall Attorney Makes Sense
Hopefully, your slip and fall doesn’t result in injuries of any kind. However, if it does. you want an attorney working for you.
Even knowing who to report the accident to can be confusing, and you don’t want to waste time. Your medical bills and other expenses may be piling up and you can’t start the compensation process until you know who’s responsible.