What Do You Do if You Fall on an Uneven Sidewalk?
Tripping and falling on an uneven sidewalk may not sound like a big deal, but it can cause very serious, or even deadly, injury.
If you were walking and you fell on a defective sidewalk, you may be able to pursue legal action and get compensation for your claim. Here’s what to do.
Get Medical Attention – If you fell and suffered serious injuries, then go to the hospital immediately. If you suffered minor injuries, you may be able to wait a few minutes while you collect evidence. When you’re at the hospital, make sure you get a full checkup and tell the doctor about any pain you’re experiencing, no matter how minor it may seem. Your doctors may want to get X-rays and an MRI just to make sure you’re OK. Once the doctor prescribes you medicine or a certain treatment, you should follow their orders so that you’re doing everything possible to heal. If you feel additional pain at any time, reach out to your doctor right away.
Take Photos – While still on the scene, if you are able, take photos of the area and the surroundings as well as your injuries, especially if they get worse. For instance, if you have bruising, it may not show up right away. If you had any personal items on you that got damaged when you fell, take photos of that damage as well. You may have fallen on your phone and cracked the screen or ripped your clothing, for instance, so you need to document it. Certainly, try to get photos of the condition(s) that caused the fall.
See if There’s Video Footage – Wherever you fell, there may have been cameras that caught the incident. Even if you’re outside of someone’s home, they might have security cameras that captured your fall. Businesses around where your incident occurred could have cameras, and if you were at a public place and fell, there could be cameras there as well. Look around! If there is any video footage, it could help in proving your case. Look for cameras at the scene and contact the possible owners to see if you can get a copy of that footage.
Get Witness Statements – If anybody saw you fall, then ask for a statement and write down their contact information in case you or your lawyer need to get in touch later on. They may be able to tell you what happened from their point of view.
Contact the Property Owner – At some point, contact will be made with the property owner of the site where you fell and a claim filed. For instance, if you fell on someone’s driveway, then you would need to contact the homeowner and ultimately their homeowner’s insurance provider. If you fell outside of a store, the store manager will know whom to contact. If you fell on a city sidewalk, you would contact the city. A lawyer can do all this for you.
Refuse a Low Settlement from the Insurance Company – If the property owner’s insurance company calls you right after the incident you should refer that person to your attorney (hopefully you have one by now). You shouldn’t provide any details about what happened or accept any settlement.
Reach Out to a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you figure out who the defendants should be for your case and what kind of claim you need to pursue. They will collect evidence and your medical records and bills (and evidence of other losses) for you so that you can spend your time getting better and recovering from your injuries instead.
Above all, a personal injury lawyer will work hard to prove negligence, which is what you need to do to win a case. It can be very difficult, but a lawyer, contacted immediately, will have the best chance at being able to prove it.
If you’re bringing a claim against a government entity for a defective sidewalk or piece of property, there are special procedures you need to follow, like filing your case within a certain time frame. In some places, time is very short to file your claim.
Along with filing the proper legal forms at the right time, a lawyer will also deal with the defendant’s insurance company, negotiating a settlement with them or taking the case further if necessary. Hopefully, you will not have to go to court.
If you win your case, you may receive compensation for your medical bills
(past and future), your damaged items, your loss of earnings and earning capacity, and your pain and suffering.
Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you contact a personal injury lawyer, they will do an initial consultation with you that will usually be free. You won’t have to pay anything until your lawyer reaches a settlement. Your personal injury lawyer will try to get you the highest settlement possible.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re ready to pursue your personal injury claim after falling on an uneven sidewalk, then call the personal injury attorneys at Heiting & Irwin at 951-682-6400, or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible. We can get you the compensation you deserve.