You Slipped! Now What?
Suddenly and unexpectedly, you felt the odd sensation of your feet flying out from underneath you. You did not notice the wet spot on the floor or the can of food in the aisle. Next thing you know, you are on the ground surrounded by a gaggle of onlookers and a head and pelvis that both hurt badly. As the victim of a slip-and-fall injury accident, your next steps are critical. Even though you may not have had anything to do with the hazard on the floor that caused your slip and fall, your actions after such an incident can determine whether you or another person will bear the financial burden of your recovery.
Take Steps to Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights
After a slip and fall, your primary concern ought to be your health. Falls can result in painful and debilitating injuries, especially for those over the age of 65. In fact, according to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for about 5% of all work-related fatal injuries suffered by women and 11% of fatal injuries suffered by men. Depending on how you land after your slip and fall, you may suffer hip and leg injuries, broken bones, back and neck injuries, and/or traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are bleeding, have obviously broken a bone, or were rendered unconscious, you should obtain emergency medical care right away.
In addition to obtaining medical treatment, California slip and fall victims should also:
- Be wary about making a statement or signing a form offered by the owner or manager of the premises: Some unscrupulous property owners may use the confusion of a slip and fall accident to have the victim sign a liability waiver or other document limiting the premises owner’s responsibility for the slip and fall. Refuse to sign any such document without first reading it. If you are not sure what legal effect signing the document may have, speak with an attorney first.
- Write down your recollections as soon as possible: As soon as you are able to do so, write down in detail what you remember about the accident, including any statements the owner of the property or manager on duty may have said to you. It may be months or, in some cases, years before your slip and fall claim is resolved. It is easier to remember details like what the substance that caused you to slip looked like or whether any warning signs were present if you write them down in a secure location soon after the actual slip and fall incident.
- Investigate the cause of your fall: Find out what you slipped on. Take photos if possible. The cause of your fall is often the determining factor as to whether there is liability on the part of the landowner. The attorney needs to know what you fell on. Sometimes, the dangerous condition gets remedied shortly after a fall. Photos can preserve the possibly dangerous condition in the state it was on the date of your fall.
Speak with a Premises Liability Attorney Right Away
You should seek assistance from the Riverside premises liability law firm of Heiting & Irwin. Our firm has 40 years of experience helping injury victims recover compensation for their losses and injuries. Contact us following a slip and fall by calling (951) 682-6400 or by filling out our online contact form and allow us to assist you in obtaining the compensation you need.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/freakingnoob/