Slip and Falls: What Do I Do Next?

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important that you understand your rights and the steps that you can take to ensure that you receive fair compensation for the injuries that you have suffered. A slip and fall case typically happens inside of a business or someone else’s property, which means it falls under the umbrella of what is called premises liability. Premises liability means that a property owner may be held responsible for any accidents that occur on their property due to any unsafe conditions. It is crucial to understand your next steps after a slip and fall, in this article we aim to give a detailed guide to help you successfully navigate the aftermath of a slip and fall.

What is a Slip and Fall Case?

A slip and fall case is pretty self explanatory, it involves someone slipping, tripping, or falling due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. These cases fall under the category of premises liability in the claims stage, which holds a property owner legally responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on their property. The most common causes of slip and falls include wet floors, uneven surfaces, poorly lit areas, or obstacles that may not be immediately obvious to you as the visitor.

Establishing Liability in Your Case

In a slip and fall case proving liability is detrimental to the outcome of your case. If you can not prove that the storefront or property owner was negligent in maintaining their property then your case might not have a positive outcome. To prove liability you will need to establish the following:

  • Duty of Care: Duty of care is a legal term that requires a business or property owner to follow a reasonable standard of care that would prevent any acts that could foreseeably harm others. To prove fault in a slip and fall case you would need to establish that a duty of care was not met, for example a wet floor that did not have proper signage warning about a wet floor.
  • Causation: You would need to prove that what you slipped on directly caused your accident. For example if the floor was uneven you may need to prove that it is unsafe by measuring it to show how large the gap in the flooring is.
  • Damages: This refers to you suffering actual damages as a result of your slip and fall. Proving this would be supplying medical bills and records, as well as reports on any loss wages that you may have acrued. An accident injury lawyer can work with you to collect these documents and supply them to the at fault party.

The process for establishing liability may depend on the laws in your state, particularly if your state determines fault by comparative negligence or contributory negligence. Here in Utah we operate as a comparative negligence state which means that a court or insurance company can assign you a portion of the fault, and your compensation can be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example if you were assigned 20% of the fault, then you would only receive 80% of the total settlement.

Immediate Actions to Take Post Accident

Taking the right steps immediately after your accident can significantly improve your chances of a successful claim:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health should be the first priority after a slip and fall. If you are feeling any sort of pain go and seek a medical evaluation by a professional. A medical professional will be able to assess all of the injuries you have and create an official medical record and treatment plan for your recovery.
  • Report the Accident:  After your slip and fall always be sure that you notify the proper person about the incident, this could be the property owner or manager of the store about the accident as soon as possible. Reporting this incident is crucial to your case as it typically creates an official record of the accident.
  • Document the Scene: Make sure that you take as many photographs of where the accident occurred as possible. Photos and videos can provide physical proof of the circumstances that caused the fall and can be critical in your case.
  • Avoid Discussing Fault: Try to proceed with caution with your choice in words post-accident. A property owner or insurer may try to use your words against you and claim you have fault in the accident even when you are not at fault. If a manager or property owner tries to come to you and discuss details of the accident and fault with you try to say as little as possible without an accident injury lawyer present.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Navigating a slip and fall claim on your own can be incredibly difficult. Property owners and insurers will try their hardest to give you the run around, waste your time, and use complex legal jargon to try and scare you into settling for an offer that is not good enough. The personal injury lawyers at LifeLaw will:

  • Provide you with detailed legal advice tailored to the specifics of your case.
  • Help gather and preserve all evidence that is important to your case, and create the most compelling case on your behalf.
  • Fight for your best settlement outcome with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve.
  • Represent your case in court, if necessary.

A slip and fall is a situation that no one wants to be a part of, but if you are injured it is important to know what your next steps to take are. While the aftermath of your injury can be overwhelming, taking these informed actions can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of someone else, be sure to contact the personal injury lawyers at LifeLaw Personal Injury. Our team will provide you with expert guidance and the best client communication in our field, making sure that you feel heard every step of the process. Contact us today for a free consultation, and to discuss your options.