Hospital emergency rooms see over a million people a year as a result of slip and fall accidents, although not all of them are potentially life threatening. A slip and fall accident can be caused by a wet floor, an uneven sidewalk, poor workplace lighting, obstructions on the floor or other carelessness.
You have the right to seek adequate and reasonable financial compensation if the accident was caused by someone else’s incompetence or negligence, or perhaps lack of training. Slip and fall accidents frequently result in such injuries as fractured bones, spinal cord injuries and concussion, and of course the long term impact can be devastating. It isn’t just the medical and emotional impact of a slip and fall accident too; many people find themselves out of work for weeks or months following a serious accident.
The first step following any medical treatment if you have had such an accident and you feel it wasn’t your fault, is to consult an experienced attorney. Always work with an attorney who specializes in seeking compensation for slip and fall accidents; asking friends, co-workers or family for a recommendation is often a good place to start. Most attorneys offer a free consultation or initial meeting, and that’s an ideal opportunity to discuss your case, ask any questions you have, and decide whether you feel comfortable working with that attorney. Your attorney will probably not expect payment from you unless they win your case, in which case they will take a previously agreed amount.
To increase the chances of winning your case, it’s essential to document everything you can about the incident as soon as possible after it occurred, and also report the accident to the owner, manager or supervisor of the facility where it happened. Take pictures of the accident scene, especially anything that can support your claim, such as lighting not working, an obvious obstruction, torn up flooring, or wet and slippery patches on the floor. If there are any witnesses to the accident, make sure you collect their contact information. Any hospital or doctor visits as a result of the accident should also be documented, including the diagnosis, any procedures and of course the costs incurred, as well as time off work or other financial consequences. In short, gather as much information as you possible can; you’ll probably be asked for all this at some point.
Once you have found an attorney, he or she will discuss your case with you and decide whether it’s worth their while taking it on. Keep in mind that the company you are suing will hire their own attorney, and it isn’t uncommon for a case to drag on for months. Most slip and fall accident cases are settled out of court; you may be offered an amount of compensation to settle the case, and it’s up to you whether to accept or not. If the case does end up going to court, you’ll want to have a competent attorney on your side, someone who has had experience winning similar cases.