When you slip or trip and fall on someone’s property, it is up to you to prove that it was the property owner’s fault that you injured yourself. Thus, documenting the accident is imperative to your case, whether you want to attempt a settlement or take your case to court. A personal injury slip and fall lawyer who knows how you prove liability in your case. However, if you can provide evidence of that liability in can be very helpful to your case.
Reasons for Documenting Your Accident
If your injuries allow you to, you need to document your accident. If not, have someone who is with you document the accident for you. Include all of the evidence you can gather, photos and an accident report are two of the most important pieces.
Photos show the cause of your fall. Whether it’s a piece of uneven concrete on a sidewalk, ice not cleared from walkways, or a puddle of liquid on the floor, it is, in most cases, the responsibility of the property owner to remove those dangers.
An accident report verifies your photographic evidence. If the property owner repairs the cause of your fall, it ends up being your word against his or hers. Some insurance adjusters could even go so far as to say the incident did not happen or that it happened elsewhere.
The next piece of evidence that is also very important is your medical records. Not only do they prove your immediate injuries, but should those injuries cause long-term or permanent disabilities, you’ll have the medical proof to help you recover a fair and reasonable amount of damages.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Immediately after a slip and fall, take photos of the accident scene. After you take photos, report the accident to a manager or property owner. If the manager or property owner asks you to complete an accident report, make sure you get a copy of it for your records. Additionally:
- Make sure you know what caused you to fall, whether it was something left in an aisle, ice, an oil slick, water, uneven sidewalk or pavement, a cracked walking surface, or even a hump in the floor or carpet.
- Document the incident with photos. You should also make a recording or write down what you were doing and what caused you to fall.
- If anyone saw you fall, get witnesses’ contact information and ask them to make a statement.
- Get medical attention immediately and always follow your doctor’s recommendations, including for follow-up treatment and/or checkups.
- Keep notes about how your injuries affect your daily life, especially how they affect your ability to do your job.
What to Put in an Accident Report
The more comprehensive an accident report is, the easier it is to prove to the insurance company that the property owner is responsible for your injuries. When you complete an accident report, make sure you include:
- The date and time of the fall
- The location of the fall, including the address and the location on the property
- Your name and a good phone number and email to contact you
- A description of the area, including what made you fall
- The name and contact information for any witnesses to the accident
- The name and contact information for the property owner, manager or employees who helped you after the accident.
After a slip and fall injury, contact a personal injury attorney to help you with settling or litigating your case.