Slip and fall injuries are the leading cause of accidental injuries in the United States. These cases are called premises liability cases and occur when a property owner is negligent in keeping the property safe with proper maintenance, repair and upkeep. Property owners are responsible for keeping their property clear of ice, snow and any other hazards that may cause a slip and fall injury. Aisles, passageways, floors, sidewalks and parking lots should be free of hazardous conditions.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, head trauma and neck and back problems. Severe injuries may require long term rehabilitation costs in addition to medical expenses, and even an injury that may seem minor at first can end up causing long-term physical problems. Injured individuals may find themselves overwhelmed with medical expenses, loss of income and pain and suffering. Individuals injured in a slip and fall accident should take several steps to protect their rights.
Get Medical Attention
The first order of business after this type of accident is to seek medical attention. Aside from the obvious need to assess and treat any injuries, prompt documentation of where, how and when the accident happened and injuries incurred is vital if you plan to seek damages through the property owner’s insurance company. A thorough assessment at an emergency room can often determine the actual extent of an injury, as the severity of some injuries may not be apparent to the victim for days or weeks.
In order to file a slip and fall lawsuit, there must be a concrete cause of the fall, whether ice, snow, liquid spill, broken steps or any other hazardous condition. If possible, take photographs to preserve evidence. Use your cell phone or the phone of a friend or witness to the accident. Save footwear or clothing worn during the accident.
Report the Accident
If you are injured in a commercial property such as mall, supermarket, gym or associated parking lot or sidewalk, report the fall immediately to management. The report should state the date and time of the incident as well as names of witnesses and perceived injury, serving as physical proof that the accident actually happened so that the owner cannot later deny it.
Contact an Attorney
Contact an attorney who is experience in slip and fall accidents as soon as possible. Filing deadlines may be as short as six months, so time is of the essence in making seeking legal assistance. A Huntington Park slip and fall accident lawyer can help preserve your rights in several ways, ensuring a prompt investigation, preservation of evidence, identity of witnesses and assistance in getting any necessary immediate or long-term medical care.