Slip and Fall Injury? Take These Steps to Protect Your Rights
Slip and fall cases are among the most common injuries our personal injury clients sustain. Slip and fall injuries can actually be pretty life-altering – from head injuries to long-term physical pain often requiring physical therapy or even long-term prescription drug treatment, but most of us don’t often think about the lingering impact of a fall until we witness its impact on a loved one or experience it for ourselves.
A fall can be the result of a short-term or a prolonged hazard. A hazard that has been present for weeks or months may present a better chance of a successful personal injury claim. In the event of an injury, there are certain steps you must take before you even consider filing a personal injury claim for a slip and fall case.
Report it to the property owner. Whether the premises on which you experience your injury is a grocery store, an apartment complex, a hospital or a variety of other publicly accessible places, businesses generally have a responsibility to their patrons to maintain a safe environment. If you experience a fall and a hazardous condition may have caused that fall, and the incident should be reported to the property owner. Depending on the severity of your injury, the property manager may be required to fill out an incident report (and may be hesitant to do so). Insist that this is done and obtain a copy of the report. You may do nothing with it. Your injuries may resolve without any long-term consequences or lasting impact. However, you may not know that in the moments immediately following an injury occurring. It’s best to be cautious.
Seek appropriate treatment for your injuries. We hope it goes without saying that you should seek medical attention and treatment for any serious injuries. If you fall and hit your head, you should seek immediate medical care. While a minor concussion will likely heal on its own, a concussion IS an injury to the brain. The more serious the injury, the more likely you are to suffer long-term consequences. Even if you perceive your injuries to be minor, any injury to your head should be examined by a doctor. Thinks like cuts and abrasions can appear minor but cause infections. Broken bones are impossible to diagnose without an x-ray. Simply put, the most cautious step you can take after an injury is to seek medical care to ensure your own health and healing. Seeking medical care also increases your likelihood of success in the event you do consider a personal injury claim because a visit to a physician will produce documentation that can be presented through your case.
Document evidence about the fall, your injuries and the conditions that led to the accident. A fall at a grocery store within 10 minutes of a spill occurring is very different than an ongoing hazardous situation with flooring in bad repair for months on end. Such a situation is likely to cause an injury (yours may not be the first) whereas a store manager has not been neglectful if someone is on their way with a mop and pail when you slip and fall and hit your head on the way down. We highly recommend taking photos or video of the location and retaining those images should you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. The more information you can gather, the better.
Contact a qualified Dallas personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury because of the negligence of an apartment complex, restaurant, retailer or other business, you need professional representation. Any larger business is likely to have a fairly sophisticated legal team who will work to pay out a minimal settlement, if anything. Don’t try to handle a personal injury claim on your own. At Chad West, PLLC, we can help you identify medical providers, organize documentation and keep your case running smoothly until its resolution so you can focus on healing. If you suspect your injuries to be at all severe and caused by someone else’s negligence, at the very least, call us for a case evaluation. Premises liability cases have statutes of limitations, and the sooner you talk to your personal injury legal team, the better your chances of success should you decide to pursue a claim.