The primary priorities to making any personal injury claim is to seek medical attention, gather and protect your evidence, hire an experienced personal injury attorney, and take the correct legal actions, all from the moments your accident occurs. When it comes to slip, trip, and fall claims, these priorities are no different.
Continue reading to learn how you should manage and navigate a slip and fall injury and accident claim in Indiana.
Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents
The first few actions (or non-actions) made by a slip and fall victim can mean all the difference in terms of establishing fault and liability. It is important to take the right legal actions from the very moments a slip and fall accident takes place in order to protect your claim and ultimately win your settlement for compensation. Below, you will find some information and advice regarding what a slip and fall victim (or claimant representing a victim) should do to move forward with a personal injury claim.
► Immediately Report the Incident
The first step after slipping and falling on public or private property is to notify the owners or persons in charge. For commercial properties, such as retail stores or restaurants, ask for the highest ranking person on duty and report the accident. Just be brief by simply stating where you fell, which obstruction caused the fall (torn carpet, uneven floorboard, wire or cord, puddle, ice, poor lighting, etc.), and where you are hurting. For public grounds, like parks and city streets, notify the town or city the same day, both by phone call and written notification. If the injury is too severe, notify the city or town as soon as your health permits. This is especially important for accidents that take place without any witnesses.
IMPORTANT: If your slip and fall injuries are severe and require emergency medical attention, make this step the first priority. Once stable, you can move forward with the remainder of the accident claim process. You can also appoint a spouse, relative, or friend to help you report the incident and gather evidence.
► Ask for Witness Information
The next step in moving forward with a personal injury claim, which may need to be carried out by a trusted friend or family member depending on the severity of your injury, is to get all the contact information from anyone that may have witnessed the accident. Be sure to record their full names, phone numbers, and email addresses. If they are willing to give additional contact information, take that as well. Keep in mind that witness testimony plays a major role in winning a personal injury settlement.
► Gather Evidence
Your next step is to take and gather photos and video recordings. Again, this might have to be done by a friend or family member depending on the severity of your injuries. Photos and video (if possible) should be taken as soon as possible after the accident. All footage should be taken at multiple angles, and should capture the hazardous environment or obstruction, the condition of the victim, the victim’s injury and the condition of the injury in the days following the accident.
All these photos and videos must be done BEFORE any changes to the environment occur or any evidence is lost (i.e. melting snow or ice, missing lightbulb, puddle, spilled food, etc.). The more evidence you have, the stronger your chances are for obtaining a full and fair settlement to cover your damages. Ask whoever is in charge to retain any video surveillance of the fall and if you can do the request in writing, do so. Normally, you should request the person to retain any video surveillance for the entire day of your fall.
► Seek Medical Care
A person should seek medical treatment the same day, or as soon as they are experiencing pain or complications from the accident. Sometimes injuries are not present right away, and tend to show up days or weeks following the accident. This is common for neck and back injuries. Insurance companies will argue that a person wasn’t seriously injured enough to receive compensation if they didn’t require immediate professional medical care. Medical treatment is evidence that a slip and fall victim is injured and the doctor’s diagnosis and victim’s medical records are evidence for a case.
► Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer
Before talking to any insurance companies or adjusters, it is vital to hire a personal injury lawyer first. It is crucial to have an experienced slip and fall lawyer on your side during the entire personal injury claims process.
Indiana Slip and Fall Lawyers You Can Trust
Get started on your slip and fall claim by calling the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although based out of Indy, our law firm represents victims throughout the state, as well as, out-of-state victims who are injured in Indiana. We offer free initial consultations to discuss your claim, and never require any upfront lawyer fees. Call 317-881-2700 to schedule your consultation, today.