One of the keys to a successful slip and fall claim is to avoid the "he said/she said" scenario. This requires beginning a paper trail and collecting evidence as soon as possible after the accident occurs. The following tips can help you start the process on the right foot and increase your chances of success.
Tip #1: Report immediately
If you have an accident at a private business or on public property, it is vital that you report it immediately – even if you aren't sure if you are injured at the time. For slips on private property, report the accident to the owner or manager on duty. Most businesses have accident reports that they fill out – ask for a copy. If they refuse, at least get the name of the person that you spoke with. If the fall occurs on public property, report it to the municipality the same day and get a copy of your report.
Tip #2: Look for witnesses
The best time to find witnesses is right after the slip occurs. If there is anyone nearby, request their name and contact information. At the very least, get their name. Waiting until later can make finding a witness nearly impossible – you may need to hang fliers or take out ads to try and track down anyone that saw the slip and fall.
Tip #3: Take photos
One great thing about modern cell phones is that you always have a camera on hand. Take photographs of the scene of the accident – including the cause, from multiple angles. A property owner can quickly repair damage or clean up the scene otherwise, making it difficult to prove that there was any cause for you to slip and fall. If you are injured and can't take photos, ask a bystander to please take them for you. Otherwise, you will need to return to the scene as soon as possible and hope that the cause of the accident is still there.
Tip #4: Get treatment
Even if the injuries seem minor, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You can visit a walk-in urgent care or schedule an emergency appointment with your family doctor if you don't need emergency services. Having a written report from a medical professional is proof that your injuries were severe enough to warrant the lawsuit. Keep all medical paperwork for every visit, including those for any necessary therapy or medications.
For more information, contact Putnam Lieb or a similar firm.