You tripped, you slipped and you fell. And not just a sort of, kind of, simple stumble. You have injuries. How did your accident happen? Was it an uneven sidewalk, an icy parking lot, a wet walkway or some other issue that had nothing to do with your grace or balance? If you believe that you're not at fault and this case of slip and fall is something that requires an attorney's attention, treat this incident in a different (and possibly more careful) manner than you would if you had simply tripped over your own feet. What do you need to do? Take a look at the steps you need to take after you slip and fall.
Above all, get help for your injury. Yes, there are steps you'll need to take to document everything about the accident. But, the most important thing right now is your health and safety. If you're by yourself, yell out for help. If no one is nearby (or no one helps), use your phone to call 911 if you're seriously injured. Never move or get up if you think you have a head, neck or back injury.
After getting the initial help that you need, get immediate medical treatment. See your doctor, go to the ER or visit a walk-in clinic. Keep in mind, some injuries may make it dangerous to drive. If you don't have use of both hands and legs, your vision is obscured or you feel dizzy, do not drive yourself.
Report the Fall
Tell the property owner, store manager or an employee about the fall. If your injuries prevent you from doing this, ask someone nearby to do so. Get the owner, manager or employee's name and any other details that are important to who they are and how they handled the incident.
Avoid Verbal Statements
Yes, you should report the incident and ask for the property owner's or employee's information, but that's where the discussion should end. There's no need to add in, "Oh, these kinds of things always happen to me. I'm such a klutz. I fall all the time at home" when you report the accident. You may not be the most coordinated person in the world. But, that doesn't mean the soaking wet, soapy floor (that wasn't marked as so) didn't cause you to slip.
Along with not talking to the person who owns the property, a manager or anyone else associated with the place of your fall, avoid giving extra, unnecessary details to witnesses around you. If you tell a witness that you fall everywhere all the time, that witness may have to testify to your statement later on. The same goes for sharing on social media. It's tempting to post a picture of yourself with your brand-new leg cast, adding the comment, "I'm such a klutz!" But, that gives the impression of admitting fault – in a very public way.
Ask for Witness Information
Were there other people around when you fell? Ask non-employees if they're willing to provide reports of what happened. Also, ask for their names and contact information. Later on, the attorney can go back and get more information from these people. Of course, the sooner the better when it comes to getting first-hand accounts of what happened. Witnesses may forget or get fuzzy when they're trying to remember what happened several days, weeks or months ago. It's easy to forget those little details that are important to your case.
Document the Incident
If you're able to write down the details of the accident, do so. If not, ask for a friend/family member to or record them verbally into your phone. Take pictures (or have someone else) of the area, including any hazards that may have caused the fall. Use your cell phone's camera so that the photos all have time and date stamps on them.
After getting medical help and doing some of your own documentation, call an attorney. Contact Carlson, Blau and Clemens Injury Attorneys at 414-342-1000 for the legal help you need.