Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys lend advice on what to do after a slip and fall accident
When you slip and fall there’s more involved than picking yourself up off the floor. In the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall accident in Ft. Lauderdale, you are dazed, you are probably unaware, for a few seconds at least, of what caused the accident. You may be bleeding, you may have been injured, or even broken an arm or leg. Or perhaps you’re suffering a concussion, which you may not be aware of at the outset.
You’re experiencing all this as people swirl around you to see if you’re all right – the store or property manager discusses the incident with you and your family and friends pull you in different directions on how to handle the aftermath. Do you sue? Do you try to get additional information from the manager before making a decision?
Chances are, if you’ve waited hours – or days – after your slip and fall to seek out information, you’ve waited too long.
Following the below steps immediately after a slip and fall accident in Ft. Lauderdale will help to give you better peace of mind as you heal afterward. Knowing that you have alleviated any questions at the scene of the accident will go a long way later on when discussing your case with a personal injury litigation attorney in deciding whether you are entitled to recover medical expenses.
Remember these tips:
Always seek medical help: Generally, slip and fall accidents don’t cause major injury, but if your health is compromised to begin with, or if you are an elderly person with brittle bones, such an accident could cause major problems immediately following the accident and for weeks and months to come. That is why it is always crucial to receive the advice and diagnosis of a medical professional directly after the fall, to make sure there are no head injuries, broken bones or internal injuries. Next, you need to receive, in writing from your doctor, a diagnosis of your condition, detailing any injuries you may have sustained.
Check out the area: In addition to retaining a mental picture of the accident scene for future reference, write down anything that was out of place or in the way that could have caused your fall. What did you trip on? Was a piece of debris left in a store aisle? Was a bucket left in a place that caused you to trip over it? Was the floor wet without appropriate signage? Write down your version of what occurred and put your cell phone to use: Take pictures of the entire scene. Admittedly, it may be difficult to do this immediately after an accident, but forcing yourself to be aware of your surroundings, and taking even a few photos of the area and of what caused you to fall, will help your case. It will help an attorney to further evaluate the circumstances surrounding your accident.
Get ahold of witnesses: Just as you would do at the scene of a car accident, at the scene of a slip and fall accident you should also get the names of any witnesses, including people who saw you fall and people who may be able to verify in your behalf what exactly caused the accident. You will need these witnesses and their testimony should the property owner dispute your claim.
Follow the store’s procedure for such accidents: Stores, restaurants, and various places of business always have procedures in place to follow after an incident has occurred, so make sure to report the accident to the store manager or owner/operator if they have not already heard about your mishap. Never attempt to resolve the issue at the scene and always listen to the conversations of those around you, particularly store employees who may say that such an incident had occurred previously in the same area, or that the owner/operator was aware of the condition, but took no steps to rectify it. Try to get names of employees who will testify in your behalf that the condition had been in place and/or similar accidents had occurred in the past. Make a mental note of what these employees said to you and write these comments down as soon as you leave the store.
You may find yourself waiting around at the scene of your slip and fall accident for a long period of time, for help and/or waiting to fill out an incident report. While you still may be dazed from the accident, try to remain conscious of what is being said and done around you. Keeping your focus will help you in court. Don’t talk to anyone – or say as few words as possible – so you don’t incriminate yourself. Don’t pass blame or say anything that could act to hold you liable for the incident.
Your best recourse in the event of a slip and fall accident is to locate the best slip and fall injury litigation attorney in Ft. Lauderdale. Seek counsel from attorneys who have won cases against restaurants and Big Box stores before talking to anyone else. Don’t trust a well-meaning friend or acquaintance – don’t seek advice from a co-worker. They may know someone who knows someone but in the end, you could wind up not getting the best assurance that your injuries will get you the medical compensation you deserve. Lawyers who handle personal injury cases know all the pitfalls of the system – and are ready to get you back on your feet.