Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries that can leave you out of work for weeks at a time or cause life-changing damages that force you to transform the way you live. Slip and fall accidents can leave you with a mountain of debt with costly medical bills or other losses.
If you’ve recently been in a slip and fall accident in Tampa, FL you will want to do everything you can to secure a settlement that gives you the financial compensation you need to receive proper treatment and medical care. The steps you take immediately following your slip and fall accident can be crucial for getting the evidence and support you need for your case.
Here are the most important steps you will need to take if you have a slip and fall accident:
The first steps you will want to take after a slip and fall accident will depend on the severity of your injuries. If your injuries are so severe that you must seek medical attention immediately, you will want to get to a hospital as soon as possible. In the event that serious damage has been done, your recovery and health are the most important.
If your injuries are not as severe and medical attention can be delayed, you will want to begin the process of collecting evidence by taking pictures of the area the accident occurred. The circumstances may change between the time of the accident and when you may return to the area, you should take as many pictures as possible immediately after your fall of the condition that caused you to fall.
You will want to collect the names and contact information of any potential witnesses in the area. Be sure to reach out to them before they leave the scene. For slip and fall accidents that occur on commercial property, talk to the most senior individual you can immediately following the accident. This may be the manager on staff or potentially the owner of the building. Request that a report to written up of the accident.
If you must leave the location before you can report the accident, you will want to reach out to the property owner as soon as possible. The longer you wait to alert the property owner of the accident, the harder your case may be to win.
Once you have gathered all your evidence and spoken with witnesses and property owners, you will want to go to the hospital. Seeking immediate medical care is important for proving that you were seriously injured and that medical attention was necessary. If you delay getting medical treatment, the defendant may argue you are faking your injuries because you did not seek immediate medical treatment.
When you arrive at the hospital, you will want to be sure to explain what happened and how you were injured. Your medical records will be brought up in negotiations so be sure and tell the doctor every body part that hurts you so it is documented. If there is an immediate complaint of a body part being hurt and later on there is a more serious injury that develops requiring surgery, the insurance company will have a hard time disputing that the fall caused the injury.
Tell your health care providers the true and full story so that it can be accurately recorded in your medical records.
Once you have received medical treatment, you will want to contact a slip and fall attorney as soon as you can. Talking with a attorney can help you determine if you have a legitimate slip and fall case and what additional evidence or paperwork you may need to support your case.
If you are asked by the owner of the property to fill out an accident report, it will help to document the case. Be sure to keep any receipt you have for a purchase made at the store. Keep the shoes you were wearing separately and do not use them until your case is over. If you don’t keep them the defense attorney may get the judge to tell the jury that you destroyed critical evidence. This is why it is so important to hire an attorney immediately after your accident to advise you on the many things that need to be done, or not done to protect your rights.
There is a strong chance that the responsible individual’s insurance provider will attempt to contact you after the injury. While you may believe that they have your best interests in mind, it is important to remember that insurance companies are still businesses and they want to minimize the amount of money they pay. This means they may attempt to trip you up, admit fault, or agree to a smaller settlement than you deserve.
If the other insurance company attempts to contact you, avoid giving them an interview or a recorded statement. If you would like to talk to the insurance company, do so with your personal injury attorney present and monitoring what is being said. It is best to tell the insurance representative that you have an attorney. They are then not allowed to discuss your case with you.
Their job is to pay you as little as possible and to gather evidence to help the business or insurance company and NOT to help you even though they may seem nice.
If you and your personal injury attorney believe that you have a strong slip and fall accident claim, you will want to prepare for trial or for a settlement to be developed. In order to get an understanding of how much compensation you should receive, you will want to keep track of all expenses and lost wages that you have during recovery.
During the time between your accident and the beginning of trial, you should make sure you do not to miss any medical treatments. If you give any indication that you are not as injured as you claim to be, it may be more difficult for you and your lawyer to get full compensation in your settlement. Make sure you take continuing photos of any injuries that you observe including after surgery and any scars you might have.
If you’ve recently been injured in a slip and fall accident in Tampa, FL, contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys to see how we can help. As a Tampa slip and fall attorney with over 31 years of experience, Jack Bernstein will fight to get the maximum compensation for your injuries.