Every single time you step outside your house, there’s a good chance you might get into some kind of an accident. This is not some ominous statement that’s meant to keep you locked inside! But it goes to show just how some people’s negligence can lead to the suffering of unsuspecting, innocent people like yourself. Picture this, you’re going for your daily morning walk, and as you’re crossing your neighbor’s driveway, you trip on the garden hose that you’ve always complained to them about it being a slipping hazard.
You’ll probably go back home and call an ambulance or ask someone to take you to the hospital and forget all about your rights as a victim. By law, you’re entitled to receive compensation for any physical damages you experience as well as any financial losses you incur as a result. Continue reading to learn the 6 critical steps you should take after you fall on someone’s property.
Do Not Move!
This is not the time to downplay your pain or try to get up in order to save face. The first thing you should do if you fall on someone’s property is to not try to move. Slip and fall injuries are usually more serious than they look. What you think is a light headache as a result of hitting your head upon your fall can actually be a concussion that needs immediate attention. Your health should always be your number one priority; anything and everything else comes after ensuring your wellbeing. After you fall, stay still, breathe, and ask anyone around to call an ambulance if you can’t manage to do it yourself.
Start Collecting Evidence
You might be feeling disoriented and out of balance right after your fall, but once you regain your composure, you should start taking mental notes and actual photos of the scene of the accident. Especially if you fall at a random spot away from home, collecting evidence will come in handy when you’re building your case. Take out your mobile phone and take some pictures of the loose tile you tripped on or any other signs of negligence from the property owner(s). This will significantly strengthen your case and increase your chances of getting the settlement that you deserve to make up for your suffering. Again, if your pain comes too severe, ask anyone around to help you out with the photos.
Contact Your Lawyer
You will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in front of the insurance companies as well as in court if your case ends up there. If you live in a big state like Florida, finding a good injury lawyer can be a daunting process due to the overwhelming number of options available. However, the Tampa Bay attorneys from Zervos Injury Law believe that it’s all a numbers game. Of course, you should find a lawyer that you feel comfortable with and can easily trust, but what’s even more important is their proven track record with similar cases. An experienced lawyer will know exactly what needs to be done when you call them from the accident scene asking for advice. So follow their instructions, and do as they ask.
File an Incident Report
This is how you make your case legitimate in the eyes of the law. Your lawyer will advise you to fill an incident report stating in detail how your accident transpired. Be as specific as possible, and try to recall the time and the exact location of your fall. Furthermore, you should also try to describe the eyewitnesses who were present at the incident scene. If possible, you should try to get their contact information before leaving the scene. It’s important to note that this step should be done as soon as possible after your fall to make sure the incident report is accurate enough.
Do Not Give Any Statements
Filing an incident report describing what happened is one thing, but giving statements condemning or relieving the property owner of all responsibility is something else. You should not give any statements about your incident unless advised by your personal injury lawyer. This applies to your social media accounts and any other media outlet where your statement can be twisted out of context, as you may end up losing your right to seek compensation.
Personal injury cases can sometimes drag out for a long time, so you have to be patient. Don’t force your lawyer into settling for the first offer just because you want to put the incident behind you and move on with your life. Patience is key here, and it’s the only way to get what you deserve. The physical injuries you suffer after falling on someone’s property are not the only ‘damage’ you should be compensated for. The property owner’s negligent behavior could cost you your job and potential future earnings if you end up with a permanent disability. In addition, the toll such incidents take on your mental and emotional health shouldn’t be overlooked. Keep the above steps in mind to protect yourself and your loved ones from the reckless and negligent actions of others.