Slip and fall accidents happen on a daily basis and anybody could be a victim. It can occur at any time, in any location, at any season and it happens to young and old people. Sometimes they can be a result of not paying attention, doing sports activities, being at work, or entering a place where the floor is wet.
This can also happen to people who live alone which is even worse, as there’s nobody who can take care of them when it comes to incidents like this. In most cases consequences can be very serious, such as breaking a bone, staying in a wheelchair for the rest of your life, or even death.
Because of that, it’s of great importance to know what are the first steps that you should make in case you want to help yourself in situations like this, and try and reduce the risk of potentially serious injuries.
1. A medical check-up is a must
If you experience an accident, first of all, you have to make sure that you are not injured. Take a few moments to inspect yourself and try to get up from the floor. If you can stand up without anyone’s help, the best thing to do is to go to the nearest medical institution and have a doctor check you for injuries.
If so, it’s absolutely not advisable to drive alone, you should call the taxi, some friend or family member to take you to the hospital. The injuries are sometimes internal and not visible, but quite serious, like internal hemorrhage and others.
In case you don’t feel good enough to stand up, it’s not recommendable to move at all. There’s always a possibility that the fall caused serious problems and that something may have been broken, so moving can make it worse. This kind of accident usually happens in public places, and if that’s the case there’ll always be an employee or a passenger who’ll be able to call medical help for you.
This step is very significant, and not only for your health: if there’s a culprit for the accident, your medical records will be valid evidence in court.
2. Incident report
Once you have made sure that everything’s in order with your health, that would be the right moment to report the accident.
People often skip this but it’s rather an important part of the situation. Depending on where this unfortunate situation happened, you should immediately tell the owner, director, manager, or any other person in charge of the place about what happened. Describing the situation to them will provide them with the necessary facts and explanations.
Even if you’re the one who’s responsible for this, these facts can help resolve your current problem and may even prevent someone else from sharing the same fate as you. Owners of the place aren’t directly guilty for your fall, but it’s their obligation to make the written report and to give you a copy before you leave the place. Make sure you can get their contact details too, for any questions you may have in the future.
The report you get from the owner could also be helpful in the eyes of the law, especially if you want insurance coverage. Of course, in order to get compensation, it’s necessary to do a few more things – which brings us to the next step.
3. Acquiring evidence and finding witnesses
Another priority things that should be done is to gather evidence and find eyewitnesses that could confirm what happened. At the moment you fall or get hurt, the priority should be taking care of your health and not thinking about evidence right away. However, in case you’re feeling good enough to take a few pictures of the potential injury right after the incident, it would be very useful.
If you aren’t able to do it, there are other ways to get the proof – for example, video footage from CCTV. There’s a big chance that many stores and other public places will have security cameras inside and outside of the building. You can ask the manager or the boss to show you the videotape and include it in the report afterward. Sometimes the owner may offer you money in exchange for silence, as it’s probably not the nicest thing for them to get involved into such things. You should avoid that and try to solve the problem in a regular way.
It’s often the case that the customer or clients are alerted by the staff about a wet floor or other potential cause of the accident but they decide to ignore the problem and lie about that later. So, it’s very important to talk to the eyewitnesses as soon as possible and get the above-mentioned video proof. Also, take the names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or home addresses of every witness you talked to – simply document everything you can.
4. Getting yourself a good lawyer
After doing everything that was up to you, it may be needed to get a good legal representative who could prove that some other person is responsible for your fall. The fall often causes wounds, bruises, or other types of injuries that usually require hospitalization and a large number of financial expenses. So, in order to cope with this easier, you should use some help from a good lawyer.
Find out about some law firms that offer quality services, like Cordisco & Saile who can give you a good attorney with experience and help you solve the issue in the best possible way. You can find all the information you need about law firms on the websites, but some good recommendations that come from friends and family are always welcome. We all know how difficult it is to handle cases like this alone, so the best thing you can do is seek professional help.
At the moments of inattention sometimes it just happens – we become victims of unforeseen situations. Some people just move the dirt from the clothes and go on with their day, but some people aren’t that lucky, and therefore suffer quite painful and bad consequences. If you were a victim of serious slip and fall accident there must be lots of different thoughts going through your head, from your first concern of getting better to how to pay your medical bills. You need someone who’ll stand up for your rights. The main thing is to follow the mentioned steps and try to do the best for yourself – this way you’ll stay focused in such moments and help the situation resolve as soon as possible.