Legally, what should you know about slip/trip and fall injuries
Slip/trip and fall injuries are the most common type of injuries. Icy pavement, uneven sidewalk, wet and/or oily surfaces, deteriorating concrete, poor lighting, are all contributors to slip and fall incidents. In order for an injured person to make a claim for general damages (pain and suffering) caused by another party (person, company and/or business), the victim must have suffered a compensable injury. This means that there must be “damage” suffered by the victim as a result of the negligence of another party.
If you or a loved one suffered a slip/trip and fall injury, this is what you need to know.
Photos, Photos, Photos!
- Take photographs of the fall site, using a ruler to mark the height and depth of the discrepancy;
- Get someone you know to take photos for you if you can’t;
- Indicate the direction from where the photos were taken;
- Take photos of the surrounding area (if at night or dusk and lighting is an issue, take photos);
- Take photos of injuries/bruising/scarring (take some regularly until bruising is no longer visible);
- Take photos of the shoes (sides and soles);
- All photos need to be identified (who took them, date and time);
- If there is oil, water or any other substance you slipped on, get photos as it won’t be there later and you need proof.
It is important to take down the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to your incident. If you can, look around and assign someone to take the information from anyone who saw what happened.
Here’s what you should do
- If you fell on a business property, make sure the person responsible for the business takes an incident report. If an incident report is available, request a copy of it.
- As soon as you can, write down your version of the incident and the events leading to it. Be accurate when you recount the events and do not change your story. Once you have given that initial description, you’re stuck with it. Ask the nurse or doctor to read back your description to make sure they have recorded it correctly.
Immediately seek medical attention or as soon as possible. If an ambulance is called, it is suggested you use it.
- Keep a journal/timeline of the events from the day of your incident forward: injuries, treatments, pain level, appointments, testing, things you could do and could no longer, time missed from work (income loss), etc.
- Keep track of all your receipts for prescription, parking, travel expenses, etc.
In every slip or trip and fall incident, it’s very important to establish a strong case on liability. Liability refers to how the accident happened and establishing who may be responsible. Establishing liability in slip and fall cases can be done through collecting evidence such as photos of where the accident happened, winter maintenance records, witness statements, engineering reports, repair log notes and any other information or documentation which will assist in determining liability for your slip/trip and fall case. Our personal injury practice at Lancaster Brooks & Welch has all the necessary tools to gather this data and establish liability so that you can achieve an optimal result. That is what we’re here for.
Slip and/or trip and fall injuries may result in serious damages such as traumatic brain injury, concussions, fractures (ankles, wrists, shoulders, pelvis), bulging discs or other soft tissue injuries. Seek immediate medical attention after a serious injury resulting from a slip/trip and fall accident.
Notice letters often have to be done within 10 days of the incident. It is important to do a notice letter right at the start of your matter, as you can lose your right to sue if you wait and have no reasonable explanation for not doing one.
You should be aware that the Limitation Period for your fall is two (2) years from the date of your incident, which means that you have to formally start legal proceedings with the court against the at-fault party (the party who is responsible for your injuries) before the two-years limitation expires.
Personal Injury representation is Sheila’s forte. When you need someone in your corner who has a track record of success in representing clients throughout the region. She is very skilled at matters concerning motor vehicle accidents actions; catastrophic injuries and fatalities; slip and falls; no fault/accident benefits; dog bites/attacks
If you or someone you know has been involved in a slip/trip and fall accident, do not hesitate to contact Sheila at Lancaster Brooks & Welch LLP today for your free consultation.