Slip and fall accidents affect thousands of people each year and can happen anywhere -- at a shopping mall, grocery store, a private home, a restaurant or outdoors. Injuries can range from a mild scratch to broken bones to a serious head injury. It’s important if you slip and fall to take proper action to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. Here are five essential steps to take:
- Get medical care. Many times slip and fall injuries can take several days or even weeks to first manifest. That is why even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it is important to consult with a doctor and at least get checked out. Make sure to get complete records and receipts for any medcial treatment you receive.
- Document the incident. If you suffer your slip and fall injury in any commercial establishment, such as a mall, supermarket or restaurant, report the incident immediately to the manager. This is an important way to document theat the incident took place. Many places will have you fill out an incident report, which provides a record of the time and place of the accident, witnesses, and circumstances. Make sure to ask for a copy of this report.
- Take pictures. A photo of where the fall took place will help document the incident and may also provide information to show who was at fault. Make sure to get pictures of any hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the fall, such as a loose floor tile, a broken step or cracked sidewalk. A quick picture at the scene with a cell phone will protect you from critical evidence that is destroyed, cleaned up, or temporary in nature. Also make sure to take pictures of any injuries, especially bruising, swelling and wounds.
- Collect contact information from any witnesses. They can corroborate your story and provide a non-biased account of what actually happened.
- Contact a reputable New York slip, trip and fall lawyer. A good lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and provide a team of investigators to collect evidence to help prove your case. In addition, they will work on your side, ensuring you obtain and document any necessary medical care, preserve evidence, contact witnesses, and work to protect your rights and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Compensation can include current and future medical costs, lost wages as well as pain and suffering.