Slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence and can happen to anyone, anywhere, yet they are especially common in the Northeast of the United States and particularly during the colder months.
Although they’re often disregarded in common culture, these types of accidents can result in serious injuries; broken bones, head injuries, and even spinal cord damage are common diagnoses following such incidents, especially when victims belong to an older demographic.
If you have suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. In this blog, we will discuss the steps to take if you become one of the thousands of people who will slip and fall on someone else’s property this year.
Things You Should Do After A Slip And Fall Accident
Let’s take a look at the steps that should be taken after a slip and fall accident:
Seek Medical Attention
It’s not uncommon for slip and fall accident victims to underestimate how badly they are injured. Many of the injuries that are sustained in this type of accident may not become apparent for hours, days, or even weeks after the accident.
A medical exam can identify these injuries faster, and treatment can prevent further damage. Seeking medical attention soon after the accident will also help to ensure that a record of your injury is properly documented, which may be helpful if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim in the future.
Credible evidence is paramount in any personal injury case. After seeking medical attention, the next step should be to gather evidence related to the accident. This could include pictures of the area and the hazard which caused the fall, pictures of any injuries that were sustained, the contact information for those who witnessed the accident, and a copy of medical records pertaining to the injuries caused by the fall.
Report The Accident
It is important to report the slip and fall accident to the owner or manager of the property on which it occurred. Take note of the date, time, and location of the accident, who witnessed it, and any details that could be relevant.
It is also important to let a property owner know that a slip and fall accident took place. When doing this, stay calm and describe the details. If the fall happened at a place of business, ask to file an incident report with the business manager. Lastly, be sure to ask for a copy of that report. This can be useful if the business tries to deny liability for the accident.
Whatever you do, don’t accept the blame for the accident. It’s best not to discuss blame at all.
Keep Clear Records
Inevitably, if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit for your slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania, it is important that you keep a detailed record of all expenses related to the accident. This could include medical bills, lost wages due to missed time at work, rehabilitation costs, etc.
In addition to medical records, keep records on anything that relates to the fall and subsequent injuries. This might include insurance paperwork or even a journal of daily thoughts and details, highlighting times and dates of phone calls or other interactions with property owners and insurance agents. Financial records are also important to keep track of.
Keeping clear records will ensure that you are able to get compensation for the full extent of damages caused by the incident.
Navigating the legal process following a slip and fall accident can be complex and frustrating. It’s best to contact an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the necessary steps and ensure that your rights as an injured party are protected.
Consult With An Attorney
Speaking with an attorney might seem like an extreme step to take. However, it’s best to consult with an attorney early on who can explain each legal option available in detail. Financial losses and physical pain can literally change how a slip and fall victim lives, impacting daily life forever. When this is the case, a civil lawsuit can be filed, giving the plaintiff the opportunity to fight for compensation.
Are Latent Injuries From Slip & Fall Accidents Real?
Slip and fall accidents can lead to latent injuries, which are those that take time to surface or aren’t obvious at the time of an accident. With slip and fall accidents, many latent injuries involve the spine and head. For example, if someone falls on ice and hits their head on concrete, a brain hemorrhage could occur. This intracranial bleeding isn’t visible from the outside and patients often don’t realize how serious the situation is.
If left untreated, a hemorrhage can cause brain damage or death. Therefore it’s important to seek medical attention immediately following an accident so that all related issues can be properly diagnosed. Indeed, such medical supervision can entail numerous visits to the doctor over the days & weeks following an injury. Even if you have insurance, your policy may not cover all the bills, and you may end up liable for any remaining balance.
If you have experienced a slip and fall on someone else’s property in Pennsylvania, taking the above steps is essential for protecting your rights should legal action eventually need to be taken.
At Schuster Law, we understand how frustrating it can be to have insurance companies and property owners challenge a medical diagnosis simply because the symptoms appeared later instead of immediately. We stand by our clients who have been diagnosed with a latent injury and consult regularly with medical experts who can speak about the medical facts regarding this type of injury at trial.
Hesitation Over Pursuing A Slip And Fall Lawsuit
Hesitation over pursuing a slip and fall lawsuit is understandable. The legal process can quickly become complicated, making it difficult for an individual to know what steps to take and how to navigate the system successfully without help from a professional.
This is where a personal injury lawyer comes in. A skilled lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options and guide you through the process of pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Should I File A Legal Claim After A Slip & Fall?
There is no simple answer to this question.
What our personal injury lawyers will tell you is that if you have sustained large financial losses because of a slip and fall, such as medical bills and lost wages, a civil lawsuit is likely the only way you will be able to recover full compensation.
In fact, a slip and fall lawsuit may provide full compensation for non-monetary losses as well, such as physical pain and emotional trauma. If you chose not to pursue a lawsuit but instead deal with insurance companies, you may not get what you deserve or truly require to be made whole.
If you have been seriously injured as the result of a slip and fall accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you on your legal rights and options.
The attorneys at Schuster Law provide free consultations to those who have been injured in slip and fall accidents. Ultimately, information and insight regarding your specific accident circumstances will help you make the best decision for yourself and your family. Call now to learn more.