Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere: retail stores, professional offices, apartment complexes, construction sites, restaurants, parking lots, sidewalks, and many other places. When these incidents occur because the owner or possessor of the property has failed to properly maintain the premises, you may have grounds for a liability claim. The actions you take immediately following the incident, however, are critical; without proper documentation, it can be difficult to prove that the owner or possessor of the property was responsible for the accident or to verify the extent of your injuries.
As with any accident, the first priority is to seek medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained. Emergency services should be contacted, or anyone injured should be taken to the nearest medical center, such as Jackson Memorial or Miami University Hospital, depending on your location. Quick treatment also helps to verify that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Nonmedical premises liability steps to take before you leave the scene of your injury
Some common steps to take after a fall, assuming you are conscious and physically able to do so, include:
- Report the accident. The accident should be reported to a facility manager, the owner, a supervisor, or someone in charge. Often the manager or other authorized personnel will take a written statement from you, the victim. You should get a copy of the statement and the name and contact information of the supervisor and the person who took the statement. This statement places the property owners and authorized staff on notice of the accident.
- Document the accident. If you can, take photographs of the accident site. Be careful to take pictures of any abnormalities, such as torn carpets, improperly placed equipment, spilled liquids, ice patches, the absence of signs warning of dangers or hazards, or any condition that may have caused or contributed to the fall. Be sure to note exactly where you fell, as well as the date and time of the fall. When you get home, preserve the clothing and shoes you were wearing, as they may be relevant.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses. This includes phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
- Don’t give any unnecessary statements. While you should notify the manger or supervisor of the property, the statement you give should not go into details about how the accident happened. The important thing is to demonstrate that you notified the property owner. You should not, however, discuss how you think the accident happened with the owners, any of the witnesses, or with the company’s insurance adjuster.
- Speak with an experienced Miami premises liability attorney. Slip, trip, and fall cases can be hard to prove; simply suffering and injury on someone else’s property alone may not be enough to prove they were responsible for your injury. It is often important to show why you were in the property and to prove that your injury was a result of the property owner or possessor’s failure to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition or failure to warn of a dangerous condition on the property. A skilled attorney can guide you through all phases of the claims process and to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable.
If in doubt about any of these steps, please call our law firm immediately. Time is of the essence and valuable evidence like video footage may be lost without immediate action to preserve that evidence. The Miami premises liability attorneys at Yeboah Law Group, P.A. understand this complex area of the law. We are aggressive fighters who understand how to investigate premises liability cases. For help now, please call us at (800) TELL-SAM for a free consultation or complete our contact form for an appointment.