During the winter months, instances of slip-and-falls increase drastically due to the accumulation of snow and ice. However, slip-and-fall accidents are not limited to outdoors. People frequently slip on wet floors, trash, food items, and papers inside of stores, restaurants, and other businesses. Injuries from slip-and-falls can be very significant. Broken bones, serious bruising, ripped muscle tissue, and concussions are just a few examples of injuries which are frequently sustained as a result of a slip-and-fall accident. Medical treatment for these injuries can be extensive and costly. The individual injured as a result of the slip-and-fall might also be forced to miss time from work and lose income in the future. Thus, it is important to consult with an attorney to ensure that a proper amount of compensation will be obtained. Keep reading to learn more from one of the best personal injury law firms in Chicago about what you need to do if you suffer a slip-and-fall accident.
To recover monetary compensation in a slip-and-fall case, the injured party needs to establish that the accident would not take place but for the third party’s negligence. If the individual or business entity invites people to the premises, the entity needs to ensure that those premises are safe and free of hazards, dangerous conditions, and defects. If the individual or a business is aware of dangerous conditions, defects, or hazards, and fails to cure them in a timely matter, then such individual or a business is considered negligent. For example, a person would not slip and fall at the restaurant if the restaurant’s employees would timely wipe the water spilled on the floor. A grocery store customer would not slip on the banana peel and break his arm if the store clerk would have picked up the peel after seeing it. An individual would not slip on the sidewalk if the homeowner would not allow the broken drain’s water to accumulate and freeze on the sidewalk.
Obtaining a financial recovery in a slip-and-fall case is often not easy. There are many legal and factual defenses which insurance companies can raise which might defeat a lawsuit at the outset of the case. Therefore, it is important to remember to take a few essential steps after a slip-and-fall happens:
1. If hurt as a result of a slip-and-fall accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. Seeking medical attention in a timely manner will ensure that all the injuries are evaluated, treated, and recorded in contemporaneous medical records.
2. If possible, try to take pictures of what caused the fall. Regardless of how serious the injuries are, if one does not know what caused his or her fall, it may be impossible to win your case. Thus, it is important to determine what caused the fall and take pictures of the cause and the area where the fall happened.
3. Try to obtain the names and telephone numbers of all the individuals who witnessed the fall.
4. Obtain the names and telephone numbers of all the individuals who assisted you after the fall.
5. If your injury occurred at a place of business, you should request to fill out an official accident or incident report. Keep a copy of such a report, or at least take a picture of what you filled out. Also, if possible, obtain the names and job titles of the individuals assisting you in completing the accident report after the fall.
6. Note if there are cameras that could capture the fall. Ask the owners of the businesses or homes where the cameras are located to preserve the footage. The attorney retained by the injured party most likely will also send spoliation letters to preserve such video records.
7. Try to preserve the shoes you were wearing when the slip-and-fall happened. Demonstrating that at the time of the accident you wore comfortable shoes will help to address any potential contributory negligence claims.
8. Do not give any recorded statements without consulting a lawyer.
Have you been injured as a result of a slip-and-fall accident? Eames Law Group, Ltd. has assisted many clients in obtaining financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering incurred as a result of the slip-and-fall accident. Contact our experienced attorneys to receive a free consultation and determine if you are entitled to compensation.