You are completing your daily grocery shopping and all of a sudden, you hit a puddle on the floor and you slide. You attempt to catch your balance, but before you know it, you are lying flat on the ground with your entire body aching. The store employees run to you and ask if you are okay and someone calls for help. The next couple of hours are going to be hectic and while it is most important to handle your medical needs, it is also important to consider your legal rights.
The legal side to slip and fall cases
Businesses have a right to provide a safe environment to all customers and employees. If you are injured at the site of a business, especially if they failed to provide you with a safe environment, you have legal compensation rights. However, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your case and ensure that you have all of the required documentation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 17,000 slip and fall accidents (also known as premises liability accidents) occur every year.
Keep documentation of all medical care
Of course, you want to focus on your medical care first. You will, however, want to keep all documentation of your medical care received. Approximately 22% of all slip and fall cases resulted in more than 31 days away from work. If you require expensive medical treatments and time away from work because of your slip and fall cases, you will want to receive just compensation for this. In order to receive compensation, you will need a record of what type of service was received and how much it cost. If your physician recommends that you do not return to work for a specific amount of time, you will also want to keep this physician note.
Gather photo or video when possible
Photo and video evidence is extremely useful in slip and fall cases. Otherwise, you are relying on the statement of people that might not have actually seen the entire situation or people that might be biased in their description of what actually happened. If you are shopping with another person, make sure they get an image of the fall site. If this is not a possibility, you can sometimes request video footage from the business owner. You might need the subpoena to encourage them to give up this video footage.
Request witness statements
Unbiased witnesses can also be helpful in slip and fall cases. If you suffered severe bodily injury from slippery floors, it is helpful to have witness statements to win your case. Reach out to other customers that were in the store at the time of the accident. If possible, getting this information before leaving the scene is helpful. However, you can sometimes track down witnesses after the fact. Your accident victim defense can assist with this process.
Follow all physician orders
A strong slip and fall case not only demonstrates that medical care was recommended, but also that it was administered. You cannot simply submit medical statements, but not receive the medical care. Personal injury cases can sometimes claim for personal loss compensation too, but never combine this into the medical reimbursement compensation. Additionally, about 95 to 96% of personal injury cases are settled pretrial. Accepting a settlement for all of your medical costs and some of your pain and suffering can save you money on legal fees.
Slip and fall cases often result in at least some time away from work. They also result in incurred medical expenses which can be very expensive. Working with the right slip and fall claims lawyer can help you receive just compensation for your time away from work, as well as any medical expenses.