During a bone-rattling slip and fall in public, it may be difficult to keep in mind the long-term effects your next few actions may have. Although you should contact a slip and fall attorney (such as one from Putnam Lieb) when it is convenient and plausible to do so, there are also steps you can take even before communication has been established. For the best chance at setting up a good case, you can try these three steps before contacting your attorney.
1. Methodically construct a file of evidence recording your experience.
Though you may be embarrassed and traumatized by the event, don't leave the scene of the accident immediately. Passers-by may be some of your best witnesses if the incident took place at a business, so try to get their names and contact info before they walk away. If you're seriously injured and can't stand, try asking the nearest person to collect names for you after calling 911. Then photograph the scene, file an accident report with the business manager, and take notes of the circumstances (again, asking for help if necessary). You can also save the outfit you were wearing at the time and show it to your attorney later.
2. Be careful what you say or sign.
Because what you say in the wake of the accident can be used against you by the other side, you'll want to be very careful what you say, who you talk to, and what you write between the fall and consulting with your lawyer. It can be especially problematic if the other side can manage to get anything from you in writing. Here are some examples of ways to be prudent during this time:
3. Ensure that your behavior will hold up under investigation.
Your behavior should be impeccable so there won't be anything to use against you in court. For example, you might feel an impulse to exchange heated words with the person who caused your accident. However, you'll need to remember to keep calm and avoid discussing the incident (beyond filing an accident report). Another example is following the doctor's orders. In other situations, you might feel justified in delaying a prescribed medication for a few minutes if you're busy. In light of your legal case, however, getting prompt medical care and then scrupulously following your doctor's instructions to the letter may help prevent the other side from deflecting blame back on you.
A hazardous environment that causes you to slip and fall should not be taken lightly. Over one-fifth of all emergency room visits are caused by falls, which cause millions of injuries per year. Use these steps to help you discern what to do before calling a lawyer for the best chance of winning your future case.Share
29 May 2015
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