A Comprehensive Approach to Slip and Fall Incidents

Slip-and-fall accidents represent 12% of total falls or one million emergency room visits. They can happen anywhere at any time, whether from a wet floor or a crack in the sidewalk. Not all slip-and-fall cases require legal action. However, if you have a valid slip and fall case, you can file a lawsuit against the business where the fall occurred. Determining if your slip-and-fall claim is valid is important because dealing with the business’s insurance company can become costly and time-consuming. We at Jordan Law Center in Greenville, South Carolina, can help prove negligence in slip and fall cases and get you to the finish line.

How to Prove Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases

Proving negligence in slip and fall cases can be complicated. First, you must determine if the property owner runs the business or an occupier is renting it. Then, you would have to find out who is responsible for the care of the property.

It does not matter who you are filing a lawsuit against, the owner or the occupier. You must be able to show these specific components of negligence:

  • You have to prove that the property owner or occupier knew about the hazardous condition, should have known about it or caused it.
  • The property owner or occupier failed to fix the known issue or did not have a proper warning visible to the public.
  • The failure to fix or provide a warning of the hazard was the direct cause of injury.
  • Harm came from the injury.

If you can prove all these components are true, you have a valid slip-and-fall case.

Steps to Take Immediately After a Slip and Fall Accident

You should take several steps immediately following a slip and fall accident.

Assess your injuries and seek medical attention

First, you should assess your injuries by checking for bleeding, deformities, bruising, etc., and note any pain you feel. Do not try to walk it off. If you feel you have a more severe injury, call 911. Serious injuries would include bleeding from the head, loss of consciousness, broken bones, etc. Immediately go to an Urgent Care facility or the ER for less severe injuries.

Attend follow-up visits with your doctor, take medications as prescribed and do everything your doctor says. Following their instructions can help if you do file a slip-and-fall claim.

Gathering evidence and reporting the incident

Once you have received medical treatment and are safe to move around, you need to go to the business where the accident took place and verbally report the incident to the property owner or occupier. You must insist they print out an official accident report to fill out.

Once you have the accident report in hand, take pictures or videos of where the incident occurred, what caused the accident and any injuries you sustained. Get the information of anyone who saw your fall, including names and phone numbers.

You can also ask for a copy of any surveillance footage they may have. If they have surveillance and will not give it to you, you can report the slip-and-fall to the police, who can retrieve the footage. Or, once you hire an attorney, ask them to retrieve the footage.

Take special care to preserve any physical evidence from the fall, including broken personal items and torn or bloody clothing. Do not wash the clothes with blood on them, as this can help you prove the accident’s severity. These items will also help you tell your story. Then, it is time to complete the accident report in as much detail as possible.

Information to include in the accident report

You want to fill out the accident report in its entirety with as much detail as possible. The information you need to include:

  • The location, date and time of the accident.
  • Contact information, including names of any witnesses, employees, and yourself.
  • What was happening that led up to the accident?
  • Any environmental or weather conditions.
  • Your injuries.
  • Any damage caused.

You want to set the scene for the accident by providing as much information as possible about before, during and after the slip-and-fall and why the accident occurred.

Be cautious with insurance communications

After your slip-and-fall accident, expect quick communication from the business’s insurance company. They usually call within a few days following an accident to discuss what happened. If you choose to talk to them, keep your answers quick and short. Do not disclose a lot of information. If they ask to record the conversation, tell them no.

You should seek the advice of an attorney, and once you retain one, you should refer any communications from the insurance company to them. The insurance company will try to settle with you before you retain an attorney. Do not take any offers, as these are usually low. Have your attorney review any settlement offers so they can assess if it is enough to cover all damages.

Discuss your case with an injury attorney

You want to act as quickly as possible with a slip-and-fall case. Most slip-and-fall, or premises liability, attorneys offer free case reviews to discuss your case in detail. Discuss any prior injuries before the fall so the business owner can not use this against you later.

You will also want to discuss how the attorney prefers to be paid. Many slip-and-fall attorneys work on contingency instead of working for an hourly rate. The contingency payment structure involves giving your attorney a percentage of the case winnings as payment. If you choose to hire an attorney, they should outline the steps, in detail, they will take for your case to succeed.

A Slip-and-Fall Lawyer Can Help You Prove Negligence in Your Slip and Fall Case

You must follow the steps outlined above to prove negligence in slip-and-fall cases. Ensure your accident report is filled out completely with as much detail as possible, and gather all the evidence you can to prove your case. It is important to seek legal help for slip-and-fall cases, so you know your rights.

If you have any questions or have suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, contact us at Jordan Law Center. We will take care of you.

Sources:

Slip and Fall Quick Facts | NFSI

Greenville Slip and Fall Accident Attorney | Jordan Law Center

Slip And Fall Lawsuit Guide 2024 – Forbes Advisor

Steps to Take Following a Slip and Fall Accident | LawInc

How to Write and File a Slip and Fall Accident Report (injuryclaimcoach.com)

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