What To Do Immediately After a Fall
- Call 911 If You Suffered a Severe Injury: Many people choose not to request emergency medical assistance because they fear the expense. However, your top priority after any accident is to seek appropriate medical treatment. A fast diagnosis will improve the outcome of your treatment and shorten your recovery time. Even if the accident happened a little while ago, it is still important to obtain a thorough evaluation which can lead to proper treatment and recovery.
- Record Witnesses’ Contact Information: If you are physically able, speak with eyewitnesses and obtain their contact information. It can be difficult weeks or months later after the fall to obtain witness statements.
- File an Incident Report: Notify the store manager or property owner about the accident as soon as possible and file an incident report.
- Take Pictures: Your injury lawyer may use photos to prove liability, negligence, and damages. Take pictures of your injuries and the hazard that caused them. Time is of the essence. It is very common that the "dangerous condition" is repaired within days if not hours and critical evidence is lost.
- Don't Give A recorded Statement: It is important to remember that insurance adjusters will contact the injured party as soon as possible after an accident. They will present themselves as a friend of the injured person. However, their ultimate goal is to settle the case for the least amount possible, before the injured party or family learns of their rights by speaking to an attorney. Their practice is to always tape record these phone calls and to ask questions that might seem innocuous, but are usually one-sided to the benefit of the insurance company. Unfortunately for some insurance companies, their approach is "Delay, Deny and Defend" legitimate claims to maximize their profits. Therefore, it is almost always a good idea to speak with an attorney before agreeing to be interviewed or providing any medical and private information.
- Contact a Personal-Injury Attorney: You should speak to attorney as soon as possible. These cases can be difficult and time is of the essence to take the steps necessary to preserve critical evidence. Repairs are very common, security video is erased, and witnesses are lost with the passage of time. An experienced premises liability lawyer can take the steps necessary to protect you. If the fall occurred on state, county, or city property, a claim must be made within six months in California. Missing this deadline may prevent a claim against the government entity, so it is important to talk to a slip and fall attorney immediately.