What to Do After a Slip and Fall Injury: 10 Crucial Steps
October 22, 2015
What Should You Do After a Slip and Fall in Arizona?
If you just slipped and fell, here’s what you need to know right now – the top 10 things to do after a slip and fall.
Get medical care. If you are seriously injured, don’t hesitate to call 911. It’s not embarrassing, it’s smart. Slip and fall injuries can be really severe, and the last thing you want to do is attempt to drive yourself to a medical facility only to pass out or, in your state of shock, cause a car accident. (If your injuries aren’t that serious, be ready to call your doctor to get checked out as soon as you leave the store.)
Report the accident immediately to the property owner. If in a store or restaurant, ask a manager to give you an incident report form. If needed, ask for help completing the form. DON’T sign anything, but DO ask for a copy of the report.
Take photos of the scene and your injury. You want to make sure that any visible safety hazard is documented in a photograph and to show what your injuries look like right now (because bruising, bleeding, swelling, and other symptoms can change over time.
Collect the contact information of the property owner and manager, as well as the owner’s insurance information. You will need information like the name of the insurance company, the policy number, and the official name and location of the business where you fell.
Collect the contact information of any witnesses. If possible, ask them to write down for you their account of what happened now, while it’s fresh in their heads, rather than waiting until weeks or months have passed to ask them what they remember.
Contact a slip and fall lawyer to guide you through the process. You don’t have to hire a lawyer before you notify the defendant’s insurance company of the incident, but we strongly recommend you do, for two reasons: 1) to avoid saying something you shouldn’t and 2) so that we can handle this hassle for you.
Avoid statements of fault and recorded statements in general, if you do speak with the defendant’s insurance company on your own. Notifying the insurer of the accident is important but can pose several pitfalls, which is why you’re better off having a lawyer do this for you, if possible.
Start a file for documents, or send them your attorney’s way so we can keep your file up to date for you. Every paper you get, from incident reports to insurance company forms to medical bills, is a valuable piece of evidence that you can’t risk losing.
Keep your clothes and shoes in the same condition they were in at the time of the slip and fall. DON’T wash your clothes or clean your shoes, even if blood, a spilled substance, or another mess has gotten on them. If the insurance company later tries to place the blame on you, this evidence can show that it wasn’t your footwear that caused the fall.
Minimize social media use. It can be tempting to vent on social media about how upsetting or embarrassing the whole situation was, how much pain you’re in, or how your medical appointments are going. But the more you say on social media, the more you’re putting your claim at risk. An insurance adjuster can stalk your social media profiles – even if you think your account is private – and will take out of context anything that could suggest that your injuries aren’t serious. Even posts unrelated to your injury can support the insurer’s argument that you aren’t as badly hurt as you claim.
The most important thing you must do after a slip and fall is to see a doctor. But nearly as important is protecting your legal rights by hiring a Phoenix slip and fall lawyer.