What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
The Datny Law Firm in Boca Raton and Wellington, Florida help victims of slip and fall accidents throughout Florida recover physically and financially for their injuries, medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering. Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorney and Wellington Slip and Fall Lawyer David B. Datny devotes a significant portion of his practice to holding business owners and property managers accountable for unsafe or hazardous conditions on their premises that cause injury to innocent victims.
Whether the accident involves an injured pedestrian on a cracked sidewalk, a hole in a parking lot, or a slippery condition inside a supermarket, what remains the same is the most critical time in establishing the viability of a subsequent claim or lawsuit rests in the minutes immediately after the accident when the victims are hurt, in pain, in panic or filled with adrenalin and not thinking or speaking clearly. How you handle yourself immediately after the fall, including what you do and say, will often influence your ability to successfully present a claim or lawsuit.
For this reason, Boca Raton Slip and Fall Lawyer and Wellington Personal Injury Attorney David B. Datny recommends injured fall victims follow the below steps after being hurt in a slip and fall accident or a trip and fall accident in Boca Raton, Wellington or elsewhere in Florida.(1) Report the Accident (Police/Store)
After an accident, whether a slip and fall in a store, a trip and fall on a sidewalk, or some other type of incident on the property of an individual or business, you should always call the Police and Report the Accident to the store manager, business owner or responsible home owner. Letting the responsible parties know you had an accident and the details establishes proof that the event took place. Regardless of whether you think you are injured at the time, never leave the scene of the accident without reporting it and filling out an incident report. Your injuries may not be apparent until days or weeks after the accident and many insurance adjusters or defense lawyers question the validity of accidents that were not reported on the date of especially when they are unwitnessed or not caught on surveillance footage. Moreover, it is important that you request a copy of any incident report you prepare, or take a picture of it with your phone, before leaving. If you do not leave with a copy of the incident report, or a photograph of the same, we may not be able to get it or we will have to wait until the case is in litigation.(2) Promptly Seek Medical Attention
You should always seek prompt medical attention after an accident to not only address your physical condition and well-being, but to also document your injuries. If you are unsure whether you are injured after an accident, err on the side of caution and get checked out by emergency medical providers including ambulance, hospital or urgent care. This is especially true because the seriousness of your condition after an accident may not be immediately apparent particularly if your injuries are mainly soft tissue. Failing to obtain prompt medical attention can worsen your condition and compromise any subsequent claim for damages or medical benefits.(3) Photograph Everything
Time is of the essence after a slip and fall accident. If you do not act quickly, important evidence documenting what happened may be forever lost. For example, the lack of a warning sign in the aisle of a supermarket where a slippery substance was allowed to pool on the floor. If you do not immediately photograph the scene, evidence of the substance and lack of warning will be lost. That is why after an accident it is so important for you to take pictures of everything. Take pictures of the location of your fall, the surrounding areas, any cautionary signage or the lack thereof, the injury causing condition, store employees present, or who attempt to assist, as well as witnesses. You also want to take photographs any physical signs of injury to your body including lacerations, cuts, bruises, black and blue marks, etc. The more documentation from the date of the accident the better able we are to build you case.(4) Identify Witnesses
It is important after your slip and fall accident to ascertain if there were any witnesses and, if yes, obtain their names and contact information before they leave. Statements from eye witnesses, i.e., those who saw your accident first hand, as well as notice witnesses, i.e., those who observed the condition that caused your accident, or perhaps how long it was present before your fall, are crucial to establishing fault in a premises liability case.(5) Warning to Accident Victims
Without the protection of an attorney representing you, insurance companies, risk managers and defense counsel are free to contact you after an accident. Often times, they will contact victims to express their concern and gather information for seemingly innocent purposes; however, be aware. Their motives are not pure. Their goal is to extract information and statements from you that will ultimately be used to deny your claim or minimize their financial exposure. They will use your lack of knowledge of the claims process to get you to do things you are not required to do and which an attorney representing you would never allow including submitting to recorded statement, giving sworn testimony prior to litigation, examination by medical doctors hired by the insurance company or premises owner prior to litigation, or accept minimal value for release of claims without explanation that it prematurely terminates their claim (e.g., Publix Supermarket often makes minimal settlement offers after an accident to victims to end the claim before an attorney gets involved).(6) Immediately Call The Datny Law Firm!
As you can see, after an accident you are quite vulnerable, not just physically due to your injuries, but legally due to the lack of protection from the insurance companies. The best way to protect your self is to immediately contact Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorney and Wellington Slip and Fall Lawyer David B. Datny at 561-221-7474. We are available any time of day, night or weekend to assist injured clients. Mr. Datny and The Datny Law Firm will walk you through the process and make sure you are able to focus on recovering medically for your injuries while we focus on getting you the financial recovery you need and deserve. All consultations whether on the phone, via Skype or at our office are FREE and we will travel to you if necessary.
The Datny Law Firm proudly represents injured accident victims throughout Florida, Palm Beach County, Martin County and Broward County including Boca Raton, Wellington, Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Lantana, Golden Lakes, Loxahatchee, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Greenacres, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Pompano, Miramar, Margate, Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Plantation, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Parkland, Lauderhill, Davie.