In legal parlance slip and fall injury is a term that denotes an accident where you inadvertently trip and injure yourself in some one’s property. In Canada, slip and fall accidents are one of the chief causes of injury. It is estimated that every year, a staggering 42,000 Canadians sustain injuries in this kind of accident. The injury can vary from a sprained ankle to severe head trauma. Most of these accidents happen in the workplace. And tripping, slipping, and falling are valid grounds for getting compensation under the ‘Premises Liability’claim.
Sadly, slip and fall accidents cannot be avoided at all, no matter how careful you are. And it could happen to you at any time. What happens when you are in a slip and fall accident? What should be your course of action? Here is a list of dos and don’ts that will help you.
Slip and fall injuries: Why do they happen?
You slip when there is not enough friction between your feet and the ground you walk on. That is why your feet skid and you naturally lose your balance.
You may also fall if there is an obstacle in your way that you were not expecting and you may trip over it.
Slip and fall injuries can also be triggered by-
- Uneven floor, floorboards that are sticking out or depressions in the floor
- Torn carpets
- Rooms or passages that are not well lit
- Stairs that are narrow or too steep
- Cracks in the sidewalk, parking lot or anywhere on the property
- A floor that has just been washed or there was an oil spill on the floor
- Potholes on the premise
- Obstruction in your path
- Ice or snow that hasn’t been cleared away
Essentially, if the owner of the property has been negligent in his/her responsibility in keeping the property accident-proof, and you suffer an injury, the owner may owe you damages.
What should you do in the event of a slip and fall injury?
- The chances of sustaining a dangerous injury from a slip and fall are high. If you tumble down the stairs or fall heavily on your front, you might hurt yourself badly. So, call the emergency number 911 right away and ask for an ambulance. Stay in the position you had landed in. You might have hurt your spine and moving now can be dangerous. Communicate clearly with medical care providers and tell them where you hurt and how you feel. Your health is of utmost priority. Everything else can wait.
- Do make sure that your treatment is well documented. When you make a claim for damages, your treatment summary will come in handy to prove that you have indeed sustained injuries due to the negligence of the property owner.
- Report the accident to the police as soon as possible. Do not let much time elapse between the time of the injury and filing the complaint. The more time you waste, the stronger the possibility that you will not win the full scope of damages as the insurance lawyers will try to prove that the accident was actually your fault. Keep a copy of the record with you.
- Collect as much evidence at the scene of the accident, of course, if your injury is not grave and you do not need immediate hospitalization. Take photos. If it was a threadbare carpet or uneven flooring that resulted in the fall, then take plenty of photos of the offending object. Chances are the owner will have it replaced before the investigation begins.
Do not wash or throw away the clothes and shoes you were wearing when you slipped as those too might be presented as evidence.
- If there were people at the scene of the accident, collect their phone numbers. Witnesses and their statements bolster your case against the negligent party.
- Get in touch with personal injury lawyers. Claim settlement is a complicated procedure and you cannot do it by yourself. With the expertise and experience of a personal injury lawyer, you can maneuver the maze of forms and the whole legal system to effectively get the best recourse possible.
What not to do when you have been in a slip and fall accident?
- Do not confront the owner or manager of the property. This will be construed as an aggressive move and might be used against you when it comes to deciding how much compensation you deserve.
- Do not speak with the representatives of the property where you fell. If it is an office or a mall, they will try to offer you compensation or try to record your statement, in exchange for you dropping the claim. However, the damages they will offer will be a small quantum.
- Do not utilize social media to announce your slip and fall accident. It might seem innocuous, but the insurance lawyers will use this to claim that if you were feeling well enough to post about your injury, then you couldn’t have been hurt badly. And you may end up with a smaller settlement than you deserve.
At Claim Settlement, our network of lawyers have 20 years of experience in handling personal injury and accident cases and has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Our initial consultations are absolutely free and you don’t pay until our networks of lawyers have procured you the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury or been in an accident call us at 1-833-892-5246 for a free consultation or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org