Inevitably, most of us will suffer a slip/trip and fall accident at some point in our daily routines. It is just a fact of life. These mishaps can happen anywhere and to anyone of us.
In Pennsylvania, most all buildings, homes, parking lots, and walkways/sidewalks are legally required to be kept in a safe and non-hazardous condition. This is to ensure that pedestrians and visitors frequenting these areas are safe from injury.
Therefore, if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a slip/trip and fall accident due to the property owner’s failure to keep the area in a reasonably safe condition, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills and lost wages or time off from work.
However, everyone should know that slip and fall claims are HEAVILY scrutinized by the defending insurance companies. Therefore, we have put together a list of five recommended steps to take after your injury to protect your potential claim
- See a doctor or medical specialist immediately
Your physical health is always of primary importance. If you have been hurt, it is vitally important to see a doctor right away so that you can receive the proper care and to ensure that your injuries are appropriately documented.
- Report the incident
Unless your injuries require immediate medical care and/or hospitalization, always make sure to report the incident to a store manager, landlord or property owner. Ask this person for a written report or written acknowledgment of the incident and how it occurred. If it is impossible to make a report on the date of your injury, remember to return as soon as possible and make sure the incident is properly documented.
- Document, Document, Document!
Again, unless you are physically unable to do so, obtain ALL contact information of any potential witnesses or anyone who can verify how the injury occurred or, just as importantly, the physical state of the area where you fell. Unbiased witness statements can be the determining factor in a fight against an insurance company who wants to deny your injury claim. Additionally, photograph the area where the fall occurred and be sure to photograph any stairs, ice spots, standing water or other dangerous conditions that led to your fall. Lastly, take photographs of the shoes or footwear you were wearing at the time in case you need to show the insurance company you were taking proper precautions (i.e. wearing boots in the snow).
- Refuse to provide statements
Aside from initially reporting the incident, try to keep any communications with the property owner(s) or managers limited. Other than a description of your physical injuries, do not put anything in an email or text message after the initial report. Furthermore, DO NOT post any details of the accident on social media. You should also refuse to provide a recorded statement to an insurance without first consulting with an attorney at Hyde Tebay Legal.
- Call Hyde Tebay Legal immediately!
If you are considering legal action because of your injuries in a slip/trip and fall case, you MUST have a seasoned attorney representing your best interests. As we said before, these cases are heavily scrutinized by the defending insurance companies and can be difficult to prove.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a property manager or store owner’s failure to maintain a safe premises, do not delay in calling us!