Slip-and-fall accidents can result in serious injury or a premature death. Slipping or tripping and falling can easily cause a fracture, such as a broken hip, or a head or spinal cord injury. A serious fall injury can reduce or eliminate the victim’s ability to live an active or independent life, particularly if the victim is older.
If you or a loved one has experienced a slip-and-fall injury on someone else’s property, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost income and other losses.
Ginarte Gallardo Gonzalez Winograd L.L.P., helps victims with slip-and-fall accident claims in the New York / New Jersey metro area. Let us examine your fall case and review your legal options with you.
8 Ways to Protect Your Rights After a Slip-and-Fall Accident
If you need emergency medical assistance for injuries suffered in a slip-and-fall accident, call 911 and work with first responders. If possible, you or a companion should take specific steps to protect your rights and gather evidence for a potential legal claim.
Steps to take after a slip-and-fall accident include:
- Photograph the scene. Using your cellphone or other camera, take pictures or video of where your accident occurred before the property owner has the opportunity to remove or repair the hazard that caused you to fall. Show anything that contributed to your fall, such as wetness or a puddle, clutter, broken pavement, burned out light bulbs (poor lighting), etc. (A tip: to photograph water, show something reflected in it from above.) Photograph any visible injuries you have sustained.
- Get witnesses. Other people probably saw you fall or saw the circumstances that led to your accident. Ask them to help by giving you their names and contact information. If they agree, record a statement from them on your phone or another device.
- Report your fall. Let the property owner, manager or whoever is in charge know that you have fallen and gotten hurt. If your accident happened at a business, tell the person in charge that you would like to file an official report. Smaller businesses may have no policy for this and shrug-off your request, but you should ask. If they make a report, get a copy as soon as possible. As you provide information for the report, be sure that you do not admit any fault for your fall.
- Make notes about your accident. Write down for your own records what happened to you, including the time and date, why you were at the location of your accident, what you were wearing (including your shoes), weather conditions, whether it was crowded, etc.
- See a doctor. Even if you do not need emergency assistance or think you have not been injured, see a doctor as soon as possible. Some serious injuries have delayed symptoms. Seeing a doctor is evidence of an injury, which is necessary if you pursue a claim.
- Start a file about your accident. Keep copies of every record related to your slip-and-fall accident, injury and recovery. This includes medical reports and bills, receipts for medication or therapy, records of absences from work or school, and notes you have made about the accident. Save the clothes you were wearing when you fell without washing them. They may contain valuable evidence. Continue to take notes about your recovery, including treatment, pain, setbacks, and activities or special occasions you miss because of your injuries.
- Don’t sign away your rights. The property owners or managers, their lawyers or their insurance companies may contact you soon after the accident and offer you a lowball settlement. You will most likely be required to sign a release to get a check, but by signing you will give up your rights to any further claim. A quick settlement is also likely to be far less than you deserve. Don’t sign anything and don’t say anything to admit fault or downplay your injuries from the accident.
- Contact an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer. A personal injury attorney experienced in the New York and New Jersey metro area can ensure that any settlement offer for your accident truly provides the compensation you need and deserve. An attorney working for you can do the investigative work necessary to prove the property owner’s negligence in a slip-and-fall accident and the full cost of your losses.
Contact the Ginarte Law Firm About a NY or NJ Slip-and-Fall Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip- or trip-and-fall accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer from Ginarte Gallardo Gonzalez Winograd L.L.P., can make sure everything possible is done to maximize your claim after a fall in the New York and New Jersey metro area.