If you slip and fall in New York, you should inform the property owner, seek medical treatment, and try to collect evidence of your injuries and the cause of the accident. Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of injury. Frequently, even after taking the steps recomended above, it may still be challenging to know what to do next.
Long Island Slip and fall lawyers from our firm have been handling slip and fall cases since 1991 so we understand the steps a slip and fall victim should take after an accident to begin building a solid case for compensation. Whatever factors led to your accident and resulting injuries, if they were the result of a responsible party allowing an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist you are entitled to pursue a personal injury claim.
- What Steps Should You Take After a Slip and Fall Accident?
- Learn More About What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in New York
What Steps Should You Take After a Slip and Fall Accident?
It’s important to understand that you have rights after suffering a personal injury accident in New York. If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall on someone else’s property such as a business, it’s possible you could have a personal injury case if the property owner’s negligence was in any way the cause of the accident.
Slip and fall injuries often result in costly medical bills, lost time from work, and other expenses that you weren’t expecting to incur. A personal injury attorney from our firm will be able to build a solid case to recover compensation for damages, and taking the following steps will go a long way toward that effort:
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Inform the Property Owner or Manager of the Unsafe Conditions and Your Fall
You didn’t see the hazard, nor was there a proper warning. You fell and hit the floor hard, but you’re not sure what to do next. This is normal. However, one step you should make after an accident is to report it to whoever is in charge. This could be the manager or the property owner.
Ask to file a report in writing. Some businesses have a procedure to handle slip and fall accidents. Filing a formal report in writing leaves a paper trail so you prove that there’s a record of the accident. Be sure to request a copy of the report for yourself, which you will be able to include as evidence.
Some businesses will refuse to provide a copy of the Accident/Incident Report at the time that you request it. To the extent possible, make a note for yourself of all details of the accident and of your report. Such a note should include the time, place, and manner of the accident, the name(s) of any witness(es), the name and job title of the person(s) you reported it to, their physical description, and so on. If you are able to take photographs and video of the dangerous condition, that can be quite helpful as well.
If the business does not have a procedure, ask for an email address or mailing address to send a report. You should describe the accident and your injuries as completely as possible.
Seek Medical Care as Soon as Possible
Our experience has shown us that most adults who fall in public, even if the fall was entirely caused by someone else, experience embarrassment and anxiety and are nervous to stand up and leave as soon as possible. Our firm has had clients who literally hobbled away from a fall on a broken ankle rather than stay put until medical help arrived.
In this respect, children have the better idea. They will often lie on the ground and cry until help comes. The point here is, if you are seriously hurt, stay put and call, or if necessary, ask someone else to call for an ambulance. This step will not only make sure you start getting appropriate medical attention as soon as possible, but it will also help properly document the severity of your injuries. This, in turn, will help counter the likely cynical arguments of the at-fault party’s insurance carrier when they raise such questions -potentially to a jury- as, “if you were so badly hurt, how did you get up and walk away?”
In any event, after a fall that causes injury, you should see a doctor as soon as possible for a full evaluation. A doctor will be able to perform tests to determine the extent of your injuries and what treatment(s) is called for. Even if you think your injuries are mild and don’t require medical attention, this is one of those time that, “better safe than sorry” most definitely applies. For example, some symptoms of injuries, such as head injuries and spinal cord injuries, do not present right away, even though they should be attended to right away.
Our accident lawyers urge you to seek medical attention after an accident. Your doctor will be able to treat your injuries and document them in your records, which you might also use as evidence.
As mentioned briefly above, if you are able to do so, you should try to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. A written report describing the accident and your injuries is helpful. You could also take photographs of the hazard that caused you to fall. Documenting the hazard preserves a record of the scene since the property owner could remove, repair, or clean up the hazard after you leave.
If the police came to the scene, request the police report. You should also collect contact information from witnesses who will be able to provide statements and testimony. Try to document everything and save anything that relates to the accident and your injuries. It could make a significant difference in the ultimate strength of any claim(s) you make or lawsuit you decide to commence.
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File an Insurance Claim
Your next move should be filing a claim with the insurance company that covers the business or property. You must include as much information as you are able to provide about the accident, your injuries, and the damages for which you are seeking compensation. The insurer should acknowledge receipt of your claim and will likely ask for additional information.
This step is something best left to an experienced and dedicated slip and fall lawyer you retain to advocate for you. Your lawyer will know the optimal manner and content for submitting a claim on your behalf that will protect and assert your rights without providing any information that an insurance carrier can twist to use against you.
An investigation will occur, which concludes with an approval or denial of your claim. Be wary of insurance company representatives who might try to engage you in an effort to make you say something that undermines your claim. We recommend speaking to your lawyer first before speaking with anyone representing the at-fault party and before signing anything.
Consult a Law Firm That Handles Premises Liability Law
A personal injury lawyer will protect your rights and advocate for your best interests as the insurance company and the liable party try to undermine your claim or take advantage of you.
A lawyer will also file your insurance claim and will present you with options to consider. If you are considering filing a lawsuit to recover compensation through the legal process, we implore you to make your decision before the statute of limitations expires in your case, which determines the time limit you have to file a lawsuit according to New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214. (Please note, the statute cited is applicable in many cases, but your case may involve a shorter statute of limitations. We strongly recomend you call for a free consultation with one of our attorneys so you know what deadlines apply to your case and your best options for moving forward.)
We will investigate the cause of your injury, collect evidence to prove negligence, calculate the value of your claim, negotiate a settlement, and represent you in court if necessary. Our team knows how to manage personal injury lawsuits, and we advocate for you relentlessly at every step of the legal process.
Learn More About What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in New York
A slip and fall accident could seriously impact you for a long time. Taking this series of steps after an accident could improve the likelihood of a positive outcome. But if the insurance company denies your claim, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve.
You have the right to recover compensation and get justice so you are able to regain a sense of normalcy in your life and move forward. Holding the liable party accountable also serves to prevent these kinds of accidents from happening to someone else. Our firm strongly believes in both winning justice for our injured clients as well as the betterment of society overall by holding careless, reckless, and negligent parties to account.
A slip and fall lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will build your case. We work on contingency, so you don’t pay us unless we win. If you cannot come to us, we will travel to you on Long Island and the New York metropolitan area. To learn more about what you should do after a slip and fall accident or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us today.