Knowing what to do and what not to do after a slip-and-fall accident can not only improve the odds of a faster recovery from injuries, but lay the groundwork in case the victim decides to pursue a personal injury claim.
Not Getting Medical Care
Slip-and-fall accidents are tricky, because the severity of the injuries may not be immediately clear. A person may slip, fall and hit their head. They might get up quickly, feeling embarrassed and not wanting to stay on the floor of the restaurant, grocery store, gas station or other establishment. They might leave without saying anything or going to a hospital. Later, they may start to experience headaches and other symptoms, and find out they suffered a concussion, which is a type of brain injury.
People who are hurt in a slip-and-fall accident should seek immediate medical care. Immediate attention means immediate treatment of the many serious injuries that could be caused by this type of accident, including head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, broken tailbones, cracked kneecaps and fractured wrists. That might mean staying down after the fall and waiting for an ambulance, or going directly to the hospital. Additionally, if doctors recommend any follow up care such as physical therapy, the injured person should follow doctor’s orders.
Not Reporting The Slip-And-Fall Accident
If you or a loved one was hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, you should report the matter to the establishment where it happened as soon as possible. Not only will this encourage the establishment to address the hazard and prevent future accidents, it will create a record of the event that can prove critical if the injured party chooses to pursue a slip-and-fall claim.
Be clear about what caused the fall, whether it was a puddle, ice, uneven or cracked floors, objects in walkways or anything else. Things that should be documented include the location in the establishment, whether there were witnesses and their information, and photos of the hazard, if possible. Do not make any statements about the injured party possibly being at fault, as it is the property owner’s responsibility to keep their establishments free of falling hazards.
Accepting A Deal From The Property Owner Or Their Insurer
In some cases, the establishment where the fall happened may make an offer to the victim. The offer may be something simple like a gift card. The establishment may also offer to pay medical bills. While these gestures may seem nice on the surface, they may be somewhat self-serving and not truly address the extent of the injuries. For example, a gift card encourages the victim to come back to the establishment and spend more. Offers to pay medical bills may fall short, or overlook other costs like lost wages.
Similarly, the establishment’s insurer may contact the victim to try to get the victim to take the blame for the fall, or to offer a settlement check. On the surface, a check may look good and the victim may just want to get the matter over with, but the insurer will usually ask the victim to sign off on the check. The victim will not be able to ask for more money if the check runs out before all the bills are paid. Victims may want to avoid speaking with either the establishment or the insurer.
Not Talking To A Lawyer
Talking to a personal injury lawyer in Ohio is free. There is no risk for a slip-and-fall victim to discuss the matter and learn if they have a claim and find out what kind of compensation they may be entitled to. These cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means no fees unless there is a financial recovery.