Slip and fall accidents fall under the umbrella of premises liability, an area of personal injury law that addresses the legal responsibility of property owners to maintain safe premises that are reasonably free from dangers. When a property owner fails to meet that responsibility, and as a result, someone is hurt, the victim may be owed compensation for their injuries and other related damages.
However, what you do after a slip and fall accident can have a tremendous impact on your ability to recover compensation in the future.
Steps To Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, taking the following steps will protect your health, well-being, and legal interests. Even if you do not complete all of the recommended steps, we still encourage you to reach out to The Mejia Law Firm to learn about your legal right to compensation after a slip and fall accident.
Remain Still and Assess for Injuries
A sudden and unexpected fall can result in serious or even catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Abrasions and cuts
Your first instinct after a serious fall may be to quickly sit or stand up, especially if you feel embarrassed by your unexpected tumble. Moving quickly after a slip and fall accident is not advisable, though.
Before you attempt to change positions or stand up, evaluate how you feel and whether anything appears to be broken. When you do move, have someone help support you and stand nearby to prevent additional falls. Ask for a chair if you do not feel steady on your feet.
If anything does not feel right, do not move and ask a friend, family member, or witness to call 911. Wait for emergency responders and do not allow anyone to move you.
Take Pictures of the Scene
The evidence in a slip and fall accident case can disappear quickly, so it is important to document as much of the scene as you can. If you are able to move, use your phone to take the following pictures:
- A wide shot of the general scene that situates where the accident occurred
- Close-up shots of the condition that caused the accident (wet floors, uneven tiles, loose carpet, etc.)
- Pictures of any injuries that are already showing, including bruising and cuts
- Pictures that prove there was a lack of signage warning of hazardous conditions
If you are unable to take pictures on your own, asked a trusted friend or family member to take them for you. If you have already left the scene, have someone return as soon as possible to take pictures before the property owner or manager has time to change or alter the scene too much.
Collect Witness Contact Information
When you file a premises liability claim for a slip and fall accident, your compensation will generally be paid by the property owner’s insurance company. Most insurance companies will do everything within their power to limit liability, deny responsibility, and lower payouts. Having verbal or written support of eyewitness statements can make a profoundly positive impact on the outcome of your case.
Notify the Property Owner or Manager
Before you leave the scene of a slip and fall accident, notify the property owner or manager of the incident. Do not admit fault or say anything that could be construed as taking responsibility for the accident. Avoid statements like, “I didn’t notice where I was going,” or “I wasn’t looking where I was walking.”
Stick to the facts whenever you discuss your accident. Tell the property owner or manager that there was a dangerous condition and that it caused you to fall. Let your lawyer take on the responsibility of proving who was at fault for your fall and resulting injuries.
Seek Medical Care
If you did not call 911 while at the scene of your fall accident, seek medical care as soon as possible. Proceed straight to the emergency room if you are suffering from significant pain, believe you have a broken bone, or are experiencing:
- A headache that gets worse or won’t go away
- Dizziness or confusion
- Trouble speaking or forming words
- Memory loss
- Clear fluid leaking from your ears or nostrils
- Any loss of consciousness
Never try to minimize or explain away your symptoms. If you are worried or feel that something is not right, go to the emergency room or call 911.
If you do not require emergency medical services, call your primary care physician and schedule an appointment. Let them know that you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident and need to be evaluated for injuries as soon as possible.
Contact a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Your physical, financial, and emotional well-being after a slip and fall accident hinges on your ability to secure the compensation you are owed. While you can file a slip and fall claim on your own, your chances of securing a full and fair settlement without the help of an attorney are slim. The insurance company will take advantage of your inexperience in dealing with complicated legal matters to lowball your compensation.
Do not allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Contact a slip and fall accident lawyer to ensure that you always have a dedicated advocate on your side.
What Can a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
The slip and fall accident lawyers from The Mejia Law Firm have dedicated their professional careers to advocating for the legal rights of injury victims in Houston, TX. We have experience handling complex slip and fall accident cases.
When you choose to work with an attorney, you’ll have the backing of a legal team that can:
- Investigate the circumstances of your slip and fall accident.
- Collect all possible evidence, including security footage that might have captured the fall.
- Determine all possible defendants in your case, including the property owner, property managers, contractors, construction companies, and more.
- Connect you with reputable medical professionals who are willing to testify on your behalf.
- Correctly determine the value of your claim.
- Take on all communications with the insurance company so that you can focus on your health and well-being.
Contact the Mejia Law Firm To Discuss Your Case for Free
The Mejia Law Firm offers free consultations to injury victims in Houston, TX. If you’ve been hurt because of another person’s negligence, want to know more about your legal rights, or are unsure what to do after a slip and fall accident, fill out our convenient online form or call our office to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation.
Texas Dram Shop Laws