Slipping and falling may not sound especially serious, but under certain conditions, an accident can lead to catastrophic injuries with lifelong consequences. Property owners are legally required to maintain safe premises so that these incidents can be avoided. A property owner can be held liable for a slip and fall if they knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard that led to the accident. Examples of hazards include slick surfaces, ripped carpeting, a poorly lit area, uneven flooring, and debris on the ground.
In the immediate moments after a slip and fall, you may not be thinking about the possibility of taking legal action. You may even assume your injuries are not serious. Sadly, some injuries may not be immediately obvious, so it is always in your best interest to protect your rights. Whenever possible, you should not leave the scene right after falling. Instead, make every effort to complete the steps outlined below.
Determine Whether You Need Emergency Medical Attention
Your safety should be your top priority, so do not stay at the scene if you have suffered serious injuries. If you appear to have broken a limb or continue to feel off-balance, you (or someone else) should call an ambulance so that you can quickly go to the nearest medical provider.
Document What Happened
If you are well enough to stay at the scene, you should document as much as possible. Take photos and videos of the incident area, particularly the hazards that led to your fall. Try to do this immediately after the fall, as someone may inadvertently clean up or repair the hazard after you step away from the area. You should also take photos of any visible injuries and make a note of any security cameras that may have caught the accident. If there were any witnesses, ask for their contact information, including their names and phone numbers.
Create an Accident Report
You do not want a situation where a property owner claims an accident never happened on their premises, so you need to establish an official record of the incident. Hopefully, an employee or representative of the property will approach you as soon as they realize you were hurt and initiate an accident report. If no one does this, you should ask to speak to the person currently in charge. Firmly request an accident report be generated, and do not take no for an answer. Be very specific about what transpired, but avoid using any language that could imply the accident was your fault. Get a copy of this report before you leave. Now is also the time to ask for any relevant footage a security camera may have captured.
Get a Full Medical Examination
If you did not go to a hospital right after the accident, you should still see a doctor as soon as you can. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, especially if you hit your head. Furthermore, you need to link the injuries you suffered to the accident. Ask your medical provider for a complete report and carefully follow all treatment advice.
Speak to Our Slip and Fall Attorneys
You must act quickly if you want to recover compensation for slip and fall injuries. If you were injured on government-owned property, you will only have 90 days to start the process. If you were injured on commercial or residential property, you typically have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Should a slip and fall result in death, you will have two years from the date of the victim’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
When you call Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices, we will carefully review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a claim. If we believe the property owner is liable, we can walk you through your legal options and assist you throughout the legal process. Our goal is to recover the compensation you deserve as efficiently as possible.
Our personal injury lawyers can fight to recover compensation for many types of damages, including:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Reductions in earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Our legal professionals have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. If you were injured in a slip and fall, call (718) 690-3132 or contact us online today.