What To Do If You Ever Slip, Trip Or Fall On Another’s Property Due To Unsafe Conditions
We’d like to discuss what you should do should you ever incur an injury from slipping, tripping, or falling due to unsafe conditions on another’s property. The owner of a premises is responsible for the safety of the individuals who visit, whether the premise is a home, store, or place of business. If there is an unsafe condition, such as an icy driveway, broken stair, or slippery floor, and you trip, slip, or fall and end up with an injury, the premise’s owner may be held liable.
If you feel that you do have a claim against a premise’s owner and want to file, make sure you have what you need to prove your claim. Take the following steps should you ever become injured in a slip, trip or fall due to unsafe conditions on another’s property:
- Your health and wellbeing comes first. If you feel you need medical attention, get it right away. The longer you go with an injury untreated, the worse it may get. Also, you need proof of an injury, which requires a medical examination and a written diagnosis of your injury following your incident. Waiting to seek medical attention may actually weaken your case.
- Take a note of the dangerous conditions which made your slip, trip, or fall. Take photos of the scene. Photos of the scene are not only crucial to your case, they will also help your personal injury attorney in deciding how to handle the case. The premise’s owner may take photos of the scene as well, likely to “cover their tracks”. They may try to fix the unsafe condition(s) in anticipation of a claim being made against them. Your photos may corroborate your version of the story. If there are witnesses and you are unable to take photographs, ask a witness to take photos and send them to you.
- If there are any witnesses to your incident, make sure you get all of their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Witnesses can be extremely helpful, not just in testimony, but also to help you out during the incident.
- If you’re in a store or place of business, there’s likely a procedure for an “incident report”. Make sure to follow that procedure. The store or place of business should know about your incident. If a supervisor or anyone else who works at the store or place of business mentions anything regarding the unsafe condition(s), take note of their comment(s) and get their name, phone number and address. Their claim may help your case.
- Stay calm after the incident so you can perform these tasks. Don’t let anger toward the premise’s owner turn into an argument. This won’t help anything or anyone. But staying calm and taking mental notes of your surroundings, what you hear the premise’s owner (or employees of the store/place of work) say may help you attorney in building your case.
If you do end up making a claim, you’ll likely be contacted by the insurance adjuster and/or attorney of the premises owner. They’ll attempt to gain your trust, but it’s imperative you keep in mind that they are not on your side. It’s their job to make sure you lose your case or at very least, don’t receive adequate compensation for your medical treatment, pain and suffering, etc., which you are entitled to. They’ll try and ask you questions – likely difficult ones. Don’t discuss your incident with them. Refer them directly to your slip and fall attorney.