5 Key Steps to Help You Preserve a Personal Injury Claim

A slip and fall accident can happen at any time and practically anywhere. One minute you are shopping in your favorite mall, unaware that the floor in front of you is wet with spilled soda, and the next you are on the ground, bewildered, bruised, and in increasing pain. Depending on how hard you fell, you may even find your foreseeable future disrupted by medical bills, lost time from work, and even a mobility impairment that causes financial hardship for you and your family.

Florida law requires business owners to take reasonable measures to keep their premises safe for customers. Homeowners are also responsible for eliminating slip and fall hazards from their property. Regardless of where you are hurt, it is important that you take certain steps to preserve your claim. Here are five key steps you should take immediately following a slip and fall in Florida.

  1. Report the Incident

After you’ve fallen, you’ll need to file a report so that a record of the accident exists. Let the business manager or property owner know what has happened. Stick to the facts and refrain from making accusations or admitting fault. Ask for a copy of the report before you leave.

  1. Document the Accident Site

Protect your claim by documenting the accident site as much as possible. Take pictures of the area and, if there are surveillance cameras on site, request copies of the video. Examples of conditions that need to be documented include:

  • Spilled liquids on the floor
  • Loose debris (e.g. from recent renovations)
  • Bunched-up carpeting
  • Absence of warning signs
  1. Seek Medical Treatment

See your family physician or go to the emergency room as soon as you leave the property, even if you think that your injuries are minor. You could be badly hurt and not even realize it until the shock subsides. Medical tests could uncover something as severe as brain or spinal cord injuries. Whatever the diagnosis, obtain copies of all medical records and follow your doctor’s treatment plan so that the property owner’s counsel cannot try to claim that you negligently contributed to your own injuries.

  1. Refrain from Discussing Your Case

Although it might seem strange to avoid discussing the slip and fall with your friends and some family members, you could inadvertently say something that is later taken out of context and damages your claim. You should definitely avoid speaking with insurance companies or their attorneys, as their goal is to pay you as little as possible and they will try to get you to say something that compromises your rights.

  1. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Even if they don’t try to deny your claim right away, the at-fault party’s insurer will certainly try to reduce the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. A Florida personal injury attorney will protect you from any attempts to limit your financial recovery. They will also use the evidence of your injuries and the property owner’s negligence to advocate for you during settlement negotiations and even at trial.

Being injured and going through the legal system to obtain compensation is stressful. McKINNON LEGAL will provide you with the support and legal counsel you need to understand and protect your rights. To arrange a consultation, contact us for more information.