As temperatures continue to drop and rain and precipitation continue to fall here in Everett, the odds of slipping, tripping, or falling on slick surfaces is always high. The pain of falling suddenly and landing hard, often on your back or hip can be excruciating. Dozens of people are severely injured and hospitalized every year because of a hazardous falling.
While these events can happen in a matter of milliseconds, the repercussions of the fall can be tremendous. Victims may need to see surgeons, chiropractors, and physical therapists for several months, sometimes years, before they recover from the shock of a fall. As time goes on, the weight of the total medical expenses owed can be heavy.
Medical Compensation with a Personal Injury Claim
Thankfully, there is a way for you recover financial aid to pay for your medical expenses resulting from the fall. With the assistance of a personal injury attorney, you can begin looking for coverage for your claim. Often times the property you slip on is at a business that has insurance coverage. If you slip and fall and are injured at someone’s residence, you may have a claim with the homeowner’s insurance. If there is strong support for your claim, an attorney will help you prepare a claim the proper way. Early investigation is often critical to the success of as
3 Prerequisites to a Successful Slip and Fall Claim
Often times slip and fall personal injury claims are among some of the hardest to prove. This is because there are several factors that must be taken into account: what problem caused the fall, whether or not the property owner knew about the issue, and the victim’s responsibility in the moment of the fall.
- Cause of the Fall
There are a number of public places where people are at high risk of tripping and falling: steps outside a building, slippery sidewalks or paths, weather conditions like ice, poorly designed structures or property, and uneven floors. However, some incidents are simple accidents. We understand accidents happen. It is our job to determine causation and the strength of the case based on the facts. In order to file a personal injury claim, the victim must be able to show documented proof that the injury was sustained because of a problem with the property.
- Property Owner’s Awareness
Property owners and managers are busy people. Unfortunately, this activity can often lead them to neglect significant problems with their property. If a property manager or owner concedes to being aware of a dangerous problem with their property and did not take action, then there may be grounds for a claim. The standard is whether the property owner knew of the danger, or should have known of the danger. Many times an investigation will find other people that have reported the danger, or the danger has been so obvious the property owner should have done something about it. For example, often times an investigation will yield pictures after the fall showing organic matter or moss on stairs, which any property owner should have known about because it is obvious and must have been there for a relatively long duration of time. There are other exceptions to the rule. In grocery stores, for example, there is a strict liability standard in the produce area, which means grocery stores are automatically on notice their produce area can be slippery and they need to take extra precautions.
Ask our attorneys if your case is one that falls into one of these categories.
- Victim’s Responsibility
The victim’s behavior during the time of the slip and fall accident can also determine the odds of a successful personal injury claim. If a victim was behaving recklessly, intoxicated, or was simply not paying attention, then they are usually deemed responsible for their own injuries. Instead, a victim must demonstrate, through evidence or eyewitness testimony, they were fully aware, attentive, and behaving responsibly at the time of the fall. Although nearly every slip and fall case has an element of fault to the victim, our attorneys can quickly assess the contributory fault levels and give you an evaluation of your claim.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Falling unexpectedly on hard ground can be incredibly painful and shocking. Here are some general instructions to keep in mind for the next time you or another takes a painful tumble:
- Report to Management
If you’ve fallen outside a building, on a flight of stairs, or inside or around a business, have someone report the injury to the property management or someone in charge. They need to know right away someone has been injured. The names of any witnesses should be on the report.
- Call for Medical Assistance
For serious injuries, it is important emergency medical assistance be contacted quickly. These professionals will ensure you see a doctor quickly and will be able to document your pain and symptoms were directly caused by your fall. If you observe you’ve only sustained minor injuries from the fall, it is still important to see a doctor right away. This way, the damages in your claim never come under fire for being caused by a separate incident.
- Take Notes / Pictures
In order to ensure your attorney will have everything they need to accurately prepare your personal injury claim, take pictures yourself or have a friend capture some pictures of the scene and what caused your fall. Also be sure to take down notes describing the incident. Try to make note of as many relevant details as possible so that you don’t forget them and for your attorney to clearly analyze the incident
Russell and Hill Personal Injury Attorneys
If you experienced a fall that was more than just an accident, one of our trained Everett slip and fall accident attorneys can assist you in filing a personal injury claim. We can help you analyze the facts, collect evidence, negotiate with insurance agents, meet with doctors, and file a claim.