Slip and fall accidents happen every day – and they can lead to injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to broken bones, brain injury, or even death. Depending on the extent of the injuries, a split-second accident can create serious physical, mental, and financial issues.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property and negligence was involved, the property owner may be liable. However, some common mistakes can make it difficult or even impossible for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Here are some important errors you’ll want to avoid.
1. Failing to File a Report
After a slip and fall, many people feel embarrassed. They may not realize the extent of their injuries and may be more concerned about leaving before anyone can see them. However, this is a huge mistake!
Any time you fall on someone else’s property, it’s best to bring it to someone’s attention right away. Ideally, you should remain on the ground until someone who witnessed the fall can come over and help you up. However, if you did not do this, it may not be too late. If you’ve fallen within the last 48 hours, consider going back to the place where it occurred and filing a report.
2. Failing to Preserve Evidence
A surveillance video can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Sometimes, these videos can be erased, so you’ll want to reach out to the owner of the property right away to ensure it’s preserved. An official letter from an attorney can go a long way toward making sure this happens.
After the incident, it’s also important to collect and keep all records related to your case. This may include medical records, receipts, photos, texts, emails, and other documentation.
3. Waiting Too Long to Make a Claim
Slip and fall victims often wait too long to file a legal claim. You may think that filing a claim isn’t worth the hassle, so you decide to simply deal with the pain and pay for the medical expenses on your own. However, these types of injuries can linger for a long time.
If you later decide that you need to file a lawsuit, you may find that you’ve missed your time limit (also called a statute of limitations). Waiting too long can also cause you to lose critical evidence that could support your claim.
4. Not Consulting with an Attorney
Having legal representation can give you the ability to successfully navigate the complex and time-consuming legal proceedings involved in a slip and fall lawsuit. An experienced attorney can provide you with professional advice on the best way to proceed and help you avoid some common mistakes that could derail your case.
When the property owner’s insurance company reaches out to you, being able to refer them to your attorney, rather than answering their questions directly, can help you avoid saying something that could lead them to deny your claim. In addition, you’ll want to have an attorney review all documents before you sign them. Your attorney can also help you determine whether a settlement offer is fair or if you need to continue your negotiations.
Contact Our Slip and Fall Attorneys Today
If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. The attorneys at Gallagher & Hagopian are here to help. Reach out to us today to schedule a free case evaluation.