No one wants to be involved in a slip and fall accident, yet in 2018, 27% of non-fatal work injuries resulting in days away from work were related to slips, trips, and falls. But, they can also happen at a store, restaurant, or even just walking down the street. Since June is National Safety Month, we wanted to share how to protect yourself from a personal injury and when to call a slip and fall lawyer.
Defining a Slip and Fall Case
A slip and fall accident is a premises liability claim, meaning a dangerous property condition causes injury to someone. This type of case means an injured person must prove negligence on the property owner’s part that created the hazardous situation. Since it can get complicated, it’s always a smart idea to contact a slip and fall lawyer when facing this type of personal injury. Some examples of slip and fall hazards are:
- Icy sidewalks
- Missing handrails
- Trip hazards
- Slippery substance on the floor
- Malfunctioning elevator
- Inadequate lighting or security
If any of these hazards lead to injury, you may have a slip and fall case. For more information about slips and falls, check out our previous blog post with some frequently asked questions.
How to Protect Yourself from a Slip, Trip, and Fall Accident
One of the best ways to protect yourself from having to file a claim for an injury is to do your best to prevent it in the first place. Here are some ways to protect yourself:
- Be aware of your surroundings – Watch for any hazards that could cause injury and avoid them. Don’t walk in a dark area, avoid entering hazard zones, and avoid distractions, like using your cell phone while walking.
- Watch where you’re walking – While we don’t suggest walking with your head hanging down, scan the path you’re walking ahead of you to look out for hazards like icy conditions, obstructions, or unstable ground.
- Heed warning signs – Slippery floor signs, danger zones, and no trespassing signs are there for a reason. Obey any safety signs you see.
- Keep up with routine maintenance – You also have to worry about others falling on your property. Keep up with your regular maintenance around your home and yard, like clearing sidewalks after a snowstorm, to help protect yourself from a slip and fall case.
- Provide duty of care – An owner must provide care for their visitors while on their premises. Doing things like picking up trash, securing cords and wires, and not putting obstacles where people walk can help protect you.
You’re Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident—Now What?
If you are injured in a slip, trip, or fall accident at the fault of a negligent property owner, you may be wondering what you should do or if you even have a case. If you or someone you know has sustained an injury due to an unsafe property condition, there are a few steps to take.
Get Medical Attention
When you are injured, you need to be evaluated by a medical professional. Go to your nearest emergency room or call 911 if you can’t get there yourself. Be sure to keep documentation of your medical records and the physicians you saw. If you have to remove your shoes or clothing at the hospital, be sure to keep them in a separate bag, as they may be evidence later.
Report the Accident
No matter where you were when the accident happened—either at work, a business, or someone’s house—make sure you report the accident to the property owner, landlord, or responsible party. If they don’t cooperate, you can call the police. Ask for a copy of the written report.
Decline giving statements to anyone, including insurance companies, unless you first consult with a slip and fall lawyer. Avoid reporting details of the accident on social media.
Let us help you!
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone was around when the accident happened, get a written statement from them, as well as their name, address, phone number, and email address.
Document the Accident
Write down your own statement of what happened, including where it happened, how it happened, the dangerous condition that caused your injury, any medical treatment you received, who was there, and any other relevant information. Take pictures of the hazardous condition and surrounding area and see if there were any video cameras that may have recorded the incident.
Need help with these steps? A personal injury lawyer can assist you in obtaining documentation and evidence.
Consider Your Carelessness
There is almost always some amount of personal responsibility when it comes to slip and fall cases. If a court finds you were more than 50 percent responsible for the injury like if you were trespassing or distracted with a cell phone, you won’t be able to collect restitution from the property owner.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Slip and fall cases are complicated. They require proving a negligent property owner caused an unsafe condition that resulted in your injury. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you through this process by ensuring you get proper medical attention, recover medical expenses and lost wages, and collect for your pain and suffering.
Need a Slip and Fall Lawyer?
May, May & Zimmerman is your experienced legal team in Lancaster, PA, to win the financial compensation you deserve after a slip and fall injury. We’ll use a common-sense approach and listen to your goals to get the best possible outcome. Contact us for a free consultation now and see how our experience can simplify the legal process, avoid unnecessary fees, and help you collect restitution for your injury claim.
This blog is being published for educational purposes only as well as to provide general information and a basic understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By entering this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. This site should never be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Let us Help!
If you found this post helpful and would like more advice from an experienced lawyer, fill out the form below to connect.