We are all aware of our risk for a slip and fall accident during the winter. That is why property owners in Allentown have only ten (10) hours to clear their sidewalks following a storm. Winter is not the only time you are at risk of personal injury from a slip and fall accident.
According to the World Health Organization falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths worldwide. Approximately 684,000 people die globally as a result of falls, with 37.3 million requiring medical attention.
Knowing how to prevent slip and fall accidents is the first step to keeping yourself safe. Keeping a personal injury attorney’s phone number in your pocket and knowing what to do after a slip and fall accident is important to your recovery and receipt of the compensation you deserve.
What to Do Following a Slip and Fall Accident
When you are in a slip and fall accident, there are several steps you need to take to insure your medical needs are met. It is also important to gather sufficient information in the event you need to consult with an attorney regarding a claim.
Do Not Say Anything Indicating Blame
Do not make statements that may be interpreted as your acceptance of blame. Something as innocent as saying you are embarrassed at being so clumsy can be twisted against you in negotiations or court.
Do not make accusations against the business or homeowner about the cause of your fall. If you are able, take photos or video of what caused the fall.
Obtain Medical Treatment
If you incur injuries following a slip and fall your main priority is obtaining medical treatment. This ensures your best chance for complete recovery and provides a “paper trail” regarding your condition and treatment. This is important if you need to take legal action to receive compensation for your care.
Do not miss any medical appointments and complete all follow-up care recommended by the treating physician. It is hard to prove you have a serious injury if you do not follow the doctor’s instructions.
Report the Accident
Make sure you notify the appropriate person where you fall. This may be a homeowner, landlord, store owner, or employer. If the fall happens at a place of business, request a written accident report be filed and obtain a copy prior to leaving.
If there are witnesses, gather their names and contact information. Take photographs and video of the location where you fell as soon after the accident as possible. This documents the condition of the area.
Businesses have an obligation to keep their sidewalks and flooring clean and free of hazards. Homeowners must take similar action around their homes. Hazards include wobbly, uneven steps, broken concrete, snow-covered walkways, missing or defective handrails and more.
Write down what you were doing immediately prior to the accident. Include the manner in which you fell, the exact time, and the date.
Recovery and lawsuits can take extended periods of time. Small but important details may be forgotten over time. It is important to record as much information as possible at the time of the fall, including taking photos and video of your injuries.
Do Not Provide Statements
Limit your communication with the property owner, manager, or insurance adjuster. Do not post about the accident or your injuries on social media.
Insurance companies want to trick you into saying something they can use against you to deny your claim. Homeowners, business managers, and landlords will seek any information they can provide their insurance so your claim is denied.
Do Not Agree to a Settlement
You may receive an immediate settlement offer from the business or an insurance adjuster. Do not agree or sign anything without discussing it with an attorney.
Insurance companies and business owners offer low-ball settlements. Once you agree, you have no legal recourse if your injuries are more severe than initially believed.
A personal injury attorney will recognize a low offer and negotiate on your behalf. They may delay settlement until a determination on your long-term prognosis can be made.
Call a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
When you suffer substantial injury in a slip and fall accident, you need to call an attorney. They will review your case and determine the necessary steps to get the compensation you deserve.
Your attorney will handle negotiations with insurance adjusters, obtain necessary medical records, accident reports, and other discovery to prove your case. They will be familiar with the two-year Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations and file a lawsuit before the deadline.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents
The biggest factor is to watch where you are walking when on a property you are not familiar with. When walking outside you need to:
- Wear appropriate footwear
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Keep your arms out of pockets
- Use handrails when walking up or down steps
- When available, use well-lit walkways or utilize the flashlight feature on your cell phone so hazards are noticeable
Six Slip and Fall Accident Injury Facts
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports fall fatalities are equally split between men and women. If you think it won’t happen to you, keep these facts in mind:
- More than two million fall injuries every year are due to floors and flooring materials
- Fifty percent of all accidental deaths at home are due to a fall, most at ground level
- Falls are the number one cause of injuries in the United States every year
- Fractures from falls are the second leading cause of brain injury and spinal cord injuries in those over age 65
- More than 8 million emergency room visits each year are fall injuries
Of all falls that are compensable, only 40% are from heights and 60% are on the same level.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you suffer a slip and fall accident after receiving medical treatment make your first call to Scherline Injury Law. It is important to call an attorney immediately because there is a statute of limitations to file a claim. We are an award-winning personal injury law firm with over 40 years of experience. Client satisfaction is our number one goal.
Call our Allentown office at (610) 437-1100 or send us an email to schedule a free no-obligation consultation. We will respond day or night, seven days a week.
Call today for a free consultation.