The first thing you should do if you slip and fall in a store is seek help from a medical professional. If you are seriously hurt and cannot get up, then lie still until the ambulance arrives. If you can get up, then call an ambulance on your own or try to go to the emergency room right away.
Even if you believe that you are okay, you should still visit your doctor to get an official diagnosis of your medical condition. Do not delay seeking medical treatment. Any delay could worsen any potential injuries and/or drastically impact your insurance claim or lawsuit. Once you have received the care you need, a slip and fall lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you recover compensation.
Document Your Accident
Once a medical professional has checked you out, then you should document your accident. Follow up with the property owner and make sure they filled out an official report. The incident report should include all the necessary details, including:
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident on the premises
- Details of the accident
- The cause of the accident
- Any noticeable signs of injury at the time of the accident
You may also want to write down any notes based on what you remember. Highlight what you were doing just before the accident and what circumstances led to your slip and fall.
Contact any witnesses. Try to get names, numbers, or addresses. Also, try to gather any official statements from witnesses. You can use all of this information in your insurance claim.
Explore Your Legal Options
Now that you have gathered some information, you may want to discuss your legal options with a slip and fall lawyer. By consulting an attorney, you can go over the details of your accident, ask questions, and get sound legal advice on what steps you need to take next.
In addition, your lawyer will be able to speak on your behalf when the insurance company attempts to contact you. The attorney will know how to communicate with the insurer to ensure that they follow the legal process properly and that you receive a fair settlement.
Why You Should Avoid Giving Any Official Statements
In a slip and fall case, both the property owner and their insurance company can use anything you say against you. Therefore, you may want to limit your conversations about your slip and fall injuries to just you and your attorney.
You may also want to refrain from speaking with other people or posting anything public such as on social media. Allow your attorney to correspond with all parties on your behalf.
How Your Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help Your Case
Your lawyer can be valuable in helping you get the maximum compensation for your slip and fall injuries and other damages. They can help in the following ways:
- Manage your case throughout the litigation
- Handle all of your paperwork, communication, and clerical duties
- Act as your sole legal representative in all areas of your case
- File a lawsuit, if necessary
- Ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not taken advantage of
- Negotiate a fair settlement to cover all of your damages
Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim
One of the most important steps you take after your slip and fall accident is gathering all necessary evidence to submit to the insurance company. The evidence will establish liability and help you determine the total value of your case.
The legal team working on your case can obtain the following evidence:
- Footage of the accident caught on camera
- Statements given by eyewitnesses
- Medical documents detailing your injuries and expenses
- Lost income while you were recovering
- Accident scene investigation
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
Do Not Take the Store Owner’s First Offer
A slip and fall accident can hurt a store’s reputation. Therefore, the owner may do everything they can to keep the incident from going public. As a result, the store owner may try to handle the situation by offering you an early settlement quietly.
While a quick settlement may seem like a noble gesture at first, you will want to discuss your options with your attorney before agreeing to a quick offer. Accepting a settlement prematurely may diminish the value of your damages. You may also incur additional expenses later on if you have a long-term medical condition or permanent disability.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
Just because you were injured does not mean that the property owner will admit fault or that the insurance company will accept your claim. The insurance adjuster will scrutinize your claim heavily and use any reason to turn your claim down or minimize your payout.
Your legal team will work hard to present your case and fight for fair compensation. However, if the insurance company refuses to accept your claim or offers an unfair settlement, you may explore other legal options.
Your attorney can file a lawsuit against the insurer and take your case to court, if necessary. You do not have to accept the insurance adjuster’s rejection or decision.
Contact Your Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
Before you make your next move after your slip and fall accident, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We can help you navigate the legal process so that you can recover all of your damages. To find out more about our legal services in South Florida, call us at 954-633-8270 for a free case assessment.