What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident Legally
Unintentional falls accounted for 32.7% or over 6.841 million nonfatal injuries in 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent data.
Slip and falls can cause many injuries, such as head trauma, broken bones, lacerations, scrapes, and sprains.
This article provides vital information to those confused after a slip and fall accident and want to know what to do next. But this article provides them vital information about what to do after a slip and fall accident to protect their health and legal rights.
Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers serves as relentless and dedicated advocates for injury victims in Pennsylvania. We pride ourselves on providing efficient and effective representation when people need it most.
What Is the Difference Between a Slip, Trip, and Fall?
What is the difference between a slip, trip, and fall? Slips, trips, and falls are very similar, but important differences distinguish them. The best way to explain the distinctions is to give examples.
Example of a Slip
Jenny is walking in a grocery store and steps into a puddle of spilled cooking oil. Her feet slide out from under her, and she falls to the ground, landing on her elbow and her tailbone, which are both badly injured.
Example of a Trip
Latonya is walking through a museum, and her foot catches on a crumpled carpet, suddenly causing her to careen forward. She hits her head on a nearby display and lands awkwardly on her wrist, resulting in a head injury and a broken wrist.
Example of a Fall
Albert is walking down an escalator in a mall. As he walks down the escalator, it suddenly stops, knocking him off balance. He falls down the entire flight and badly injures himself.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
A slip-and-fall accident can be painful, embarrassing, and traumatic. After an unexpected event occurs, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your legal rights.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first step is to seek medical attention to address your physical health. You may feel “okay” after the accident, but this may be misleading. It’s important to remember that many injuries take time to present themselves fully.
Victims have excess adrenaline and other hormones coursing through their bodies after the accidents, which can mask the underlying symptoms.
A doctor can perform necessary tests to identify and treat the injuries. Further, seeking medical attention establishes an evidentiary foundation for what occurred, which you can use to prove your case.
2. Report the Accident to the Property Owner
Before or after you seek medical attention, it is important to report the accident to the property owner. You can do so by notifying nearby employees or talking to a manager.
If you have a verbal conversation with people who work or live at the property, it’s beneficial to send a written follow-up notice to confirm the conversation.
Doing so helps create a paper trail to prove that you communicated with the property owner about what happened.
3. Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer
To best protect your legal rights, it is beneficial to contact a slip and fall lawyer. You must meet essential deadlines, such as the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. If you miss the deadlines, the law may prevent you from filing a claim against the at-fault property owner.
Do I Need A Lawyer for a Slip and Fall?
Getting a slip-and-fall lawyer can be a big step, but it may be worth it. If you’re thinking about handling your case on your own, consider the psychological, financial, and emotional toll of the accident and how navigating a complex legal landscape on your own would add to that.
Should I get a lawyer for a slip and fall? An attorney brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table while serving as your guide and advocate.
Further, third parties and insurance companies are more likely to take both you and your claim seriously if an attorney represents you.
Steps on Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?
Most slip and fall cases are based on the legal theory of negligence, which requires injury victims to prove the following elements to have a valid claim:
- The property owner owed the victim a duty of care.
- The property owner failed to meet the duty of care.
- The property owner caused the accident and the victim’s injuries.
- The victim suffered damages.
How do you prove negligence in a slip-and-fall case? Accident victims can prove the above elements by presenting physical and documentary evidence, witness testimony, and reasoned legal arguments.
How Long Can a Slip and Fall Case Take?
How long can a slip-and-fall case take? Some cases may reach a successful settlement within months, while others may take years.
Further, going to trial may lengthen the process of obtaining compensation, but going to trial may work out better for you.
In some cases, a jury or judge may award you far more damages than the at-fault party would agree to pay in a settlement.
Are Slip and Fall Cases Hard to Win?
Are slip-and-fall cases hard to win? Some slip-and-fall cases are more difficult to win than others.
It depends on the applicable law, the facts of the case, and other factors, like how quickly the victim took action to protect their legal rights. The quality and freshness of the evidence also determine how hard it is to win the case.
For example, if a witness’s memory has faded because so much time has elapsed since the accident, their testimony may not be as compelling as it would have been had the deposition or trial taken place sooner.
Victims who choose to represent themselves rather than calling on the help of a skillful attorney may create an uphill battle for themselves.
It can be much more difficult for them to navigate and prepare legal matters on their own than it would be if they had an attorney to help them.
Beware of Slip and Fall Settlement Calculators
There is no hard and fast rule for calculating slip and fall settlements.
Many determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. Doing so requires adding up the actual and expected costs of the accident and quantifying the non-economical impact of the accident on the injury victim’s life.
A slip-and-fall attorney can use their knowledge and experience to estimate the settlement value of a particular case.
Call the Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Lawyers at Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers
Our Pennsylvania slip-and-fall lawyers relentlessly advocate for people who the negligence of others has injured.
We help individuals and families throughout Pennsylvania by aggressively fighting for their best interests and pursuing justice on their behalf through settlements or going to trial.
Philip Kim has over a decade of experience litigating state and federal cases, and publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post regularly consult with him to use his quotes in timely pieces.