If you are involved in a car accident, the reporting rules are relatively straightforward and usually include contacting your insurance company and 911, so there is a police report on file and emergency services on hand to supply any needed medical treatment. However, the steps you should take after a slip or fall are less clear.
Slips, trips, and falls can occur for several reasons, some of which are not the injured party’s fault. Unless the fall happened due to a crime, there is no need to notify the police, but contacting the premises owner and reporting the incident should occur as soon as possible.
If you fall on privately owned property, immediately contact the property owner to report it. If this is not possible or you are in a commercial setting like a store, contact the most senior staff member present to make your report.
Sometimes you may fall on public property, in which case you should report the incident to the government agency responsible. In all cases, ensure the details of the incident are recorded, and you receive a copy of the written report. Also, take the name and contact information of the person you reported the accident to in case you need to follow up.
Once you have completed your report to the property owner or manager, there are additional steps you can take to ensure the best outcome for your claim.
- Gather witness details. While it can be embarrassing to slip in front of strangers, those who see the event or attempt to help you can confirm details of the occurrence, including how it happened. For example, they could back up that the floor was wet but there was no wet floor sign posted. Whenever possible, get the names and contact details of any witnesses who can corroborate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
- Seek medical treatment. If you have been harmed due to a slip and fall, it is vital to see a medical professional as soon as possible. Any injuries or health issues resulting from the incident should be documented so they can be linked to the fall.
- Be careful what you say. When discussing the event with the parties involved, be careful not to make any statements that could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt or an accusation of liability. The circumstances will not be immediately apparent, and no official statements should be made without your lawyer’s input.
- Retain documented evidence. If you have collected information from staff or witnesses and received written reports, make sure you keep these safe and accessible so they can be used for any future inquiries. Keep original copies of all documents where possible.
- Take photographic evidence. It may not be a natural impulse to take photographs of an accident, especially if you are in pain, but visual evidence of elements that may have led to a fall is very compelling. Ensure, where possible, images are clear and document relevant details.
Once you have made a report and received medical help, the next step is to seek compensation for your injuries. Depending on their severity, injuries can result in steep medical costs or time away from work, leading to a loss of income.
This is the time limit in which you have to make your claim. In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for slip and falls is one year from the day you sustain an injury.
This term describes the sharing of blame in an incident. The property owner may argue that individuals bear responsibility for their own falls due to a lack of attention or care. Louisiana’s comparative fault law allows for a portion of damages to be paid out based on the percentage of liability the jury deems the property owner holds vs. how much fault the injury victim holds.
Receive Compensation for Your Fall with Our Help
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a slip and fall due to hazards on someone else’s property, a personal injury lawsuit can help compensate you for treatment costs or loss of income.
Contact Dudley DeBosier for a free consultation with one of our Louisiana slip and fall lawyers today. Our experienced attorneys can protect your rights while you focus on your recovery.
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