Sometimes, a fall in a restaurant, hotel lobby, or shopping mall is an embarrassing mishap. You trip, hop back up, and hope nobody saw. Other times, however, you go down hard and seriously injure yourself. Nobody wants to make a big scene about a slip and fall, but when the property owner’s negligence was the cause of your fall, and you sustain injuries requiring costly medical treatment, you might not have a choice. Holding the negligent property owner responsible might be the only way to cover your losses.
What to Do at the Scene of the Fall
Unfortunately, our natural instinct to shake it off and act as if nothing happened after an embarrassing fall can come back to haunt us if we need to file a claim for compensation. Of course, if you are seriously injured, you will not be able to shake it off. But even if you are able to get up and don’t think you are badly hurt, it’s important to take a few proactive steps while you are still at the scene of the fall just in case your injuries are worse than you think. If possible, we recommend doing the following:
- Report the fall. Ask to speak to a manager and request an accident report form. This will document the time and date of the fall, as well as start a paper trail that will be important later on. Employees might try to shrug off the incident as not serious enough to report, so you will have to insist on filing an accident form. Make sure you keep a copy of the report as well.
- Take pictures. Use your cell phone to take photos of the site of your fall. If you tripped on a torn carpet or loose cords, or you slipped on water or ice, be sure to capture that in the picture. These images will serve as important evidence when making your claim for compensation.
- Identify witnesses. If other shoppers or patrons saw you fall, ask for their names and phone numbers. You might need them to describe what happened later on.
- Go to the ER or urgent care. Get medical attention as soon as possible after your fall. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, you should be checked out by a doctor to make sure you do not have hidden injuries. Seeing a doctor right away will also provide proof later on that you took the incident seriously.
- Call a lawyer. The insurance company for the property where you fell is not going to hand over a check just because you say you were hurt there. These are not easy claims to win, and you will need the advice of a premises liability attorney as soon as possible after the fall.
The personal injury and premises liability lawyers at Mahaney & Pappas will investigate the circumstances of your fall and, if they think you have a viable slip and fall claim, will begin to build your case. You will not have to pay for this initial case evaluation. In fact, you will not owe our firm anything until and unless we win your claim and you are compensated for your losses.
What You Will Have to Prove to Win a Claim
Proving that the owner of the property is liable for your injuries requires that you demonstrate all of the following:
- The owner of the property, or an employee of the business located there, either should have known that a hazardous condition existed or caused the hazard directly, and they failed to take measures to remove or repair the hazard.
- The obstacle or hazard was the cause of your slip or trip and fall accident.
- You were injured and suffered material losses as a result of the fall on the property.
Proving these key points involves inspecting the property, speaking to witnesses, obtaining security camera footage, gathering medical records, and seeking expert testimony. Our experienced slip and fall attorneys will do all of that and more to get you the compensation you deserve.
Call Mahaney & Pappas in Framingham After a Catastrophic Fall
The sooner you call our office after your accident, the sooner we can get to work collecting and preserving evidence. The business’s negligence has already caused you harm; don’t give them a reason to deny your legitimate claim for compensation. Get a straightforward and honest analysis of your claim from our experienced premises liability team today.