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What to do after a slip-and-fall accident

Imagine you're walking through the grocery store. You are in somewhat of a hurry to get home, so you are walking quickly and focusing on getting everything on your list. Suddenly, you turn the corner into the produce aisle, slip, fall and wind up in serious pain on the ground.

In this scenario, most people would get up and just try to avoid the embarrassment of having fallen in public. They often assume it was their own fault for being careless and chalk up the incident to clumsiness. However, this could prove to be a costly mistake if the reason for your fall was not your fault, but someone else's.

Ask yourself these questions

In order to determine whether a slip-and-fall accident was an unfortunate accident or a preventable and dangerous situation, you should ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Did you fall on an obstacle that should not have been there, like a puddle or torn up carpet?
  2. Is there someone who knew about or should have known about the obstacle and cleared it away before someone could fall?
  3. Were there any signs warning you that the hazard existed?
  4. Would it be reasonable to expect that the property owner could have foreseen the hazardous condition?

Based on the answers to these questions, you should be able to tell if a fall was caused by a negligent property owner who failed to keep the premises safe.

Preserve key evidence

If this is the case, you could very well have grounds to pursue a premises liability claim. In order to do this, though, you would be wise to refrain from leaving the scene as quickly as possible. Instead, you should try to:

  • Take note of the scene in which you fell. If possible, take photos as well.
  • Gather information from people who witnessed the accident.
  • Document any medical care you required in the aftermath of the accident.
  • Gathering this information can be incredibly valuable in helping you build a negligence claim.

    However, it is quite understandable that a person who has fallen and gotten injured would not be in a frame of mind to stop and assess the environment and collect all this information. This is why it can be so critical to consult an attorney. With legal support and representation, a person injured in a slip-and-fall accident can pursue the compensation he or she deserves from a negligent party.

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