Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious long-term injuries that can impair your ability to work and maintain your former quality of life. To make sure you have every chance to receive fair and just compensation, it’s important to know what to do in the immediate aftermath of a slip, trip and fall accident.
Liability for a slip and fall
The reason it’s important to know the steps to take immediately after an accident is that, if you are injured and want to bring a suit for damages to obtain redress for your injuries, a court will require evidence of your injury and the conditions surrounding the slip and fall.
Under Louisiana law, another party, whether person or company, may be liable for your injuries. Liable means they are at fault. They must have caused the conditions. Did you slip on a roller skate left carelessly out of the box by a toy store employee? Was spilled milk left for an hour in a grocery store aisle? Then it can be argued that the company caused your slip and fall. They also must have known about the dangerous condition and done nothing to fix it in a reasonable time. Finally, the court will need to know that a reasonable person would have found out about the condition and fixed it.
Checklist for what to do after a slip and fall
What should you do immediately after experiencing a slip, trip or fall injury? Here is a checklist to review after your accident:
Report the accident to management
If you slip and fall in a retail or other store, report the incident to management. There needs to be documentation that an accident happened shortly after it happened, or the court may question why it was not reported.
Get contact information for any witnesses
It’s also highly important to get the names and contact information (phone or e-mail addresses) for any witnesses. If you are with a friend, ask them to do this while you attend to your injuries. Eyewitness testimony can be crucial.
Document your injuries and the scene
If you have a cell phone with a camera, take pictures of your injuries immediately. This is highly important. Cameras are the best form of documentation available. Blood will wash off and bruises fade. You need documentation that gives the full scope of your injuries.
You also need to document what the scene looked like, from several angles. Take pictures of the roller skate or spilled milk from above and sideways on both left and right. Again, the scene will be cleared and cleaned soon. You need evidence of the danger of the situation.
If you do not have a camera when the accident happens, write down all the details about your injuries and the scene as soon as you can. Take pictures of your injuries as soon as you can after the accident.
Seek medical treatment
Go to a doctor if you need treatment. If it’s an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room. Give medical personnel detailed information about your injury and how it happened. Their reports and treatment can be used as evidence.
Complete any accident forms accurately
Some businesses may want you to fill out accident forms. Be sure to do this completely and accurately. Be aware, though, that you are not required by law to do this if you feel uncomfortable.
Consult a slip and fall attorney at no charge
Are you considering contacting a slip and fall lawyer in Lafayette, Louisiana? Bart Bernard is highly experienced in slip, trip and fall cases. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another party, we can provide a complimentary consultation to discuss your case. We have convenient offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana. Call us today or contact Bart Bernard online.
Additional “slip and fall accident checklist” resources:
- Slip and Fall Incident Report, http://www.emcins.com/docs/ofilib/aa050001338_20131011.pdf