A slip and fall accident may sound like a minor incident that you just get up from and go on with your life. Unfortunately, this is often far from the case, as slip and falls can be extremely serious and lead to injuries like broken bones, long-term head and brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and others.
In the US alone, slip and fall accidents are among the leading causes of unintentional injuries, accounting for approximately 1 million visits to the emergency room annually. They are also the leading cause of lost days at work, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Falls, and slip and falls are also the second-leading cause of unintentional death especially with the elderly people.
If you are injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, you may not know what to do next. If you sustained the injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you deserve to be compensated for any physical pain and financial losses you may have incurred as a result of the injury.
Here are the steps to take after a slip and fall accident in LA
1. Report the Accident
Report your slip and fall accident as soon as it happens. The report has to be made to the owner of the property or someone in charge, regardless of whether it happened on private or public property. For instance, if it happened in an apartment building, you should report it to the landlord or building manager. If it happened on public property, you should report it to the police, park rangers, or whichever property representative is available. Get the name of the person with whom you’ve filed the report, and try to get a copy if you can.
2. Seek Medical Help Immediately
Be sure to call for medical help as soon as possible. Your health is the most important thing, so you should seek medical care even if you don’t think you have been seriously injured. Medical care might include transport to a hospital (by ambulance or your own transportation) if you believe you have been seriously injured, or visiting a doctor afterwards and receiving physical therapy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of five slip and falls results in a serious injury. Some injuries, like Traumatic Brain Injuries, may not be felt until months after the accident and cause serious problems if not diagnosed early. Medical care is important to make sure you are alright and also because it may seem suspicious if you did not seek medical care immediately after the accident.
3. Collect the Evidence
You need to collect and document as much evidence as you can find about the slip and fall accident. Start collecting the evidence right after you sustain the injury. This is important since, as time goes by, it gets harder to prove that your accident was caused by another party.
Take pictures of the slip and fall site if possible. Capture any details that can help you prove the negligence of the at-fault party such as: torn carpets, cracked floors, wet floors without signs, etc. If there are any witnesses to your accident, make sure you get their contact information. You should also keep a detailed record of your injuries, your treatment, and your general progress during the healing process.
4. Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company
You may receive a call from the insurance company or someone representing the property owners after your slip and fall accident. While this may seem completely harmless, insurance companies are known to be sneaky and can use your words against you. Do not speak with insurance adjusters unless your attorney is present and never sign anything before running it by your attorney.
5. Hire an attorney with experience in slip and fall cases
You need to have an experienced lawyer in your corner to help you prove your case and get the compensation you deserve. A slip and fall attorney will answer any questions you have related to the accident and what your next course of action should be. They will also communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and navigate the process of filling your claim and proving liability. The cost of legal services depends on the lawyer’s expertise, experience, and the complexity of the case.
If you live in the Los Angeles area and are in need of a slip and fall accident lawyer, contact The Law Offices of Ilona Gorin to work on your case and get you the compensation you deserve. With over 10 years serving people in the greater LA and San Fernando Valley, you can count on our slip and fall legal team to use all the resources at our disposal to get you the help you need and the settlement you deserve.