What to Do After A Slip & Fall Accident in Kansas City?
A slip and fall is often thought of as a “minor” personal injury accident that results in a few bruises and a bruised ego. However, our personal injury law firm undestands how a slip and fall can result in severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. The damages and losses from a slip and fall accident can be significant, especially if you sustain a permanent impairment or disability because of the fall.
It is important to take certain steps immediately after the fall to protect your right to recover full compensation after a slip and fall accident. Our Kansas City slip and fall attorney discusses the top seven things to do after a slip and fall accident.
1. Report the Fall Immediately
Contact the property owner, manager, or other person in charge of the property to report the fall. If the accident occurs in a retail store, government building, or other business location, the business or property owner may have a procedure for reporting falls. When possible, follow the procedures for filing an accident report. Be careful what you say while reporting the accident. State the facts simply without going into too much detail.
While you are reporting the accident, pay close attention to anything that the owner, manager, supervisor, or other employee states about the accident. For example, try to make a mental note if the manager states that they knew about the condition and had planned on correcting it. Another example of something to remember is if an employee or other person states that you are not the first one to fall because of the condition.
2. Document the Accident Scene
While you are waiting for the owner or emergency services, take pictures, or make a video of the accident scene. Documenting the accident scene before the conditions are changed can be extremely important for a personal injury claim. Make sure that you include the entire area surrounding the accident scene in your photographs, especially items that contributed to your fall such as liquid on the floor, broken flooring, broken overhead lights, items on the floor, etc.
3. Talk to Eyewitnesses
Eyewitnesses can be a crucial element in your slip and fall case. Witnesses can describe how you feel and the conditions at the time of your fall. Eyewitnesses corroborate your version of events to make it more difficult for the property owner to dispute what you said took place. At the accident scene, ask eyewitnesses for their contact information, including names, telephone numbers, and email address. Your Kansas City slip and fall attorney follows up with each witness to obtain a statement.
4. Seek Medical Attention
Documenting your injuries after a slip and fall is one of the most important things that you need to do. If you did not go directly to the hospital after the fall, you need to see your family doctor as soon as possible. Insurance companies and defense attorneys often use delays in medical treatment to argue that a person’s injury was not a result of the fall or the injury is not as severe as the person claims.
It is good to keep in mind that you may not recognize the full extent of your injuries immediately after the accident. Some injuries may not present signs or symptoms for a few hours or days following a fall. For example, you may not begin to notice the signs of a brain injury for a few hours or the next day. A medical provider knows what to look for after a fall and may spot symptoms of a serious condition that requires further diagnostic tests to determine the full extent of the injury.
5. Document Your Losses and Damages
During your recovery, you need to document your financial losses and damages. Keep receipts for all expenses related to your injury, including medical visits, medications, medical equipment, and travel expenses. If you need to pay someone to help with household chores, you need to make sure to document those payments too.
In addition to documenting your financial damages, you need to document your pain and suffering. Take pictures of your injuries throughout the recovery. Keep a journal that details your daily pain level and challenges you encounter because of your injuries. You should also note how your injuries negatively impact your relationships with others, ability to work, ability to care for yourself, and quality of life.
6. Avoid Discussing Your Accident and Injury
Until you meet with an attorney, you should avoid discussing your accident and injury with others, including family, friends, and online. You should also avoid providing a written or recorded statement for the insurance company or other representative of the property owner.
Statements could be used in court to contradict your testimony if something you said in the statement was different from your testimony. It is best to avoid providing statements and discussing your accident until you discuss the matter with a Kansas City slip and fall attorney.
7. Contact a Kansas City Slip & Fall Lawyer
If you have not spoken with our attorney, it is a good idea to do so in most slip and fall cases. Working with our attorney as soon as possible after an injury can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your case. It also relieves stress because our slip and fall attorney will handle all aspects of your claim, including but not limited to:
- Investigating the accident
- Obtaining copies of accident reports, medical records, and other written evidence
- Identifying all parties who may be liable for your accident
- Notify insurance providers and parties of a potential claim
- Gather evidence and build a case for fault and liability
- Prepare a settlement demand package to forward to the other parties
- Negotiate a settlement that is fair and just
- File a personal injury lawsuit if the other parties refuse to pay a fair amount to settle your claim or deny any liability for your fall
Call a Kansas City Slip and Fall Attorney for a Free Case Review
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus offers free case reviews for accident victims and their families. Don't postpone contacting our firm because it does not cost you anything to meet with our attorney for an initial consultation.
During your initial consultation, we'll help you understand your legal rights under the premises liability laws in Kansas or Missouri. We'll advise you about the process of filing an injury claim and what damages you may be entitled to recover. You also learn how our law firm can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for a slip and fall injury.