Slip & Fall Accidents: Injury Laws & Lawyers

Learn the basics about injury liability, evidence, damages, and when to talk to an attorney after a slip and fall accident.

A slip and fall accident can occur in a variety of settings, on public and private property, in a store aisle or on a city sidewalk. In most situations, property owners have a legal responsibility to keep premises reasonably safe from hazards (those that they actually know about and those that they should know about).

Customers and other visitors to property can get compensation -- via an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit -- when a slip and fall injury is attributable to carelessness or negligence on the part of a property owner. See What Makes a Slip and Fall Accident a Personal Injury Case to learn more about proving liability in these complicated types of personal injury case.

Should You Talk To a Lawyer?

After a slip and fall accident, it's a good idea to discuss your potential case with an attorney. An initial consultation is usually free, and should you choose to hire an attorney, most slip and fall cases are handled on a contingency basis. (Learn more about how attorney fees work.)

An experienced attorney will have a nuanced understanding of a property owner's obligations to keep property reasonably safe and free of hazards, and will advocate on your behalf when the time comes to talk settlement with the defendant's insurance company. And in the event that your case goes to court, your attorney will protect your rights and your claim at every step of the lawsuit process.

A lawyer can be a great benefit in any personal injury case, but this is especially true in a premises liability claim where the success of your claim will depend largely on the available evidence and telling your story the “right way”. See Alllaw’s article, Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Injury Case, to learn more about what to expect from your lawyer.

Evidence You’ll Need to Bring a Personal Injury Lawsuit or Insurance Claim

The preservation of evidence and proof of the cause of a slip and fall will be crucial to any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit that is filed over the accident. So, it's crucial to do as much as you can to gather proof and facts, and do it as soon as possible after the incident.

Take photos of the conditions as they existed at the time of the slip and fall, and if conditions change afterward (a spill is cleaned up, a property repair is made, or the ice melts) take photos of the new conditions too, which can present an effective "before and after" picture.

Talk to any witnesses who may have seen what happened, and make sure you get their contact information in case you need them to give a statement later on.

Documentation of Your Injuries and Other "Damages"

It goes without saying that you should seek medical attention if you're experiencing even the slightest bit of pain or discomfort after a slip and fall accident. Be thorough and forthright with your doctor, and keep track of all medical bills and records as your treatment progresses.

The value of your claim is based largely on the severity of your injuries, which are evidenced by the medical treatment you receive and your medical records. The importance of these records in an injury claim can’t be stressed enough.

While the incident is still fresh in your mind, write down everything you can remember about the slip and fall accident. Where you were, what you were doing, what you saw, what you felt, and anything else that is relevant. And as your claim progresses, keep a daily journal of your injuries and your medical treatment, and how the accident and its effects have impacted your life -- including your job, your hobbies, your mood, and any other aspect of your life. 

For more tips on getting good evidence of your claim, see Evidence to Prove Your Slip and Fall Injury Claim.

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