No one expects to have any kind of accident; they just happen. Once the initial phase is over, what’s next includes medical attention, insurance companies, and possibly a police report.Part of the aftermath is describing your accident—to the manager, owner or other representative of the property where you were injured, insurance companies, and possibly the police. You’ll be asked to file reports, and you may be asked to write at least one, and possibly more, to tell your side of the story.Falls are the third leading cause of death, according to the National Safety Council, and the top reason people visit emergency rooms for injuries in the US.
After The Fall
Preserving evidence is of utmost importance. Take pictures with your phone of everything you can. This includes your injuries, the area where you were injured, and anything that may have caused your accident, such as a broken floor, torn carpet, water or other slippery substances, etc.If you can’t get up, ask for help getting those pictures. If you have property damage from the fall, such as a watch, glasses, smartphone, etc., get pictures of those as well.Witnesses are critical to a slip and fall accident claim, so make sure you can keep in touch with them. Get their names, phone numbers and email addresses so that you (or your attorney) can contact them later if necessary.Most places have video surveillance, so ask for a copy immediately. If you don’t, you (or your attorney) may discover that the area has been cleared and the video deleted and/or destroyed.Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Visit an emergency room or urgent care center, follow up with your primary care physician, and continue with any prescribed treatments. Additionally, if you decide to file a claim or a lawsuit, medical records will support your claim and show that you were injured. Without them, the other party will use it to prove that you weren’t really injured, and your claim can be denied.If you are asked to sign something, don’t. In the confusion after an accident, you won’t be of the mind to understand what you’re being asked to sign quickly. You could sign away your rights to compensation, so be aware.
Describing The Accident
If you’re in a retail establishment, the owner or manager must be notified immediately. He or she will probably need to create an accident report. Larger retailers may require their employees to create a report for their insurance companies, and to keep on file at their corporate headquarters. Some places may require a police report as well. Depending on where your fall happened, the facility may be facing an OSHA visit as a result.If you’re asked to write your own accident report, you’re being asked to describe the facts of the case, nothing more. Ensure that you don’t say anything that could ruin your claim and chances to recover damages. A slip and fall attorney can assist you in writing any required reports to support your claim.Your report should be simple and to the point, including:
- Where and when: the time, date and location of the accident
- Names: the name of the establishment where you fell, and the area or department where you fell. This is very important if you were in a retail store or warehouse facility.
- Details: your injuries and any property that was damaged
- Witnesses in the area when the accident occurred: their names and contact information
- Employees in the area when the accident occurred: their names, department and contact information
- Conditions: the conditions and circumstances that existed at the time of the accident
- Other things: any machinery, equipment, tools or other items that were in the area and involved at the time of the accident
Even if you’re not asked to prepare a report, consider writing your own anyway, as soon as you can. Include the aforementioned points, and any other relevant information, such as loud music, that may have played a part in your slip and fall. The sooner you can commit the details to paper, the better, since you may forget important details if you wait too long. This personal accident report may also be beneficial to your attorney when he or she begins preparing your case.
Beware Of The Insurance Adjuster
While you’re recovering, the other party is retaining legal counsel. Their insurance company knows that you’ll be filing a claim, and may call you in the days after the accident to settle, but this may not be a good idea. Although they would like to settle your claim quickly, it’s primarily to get away with paying you a nominal amount.Best bet: don’t speak with them, and refer them to your attorney. This is where a Kansas City slip and fall personal injury attorney can help and guide you through the process.Anything you say will not only be recorded, but used to deny your claim, or to reduce your settlement even further. Explain that they will have to speak to your attorney, and end the call.
Need Help With A Slip & Fall Accident In Kansas City? Call Us Today
Your life can change completely after a slip and fall accident. Your injuries could keep you out of work for months, or even years. Don’t let the insurance company talk you into settling for a small sum that won’t cover the medical bills. If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall and need legal assistance, contact The Popham Law Firm. Call us at (816) 221-2288 today or use our contact form. We’ll schedule an appointment and talk with you about how we can help.