Picture it, it is a clear, cold day. The sun is up for the first time in days, and it is shaping up to be a solid, winter day. You are strolling down a sidewalk, whistling an upbeat tune, when suddenly your feet fly out from under you and you land on the cold, unforgiving ground.
It is the good old slip and fall, and you, my friend, are the latest victim. A lot of other people before you have gone through it, and through their brave sacrifice, procedures were set to make sure you can recover for damages (including medical costs and pain and suffering) from the own slip and fall that just occurred. If you are a homeowner or business owner, you need to regularly shovel and salt your sidewalks to ensure people do not slip on your premises. If you slipped and fell on ice, the premises owner will likely be the first one you look to compensating you for your injuries. You need, however, to prove that the property owner did something wrong. When it comes to removing ice from the sidewalk, the court will consider what is reasonable for a property owner to do.
If you have fallen on ice, here are a few things you should do after:
Get Medical Attention
That was an icy sidewalk you just fell onto, and it definitely hurt. Did you hurt your tailbone? Break a bone? Getting quick medical attention ASAP is not only good for your health, but it helps build your case assuming you have one (again, these cases are very tough to win but can be won).
Sure, you can slap a bandaid on, DIY style, but make sure you get a doctor to check you out and create a record of your injuries, especially the timing.
Inspect the Scene of Your Tragic Fall
Time to do a little detective work now. What made you slip? Was there a sign warning pedestrians about the sidewalk’s slippery state? Take pictures of the conditions and where you slept and fell with your cell phone. Also, try taking a video of the conditions as well.
The best time to do this is immediately after you slip and fall, but if you have head trauma or broken bones, you might have no choice but to sit and wait for medical aid.
As mentioned above, after seeing a doctor and documenting the timing and severity of your injuries, the next crucial step is taking photographic evidence. You have to take the photos as close to the time of your slip and fall as possible.
If you choose to rely on your word, the judge or jury will have to make a choice based on your story and your defendant's story. Ultimately, it will weaken your case, and you may lose a claim that you would have won. So make sure you take plenty of pictures of the icy sidewalk that you fell on.
Now it is time to strengthen your case. Witnesses help flesh out your story, so look around. Did anyone see you slip and fall? If you were with a friend, even better. Approach any witnesses and collect contact information; names, numbers, email addresses.
Working with an a slip and fall lawyer makes this process a lot easier as they can quickly follow up with witnesses on your behalf. They can get written and signed accounts of what happened, and this will help strengthen your story. These are called witness statements and are powerful in helping you make your case.
Get Your Story Straight
Armed with photographs and witness accounts, take a beat and write everything down. Minor details might slip from your mind, and the defense might pounce on that.
Writing it all down and going through it will help you remember. Do not forget to keep track of all your injuries and symptoms too.
Hire an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer Right Away
Hiring a slip and fall lawyer is perhaps the best thing you could do for your case. A lawyer will handle all the tense negotiations on your behalf and besides, they have “been down these streets before.”
An attorney with enough slip and fall experience under his belt will ask all the right questions, and he can make sure you do everything you can do to win the claim. In Kansas you have two years to file your claim but in Missouri you have five years. For slip and fall cases, it is imperative you move quickly, however, because you need to quickly gather the evidence and talk to witnesses before it is too late despite the amount of time you have to file your lawsuit.If you think someone else may be responsible for your injury, please fill out the contact form or call our office today to set up your free initial consultation.