Common questions in slip and fall cases
Common Questions About Slip And Fall Cases
We generally provide the following information to our clients who have been involved in slip and fall accidents and in trip and fall accidents. Please note that the information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken to create an attorney-client relationship. If you have been in an accident, you should contact a slip and fall lawyer.
- Should a person treat with a doctor after a slip and fall?
Answer: We counsel our clients that they should immediately seek medical treatment if they have been injured in a slip and fall or in a trip and fall. It is important for a doctor to examine anyone that is injured in a fall to diagnose the injuries, prescribe a course of treatment, and monitor a person’s recovery.
- Should photographs be taken of the scene of the accident?
Answer: It is always useful to have photos taken at the scene of an accident. If a photo can be taken, even on a phone, it can help preserve evidence of what hazard caused a slip or trip, whether warning signs were present, the lighting available, and the location of the actual accident. It can also help confirm when an accident took place. It can be difficult if not impossible for a person injured in a slip and fall accident to take photos, especially if that person is in pain. However, many firms like ours will send someone to take photographs and document the scene of an accident once contacted by a potential client. For that reason, it is extremely important to contact a slip and fall accident lawyer like John Mattiacci immediately.
- Should photographs be taken of the injured person?
Answer: Clear photographs of cuts, bruises, lacerations, stitches, or any visible injuries can be powerful evidence if a lawsuit is ever brought. Over time such injuries will heal, so photographic evidence of what the injuries looked like closer in time to the accident reinforce the severity of the injuries. Generally the best pictures to use have an "establishing shot" where there is a picture of the injured person then several shots somewhat closer in of the injured part of the body. Any photographs must be clear and in focus. At times, placing a ruler or tape measure next to the area of a laceration, bruise or injury helps to document its size. Occasionally people will use a small tag with the date of the photograph or use the camera's ability to time-stamp the picture to document when each photo was taken.
- Should a slip and fall accident be reported?
Answer: We tell our clients that it is usually best to report an accident immediately, although if there is any question about reporting an accident at the very least contact a lawyer. Reporting an incident, especially to a store or business, helps confirm the accident occurred and records the date, time, location and nature of the accident. If a person falls at a business, the incident should be reported to a manager or an employee. We tell our clients to ask for the full name and job title of the person they speak to so that information can be preserved. Some businesses use an incident report. Care should be taken when filling out an accident report. Only provide as much information as you can to document when and where the accident took place and request a copy of the report. Document the names of any witnesses and avoid giving any formal statements to the store or an insurance company until you have had an opportunity to contact and speak to an attorney.
- Who will pay the injured person's medical bills?
Answer: Some but not all businesses and homes have a medical payment provision, often called a “med pay" provision, on their insurance. This med pay provision allows a certain amount of money to be paid for medical treatment for anyone injured on the property regardless of fault. Our firm always asks for confirmation of any med pay coverage. If no med pay insurance exists, a person injured in a slip and fall accident may have to use his or her own health insurance to pay for medical bills. Other programs may be available to pay for medical bills, including benefits through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Public Welfare. The type of insurance or coverage available varies from case to case and from state to state. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help determine what coverage may be available to a person injured in a slip or trip accident.
- Should the injured person speak to a lawyer?
Answer: Yes. While seeking medical treatment is the first and most important concern, contact an attorney as soon as practical after an accident. An attorney can help perform an investigation, document your injuries, put the defendant on notice of the claim, determine whether there is money to help pay for your medical treatment, and ultimately bring a lawsuit for the injured person if appropriate. When in doubt, contact a personal injury lawyer.