Slipping and falling are something that could happen to anyone. These accidents are unexpected and often happen due to someone else’s negligence and sometimes, they are harmless. The victim merely falls and feels a bit of pain, but no injuries occur. In other cases, the victim requires medical attention, in which case they may also want to seek a personal injury lawsuit.
If you can prove the other party’s negligence, it is easy to get the money you want. However, mistakes can still be made, and the worst part is that they can hinder your chances of success.
Here are the mistakes you should avoid in a slip and fall lawsuit.
1. Hesitating to Seek Medical Attention
Not everyone who slips on a surface and falls ends up with visible injuries. Sometimes, the victim may not even believe that anything serious happened, in which case they don’t even think about seeking medical care.
But no matter how bad the accident was, you should always get some medical attention after the slip and fall. It will allow you to get a proper assessment. Besides, there are injuries that do not make themselves known from the get-go, so if you do not get checked by a healthcare professional, you may not be able to prove that the incident caused the injury.
2. Forgetting to Get Some Evidence
Although seeking medical attention is important, you must also focus on getting evidence. There are different forms of proof that you can collect at the accident scene. These include photos and videos, but also names and contact information from potential witnesses. Anything that was damaged in the incident, such as personal property or clothing, should also be collected as evidence.
File an incident report and report the event to the property owner or management. You must also keep a copy of this in a secure place.
3. Handling the Case Alone
Whether due to a lack of money or out of sheer confidence, you may think that representing yourself is the best decision. Handling your case by yourself is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you know the law or, even better, work with personal injury law yourself.
However, if you are unfamiliar with it, handling the case alone can quickly turn into a disaster. Instead of joining the battle alone, choose an experienced personal injury lawyer who can take a look at the injuries and your evidence. They may also be able to negotiate a convenient settlement and make sure you get enough compensation. You can visit this page for personal injury attorney recommendations.
4. Hesitating to Report the Incident
Without reporting the accident as soon as possible to the manager or property owner, you will not be able to build a strong case. Reporting it can help make the owner aware of the premises’ liability. If you let them know what happened, they can fix the issue and make sure other such accidents do not happen in the future.
If you refrain from reporting the incident, you may find it challenging to prove that it took place on the property or that the management or property owner was responsible.
5. Waiting Too Long Before Reporting the Accident
Sometimes, people who are injured in a slip and fall accident are determined to report it, but they don’t do it right away. They may be scared to do it, so they think that waiting until they build up the courage to report it will make things better.
This is a common mistake, but you should refrain from making it, as well. In every state, there is a particular statute of limitations for personal injury cases. For example, in California, you have two years from the day of the injury to report it. However, if you only discovered the injury later, the statute of limitations is 1 year from the date of the discovery.
If you wait too long and miss the deadline, you will not be able to get compensated, so make sure to take action as soon as possible.
6. Not Having an Attorney when Talking to Insurance Companies
The insurance company of the property owner may call you following the slip and fall accident. Although they are supposed to pay people who are injured after such incidents, they usually try their best to minimize the amount. So, they will either try to convince you to accept less than you deserve or try to make you say something that invalidates your claim.
Never speak to an insurance company before you talk to an attorney. With an attorney present, you can have your rights protected. Moreover, they will make negotiations to make sure you receive the amount you deserve for your injuries,
7. Accepting Settlements Too Soon
When you are injured and want to get compensation, you are willing to accept different sums of money even if they are smaller than what you deserve. Insurance companies will try to minimize the payout, and if you want everything to be over, it’s easy to settle for the lower amount.
This is why you should always consult your attorney before accepting a settlement. They will tell you more about the severity of the injury or damage and will tell you whether you should accept this compensation or aim for something more substantial.
The Bottom Line
It’s easy to make mistakes after a slip and fall accident, especially if you are in a bad emotional state and just want everything to end. But some mistakes can cost you a lot. You may end up not receiving as much compensation as you deserve or even not receiving any compensation at all.
Have an experienced attorney by your side who can advise you and keep you from making the wrong move. Also, know your rights, and don’t hesitate to ask your lawyer questions if you have any. By avoiding mistakes, you will get the compensation you deserve.