What To Do If You Had A Trip And Fall Accident
1. If you are injured, call an ambulance from the scene of the accident and go to the hospital. Don’t leave the scene. One of the most frequent defenses raised by insurance companies is that the accident did not happen in the manner alleged or in the location alleged. Having an EMS crew arrived at the exact spot you fell and document it in their report will help prevent such arguments by the defendants.
2. Take photographs of your injuries including bruises, scarring, and casts or braces. Take photographs of the location where you fell and the defective condition that caused you to fall especially if it is a transient condition like oil, water, or ice that may be cleaned up or disappear rather quickly. Photographs help establish that the defect was really there when you fell. The best thing to do is to hire an attorney immediately and have the attorney and or his or her investigator go to the scene to take pictures and conduct a full investigation.
3. Don’t make any statements to insurance adjusters if they call you and ask to RECORD the conversation. The only reason for this is to use the recording against you later on.
4. If you know of anyone who witnessed your accident, write down their name and phone number. You can use the witness to your advantage at trial or later in the case. Having a witness strengthens your case. There are eyewitnesses who saw the incident happen. There may also be what is called a “notice” witness or someone who happened to see the defective condition before your incident occurred or someone who complained about the defect before the incident. For example, if you fell on an oil puddle and know of someone who saw this oil spot 1 hour before, this person is a notice witness and can help you tremendously. Notice is a legal requirement to win a lawsuit.
5. When speaking to different medical personnel try to be consistent. If you fell due to a raised sidewalk, tell that to the EMS workers in the ambulance, to the hospital staff, and to others who interview you. Too often for various reasons the medical records are inconsistent and contain errors. For example, in one place it will state a pedestrian fell on a sidewalk and in another, it will state he or she fell at home or on the stairs. It is important to state the facts clearly. Even though you are in pain and the way in which the incident happened does not seem important at the time, these inconsistencies can come back to haunt you at trial or settlement of your case. It is therefore important to just state the facts consistently or if the situation is complicated or lengthy, stating I fell down is usually sufficient.
If you or someone you know had a slip or trip and fall accident, please call the lawyers at Frekhtman & Associates. We serve the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and all surrounding areas, you can also call us directly at (866) ATTY – LAW