If you are injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, here are some suggestions for what you can do before contacting Pollock & Company to discuss your claim:
1. Identify clearly the exact location of the accident, including the street address and location where you slipped and fell. Be specific. Make note of any signs, hazards or warnings in the area.
2. Take photographs of the area where you slipped and fell. This should be done as soon as possible after the accident, as in many cases, icy stairs or uneven surfaces are cleared or repaired quickly after the accident. Take photographs both close up and far away, and do not hesitate in taking many photographs. Photographs can go a long way to proving liability against the owner or occupier.
3. If the police are contacted, obtain a police report of the incident.
4. Identify any witnesses to your accident and obtain contact information and statements if possible from the witnesses. Corroborative evidence of your accident can often assist in proving your case.
5. Get medical treatment immediately for your injuries. Delay between the time of the accident and getting medical treatment can compromise your medical recovery and can also result in an argument being advanced against you that your injuries may have been caused by some other means than your slip and fall accident. Keep receipts for all out-of-pocket expenses related to your medical care, such as prescriptions for medication, and costs for crutches and wheelchairs, as such costs can form part of your claim. Attend all follow-up appointments and follow medical advice.
6. Keep the clothing and shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident, as these can be factors in determining liability.
7. As soon as possible after your slip and fall injury, handwrite or type out in your own words exactly how the slip and fall accident occurred. Make notes of such matters as the date, the time of day, the weather (including temperature and precipitation) and how exactly you fell (due to snow, ice, spilled liquids, uneven surfaces, etc.). What was it exactly that caused you to fall? In your opinion, what did the owner or occupier do or fail to do that resulted in your injuries? Even the best memories fade over time, so it is helpful to be able to refer to your statement written at the time of the accident.
8. If you are asked by the owner or occupier to sign any documents, obtain legal advice firstly if you do not understand the nature and effect of the document you are signing. Do not sign a Release without first obtaining legal advice, as the Release may be used as a complete defense against any claim you might wish to make for compensation for your injuries.
9. Keep track of the hospitals and physicians you attend for treatment for your injuries, as medical records will be needed for the Court to assess the amount of money you may be awarded.
10. If you have insurance for disability or other benefits, contact your insurance company right away to advise the company of your accident and injuries.
11. Notify the owner or occupier immediately of a potential claim, especially if the slip and fall or trip and fall accident occurred on a sidewalk or other municipally-owned property. In such cases, notice of a claim must be provided within only a few days after the accident. Act immediately.
A slip and fall accident can result in permanent and life-altering injuries. Contact a lawyer at Pollock & Company for a free consultation to assess your potential claim.