Tips on How to Document a Slip and Fall Personal Injury Case
In California, property owners can be held liable for slip and fall accidents that occur because of negligent maintenance, or a willful failure to warn patrons of a potentially dangerous condition. Premises liability law states that individuals who lease, rent or own a property are negligent if they fail to use “reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. “ Property owners have a duty of care to discover potentially unsafe conditions and to repair them or give sufficient warning of anything that could possibly harm others.
If you are injured under these circumstances, and want to file a slip and fall lawsuit against the negligent party, there are some important steps you need to take to help substantiate your claim for damages. The following will help your premises liability lawyer document your case and prove your injuries and losses.
Report the slip and fall accident
Whether you fell in a department store, a wet supermarket aisle or another public venue, you are encouraged to report the accident immediately. Ask to speak to the manager or property owner, who may be on site. If emergency responders and police are called, make sure to get a copy of the written accident report.
Document every detail
In order to prove that a hazardous or unsafe condition existed, you want to gather as much information about the scene where the accident occurred. If possible, use your cell phone to take photos or video of the hazard (such as uneven flooring, a spilled liquid or debris blocking an aisle). Make notes about every detail that can help paint a picture and establish fault. For example, did the property have any warning signs alerting you to a potential hazard? Was there a broken handrail or piece of loose carpeting that caused you to trip?
Gather eyewitness information
If the trip and fall occurred in a public place, there were likely other patrons who witnessed the accident who may be willing to testify about the dangerous conditions on your behalf. Be sure to get their full names, addresses and contact information so that your attorney can speak with them on your behalf.
Call 911 and seek medical attention
One of the most crucial aspects to recovering compensation in a personal injury lawsuit is having documentation of your injuries, no matter how minor. For this reason, it’s wise to call 911 right away and explain the circumstances of your fall. Be sure to save all medical records, test results, medication receipts, co-pay receipts and out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury diagnosis, treatment and recovery. These will be factored in when calculating a settlement or verdict.
Speak with a premises liability attorney
Navigating a slip and fall claim without the experience of a qualified premises liability lawyer can leave victims at risk for paltry insurance settlements. An experienced attorney will know exactly how to document the extent of your injuries and financial losses and help victims maximize their monetary recovery for damages like emotional pain and suffering.
Victims may sue for a host of damages including past and future medical bills, loss of income and future earning potential, as well as emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. Slip and fall injuries that are catastrophic in nature can result in substantial, seven and eight-figure payouts.
California premises liability law firm
For more than 25 years, Ellis Law Corporation has represented plaintiffs in slip and fall cases throughout Southern California. If you or a loved one was injured on someone else’s property, you deserve skilled legal advocacy. For a complimentary consultation with a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer, please call 310-641-3335.
Additional California Premises Liability Resources:
- Justia, California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/1000/
- California Courts, Cause of Action – Premises Liability http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/pldpi0014.pdf