When innocent people are injured in slip & fall accidents through no fault of their own, they may have a potential personal injury case and could see compensation for the pain, suffering, medical expenses, and lost income from missed time at work that they've endured. However, if the injured party in question is unable to provide significant evidence of negligence on the part of the owner of the property where the accident took place, then the plaintiff could potentially lose his or her premises liability case.
There are various reasons why the right evidence is not collected. Sometimes, the victim who slips, falls, and gets injured is too embarrassed to report the accident, or they do not know that an accident report must be filed. Other circumstances involve a particularly bad injury where the victim must leave the scene right away to be treated and is unable to speak to authorities before they arrive. Regardless of the victim's reason, if they are unable to file a timely accident report, they increase their chances of losing the case or having it thrown out altogether.
The personal injury attorneys at Goodrich and Geist have come up with several steps that you should take if and when you are injured in a slip and fall accident. First, report the incident as soon as possible. Tell the owner of the property or the person who manages the property right away. If they are not available, contact police and report what has happened. Next, secure medical assistance. If calling 911 is a must, then you can use the emergency service; otherwise, contact someone who can take you to the hospital. Before you leave, however, be sure to get the contact information for all available witnesses. If possible, use your mobile phone to take pictures of the area where the accident happened and the object or objects that caused the accident, as well as pictures of your injuries. Write down your own personal account of what happened as soon as you can and have it with you when you file the official accident report.
Your actions after an accident are crucial to the validity of your case. Your meticulous observations, both physical (pictures) and mental (personal account), will help prove that the owner of the building or property wherein you were injured is indeed liable for negligence. It will also keep future passers-by from getting hurt. Of course, the defense will try to prove that you were careless or did not follow posted signs; they may even question what type of shoes you were wearing and attempt to use what is known as "comparative negligence" against you. If you have questions about slip & fall accidents, call the Pittsburgh premises liability lawyers at Goodrich and Geist today for a free consultation at 412-766-1455.