What to Do After a Slip and Fall Injury
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident that was caused by a negligent landowner, you are about to find out that the insurance companies who defend these cases are going to pick apart every aspect of your case. There are things you can do to be prepared.
As we’ve outlined in our articles on Pennsylvania slip and falls, Pennsylvania law on slip and fall injuries is designed to compensate people who’ve been injured as a result of careless landowners while at the same time protecting innocent landowners from lawsuits. So, there are specific facts that will give rise to a Pennsylvania slip and fall claim and many fact patterns that do not.
Pennsylvania insurance companies and their lawyers are adept at eliciting admissions that either cast doubt on the merits of a valid Pennsylvania slip and fall case or that seem to suggest that an innocent person does not have enough proof to meet the legal burden that a plaintiff in a Pennsylvania personal injury slip and fall case must meet to prevail at trial.
As a result, the only Pennsylvania slip and fall cases that are successful are those in which there has been a thorough investigation made close in time to the injury and where a competent analysis of the complex aspects of premises law has been performed. If you’ve been hurt in an Erie County slip and fall case, there are things that you can do to help yourself — or you can call an Erie trip and fall lawyer for a free consultation at 814-833-7100.
What You Can Do to Help Yourself After a Pennsylvania Slip and Fall
1. The first thing you (or someone with you) should do after an Erie slip and fall injury is figure out what caused your fall in the first place. Was there something on the floor that caused you to slip, such as water or accumulated wax? Did you trip over a torn piece of carpeting? Did you fall because of an ice slick formed by a downspout? If you don’t know why you fell, then you will not succeed at trial.
2. Tell the landowner or property manager. If your injury allows it, you should tell the store manager or other person in charge what happened, who saw it, what comments were made, and anything else you can recall. If you can’t do this, have someone with you do it, or call and notify the landowner as soon as you can.
3. Take photos (again, if your injury allows it). This used to be nearly impossible for people, but in this day of cell phones with cameras it’s almost always the case that someone with you or nearby will have a camera that they can use to preserve the evidence of the dangerous condition. This will need to be done quickly, as the store manager will almost always instruct an employee to clean up the offending substance asap.
4. Keep notes of where your fall happened, who saw it or was nearby, what was said, and by whom (particularly by store employees or property owners who frequently make admissions at the scene of an injury but who later “forget” or deny having made the admissions). The best witnesses are those who are not related to or friendly with the injured party. Bear in mind that store employees often change jobs and can be hard to find. So get as much info as you can.
5. Get medical care. For most serious injuries, this is something that can go without saying. But there are some injuries (like brain trauma and spine injuries) for which people sometimes try to “wait it out.” Get immediate medical care. It’s the smart thing to do to get better and it will help your case.
6. Do NOT rely on the store manager or property owner when he tells you that you shouldn’t worry, that the store will take care of everything. The store manager may mean well. But the decision about whether to accept responsibility for your injury will not be his. At some point, an insurance company or someone higher up the corporate ladder will be making this decision and, if you’re not prepared, haven’t done an investigation, or are not represented by a Pennsylvania premises liability lawyer, then it is likely that the company will deny your claim.
The Erie slip and fall lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have experience with cases in which people have been seriously injured as a result of a dangerous property condition. Our primary goal and objective is to make sure that our clients and their families receive the compensation and resources they need to treat and manage their injury and to compensate them for their losses.
Call Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. today, toll free at 814-833-7100, to schedule your free and confidential consultation with an Erie trip and fall lawyer.
We will fight for your legal rights to the money and resources you need to fix what can be fixed, help what can be helped, and make up for what cannot be fixed or helped.