Your Slip and Fall Personal Injury Case and How To Prepare
Slip and Fall is a common type of Personal Injury claim.
Slip and Fall is a very common type of personal injury claim. One of the best ways to increase the chances of your case is to preserve the evidence from the day of the fall. Oftentimes, the quality of the evidence that is gathered can tip the scales in the direction of the injured party.
In most instances, adjusters and attorneys expect to see the following:
- Medical Records
- Witness Statements
- Police and Incident Reports
An important part of proving fault in a slip and fall is proving ownership, control, and knowledge of hazard.
When to gather evidence
As soon as possible before the injured party leaves the scene of incident evidence should be gathered. The longer an injured party waits to gather evidence, the harder it will be to attain.
Preserving evidence after a slip and fall can be difficult because memories fade over time and evidence does also. For example, if the fall was a result of a spill on the floor at a store, the manager of that store will make sure the spill is cleaned up immediately, both to make sure no one is injured and to make it difficult for the injured party to collect evidence of the fall. The injured party should contact an attorney as soon as possible in order to get assistance with preserving evidence.
Be sure to bring a camera or cell phone to the scene of the accident; photographs can go a long way in proving a case. If the camera or cell phone has a time stamp function, be sure to use it. Take photographs of anything that can help with the case including:
- Abrasions, lacerations, or contusions to your body
- Damaged clothes
- The incident scene and surrounding area
- Whatever caused the injury
- Business cards
All photos should be taken as soon as possible after the fall.
Witness testimony is usually by people that do not have any financial nor personal interest in the case. Often, witnesses are able to provide information that the injured party is unable to and can often be influential. It is important to gather information as soon as possible after the accident so memories are fresh.
Expert witnesses can also help prove a slip and fall case. They can use their expert knowledge to help prove the fall was more due to negligence on the other party’s part rather than mere happenstance.
Medical records are a very important piece of evidence. Be sure to request all medical records that are related to the slip and fall from the doctor. Ask for all records even if they seem irrelevant. Records that can be helpful include:
- Paramedic reports
- Emergency room charts
- Doctor’s and nurse’s notes
- Test and exam results
- Physician’s diagnosis and prognosis
Returning to the scene
As soon as possible after the incident, especially if you may have missed evidence before, return to the scene where it happened. Observing the location can help bring back the memories of details that were previously forgotten. Looking at the location in new light can also bring previously unnoticed evidence to light. Be sure to bring a camera or cell phone to capture such items, as well as someone else to be and extra set of eyes on the scene.
Circumstantial evidence cannot be used to help prove the case; however it can go a long way in helping to thane the case take shape. It can be helpful as the case progresses.
The personal narrative that is written by the injured party should be well thought out and extremely detailed. Write everything down that occurred and in the proper chronological order, it is always better to include too much information than not enough.
Ultimately, slip and fall cases are largely dependent on the evidence that is gathered and preserved by the injured party. If you are injured by a slip and fall incident you should contact the attorneys at Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. immediately to help with the process of gathering and preserving evidence that will be needed in order to have the best chance of winning the case.