The steps to take after a slip and fall accident in Las Vegas include seeking medical attention, documenting the accident scene, reporting the incident to the relevant authorities, and contacting a slip and fall lawyer who will help you build a strong claim for compensation. Anything you say or do can affect your personal injury claim. Below, you’ll find more information on the appropriate steps you should take to strengthen your claim.
What Are the Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you suffer a slip and fall accident resulting from negligence, you can pursue compensation for your damages. However, you’ll only be able to recover the compensation you’re entitled to if you take the right actions and make the right statements following the incident. Here’s what you should do to give yourself the best chance of reaching a fair settlement.
Get an Immediate Medical Evaluation
Seeking medical care as soon as you can is one of the most important steps to take after a slip and fall accident. It’s critical to have a thorough medical evaluation, regardless of the severity of your symptoms. Some slip and fall injuries may not be noticeable immediately, but could have long-term health implications.
Early medical examinations and treatment help lessen the impact of your injuries. Any injuries you’ve suffered will be well-documented, which will be helpful when making a claim. Seeking medical attention quickly also proves when you sustained your injuries. That leaves no room for the defense to try dismissing your injuries on the grounds of them having potentially occurred outside the accident.
Take Photos of the Scene of Your Accident
The best time to determine the causes of slip and fall accidents is immediately after the incident. Survey the scene to pinpoint what caused the accident. Figuring out the cause helps you determine whether the property owner or employees acted negligently in any way. Next, use your cellphone to take photographs of the scene, including the dangerous condition that caused your fall.
Leaving the accident scene before taking pictures or videos gives the property owner an opportunity to fix the dangerous condition before it’s inspected. Pictures serve as important evidence of liability in your premises liability claim.
You should take photos of the scene, even if you can’t figure out what led to your fall. It’s also important to take pictures of any visible injuries.
Get the Names and Contact Information of Witnesses
Look around for anyone who may have witnessed the incident or the conditions that caused it, and ensure you get their names, phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information if possible. Anybody can be a potential witness, so you should also get the contact information of any employees who tried to help you after the fall. Slip and fall lawyers usually follow up with witnesses and use their statements to strengthen your case.
Report the Incident
When you suffer a slip and fall at a casino, retail store, or any other facility in Las Vegas, you should always report the incident to the property owner, landlord, manager, or supervisor as soon as possible. Commercial properties usually have a process for such incidents and make formal accident reports. Ask to file an incident report if you’re not prompted to complete one.
Include all the vital information about the accident and injuries in the report without exaggerating your injuries. Get a copy of the report for your own records.
An accident report creates an official record and timeline of the incident, giving your case more credibility. A slip and fall attorney can use it as key evidence when pursuing compensation on your behalf.
Commercial places open to the public usually have surveillance cameras running throughout the day. Ask the management to preserve any security footage of the incident. It’s also advisable to store any clothing, shoes, or items you had when you tripped, slipped, or fell without washing or modifying them. These can sometimes serve as evidence.
Decline to Give a Recorded Statement
The insurance company of the landlord or property owner may try to take a recorded statement. Politely decline to give a recorded statement until you’ve obtained advice from a slip and fall lawyer. The insurance company can twist and use anything you say against you to reduce or deny your claim. A lawyer will help you know the kind of information to share.
You should also minimize communication with the property manager or owner.
Don’t Post on Your Social Media Accounts
Don’t share any details about your accident and injuries on social media. Anything you post could also be used against you.
Create a Journal
Memories can fade quickly. For that reason, you should write down your version of the slip and fall accident as soon as possible. Some details you can include in your written record include:
- The events that led up to the incident
- How the incident occurred
- Who was there
- Date and time of the accident
- The weather
- The injuries sustained and how they’ve impacted your life
Include as much detail as possible, even the minor ones. Having a detailed written record will help you describe your accident better when needed.
Consult a Las Vegas Slip and Fall Lawyer
You should contact a slip and fall injury lawyer as soon as possible. Slip and fall lawyers usually offer a free initial consultation, during which you can have your case reviewed and learn your legal options. A lawyer will answer all your questions and offer advice on what you need to do to maximize compensation based on your situation.
If you contact and hire a slip and fall attorney immediately, he or she will be in a better position to build a strong case. The attorney will thoroughly investigate your accident and professionally gather and preserve all critical evidence. Your attorney will approach witnesses tactfully to win their cooperation and get their official statements. Your medical records help prove your injuries. An attorney will obtain the proper authorizations to get the medical records that will substantiate your claim.
When you work with a slip and fall lawyer, he or she will handle negotiations with the insurance companies. Insurance companies aim to minimize what they pay you to protect their bottom line. They hire experts to help them achieve that. As a result, negotiating with the companies can be a daunting experience.
A lawyer will help you know the compensation amount you’re rightfully entitled to by determining what your slip and fall injury is worth. That will include current needs like lost earnings, medical expenditures, and pain and suffering, as well as your future needs resulting from your injury’s long-term impact, such as future medical bills and lost earning capacity. The lawyer will then negotiate to get you a fair settlement. If necessary, your lawyer will file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
Common Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents
Injuries sustained from slip and fall accidents depend on factors like age, the nature of the fall, and which body part hits the ground first. For instance, older people are more likely to suffer broken bones from these accidents. People who hit their head first on objects or the ground commonly sustain head and brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls account for almost half of hospitalizations due to traumatic brain injuries. People who use their arms to break their fall tend to suffer shoulder injuries.
Other common injuries sustained in slips and falls include:
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Neck injuries
- Sprained wrists or ankles
- Knee damage
- Back injuries
Symptoms to Watch for After a Slip and Fall
After a slip and fall, you may not know whether to consider your injury serious. Sometimes, symptoms of severe injuries may be difficult to notice. Nevertheless, you don’t want to delay treatment after suffering a severe injury, as that could worsen it. Be on the lookout for the following symptoms that could point to a severe slip and fall injury that requires quick medical attention.
Symptoms Affecting Different Structures of Your Head
A combination of symptoms affecting several structures of your head may indicate a severe head injury, such as a brain injury. These symptoms may include headaches, vision changes, hearing problems, dizziness, and confusion.
Stabbing or Ongoing Pain
After a slip and fall accident, it’s common to experience immediate pain that subsides. If you experience a sudden severe stabbing pain even if you move slightly or apply little pressure to the affected part, you may have a serious injury. You may also need immediate medical attention if you have severe pain that doesn’t lessen. You may have a strain, sprain, muscular injury, or fracture.
Swelling and Disfigurement
Significant bruising could be a sign of sprains, strains, and internal bleeding. If you notice strange severe swelling or a visual deformity, such as a body part that looks out of place or shape, you may have a severe strain, sprain, or fracture.
You may have suffered a spinal injury or broken a bone in your leg or hip if your movement is severely restricted after a slip and fall accident. You’ll need to call an ambulance to get you to the hospital immediately.
Severely Bleeding Cut
If you sustain deeper lacerations that are bleeding profusely, you may need quick medical care to slow or stop the blood flow.
If you suffer from stomach or abdominal pain after a fall, that could be a sign of a serious internal injury.
Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling after an accident could indicate serious injuries like herniated discs and bone fractures or dislocations.