In order to succeed in any personal injury case you need to essentially prove two things:
- That the person or entity responsible for your injuries was negligent in their action or inaction.
- That you have actually suffered damages as a result of the accident.
Documenting Negligence in Your Slip and Fall Case
Whether it happened indoors, outdoors, because of the weather, on a city sidewalk, at someone’s home or at a commercial establishment; and whether the person responsible was a homeowner, business owner, a landowner, a tenant, or an entity such as a business, school, library or municipal government, you will only be compensated for a slip and fall accident if you can prove that there was negligence, or lack of reasonable care with respect to the conditions that caused your accident. So how do we document negligence or a lack of reasonable care in a slip and fall case? Here are the three most common ways:
- One way to prove negligence or fault is to establish that the party responsible for your fall actually created the condition that lead to the accident.
- A second way is to show that, although the person responsible didn’t actually cause the condition, they knew about the condition and did nothing to repair or remove the hazard. This can be discovered through investigation or, if your accident occurred at a commercial establishment, by asking current or former employees of the enterprise.
- The third and final most common way to prove negligence in a slip and fall case is to prove that the hazardous condition existed for a prolonged period of time. Again, evidence of this can be established through investigation. For instance, a surveillance video shows that the substance upon which you slipped while shopping at the grocery store was there for over an hour before your fall, without being attended to.
Each of the strategies above will attempt to prove that the responsible party either knew or should have known about the hazard and should have done something to remove or repair it.
Documenting Your Injury After Your Slip and Fall Case
To document your slip and fall injuries you must:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Show a continued pattern of unbroken, consistent treatment afterwards.
In order to have a successful slip and fall claim, you must produce a trail of medical documentation. So once your injury has been identified and treated, you need to begin collecting medical documents. An insurance adjuster must have medical proof of your injuries and treatment before they can pay out any money on your claim. This means collecting all records of your doctor appointments, the treatment you received, records of any tests that were performed on you, as well as any physician’s notes and your future prognosis.
The Consequence of Delaying Medical Treatment
Slip and fall accidents are usually traumatic events. Seconds after your fall, your adrenaline gland will release adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream to mask the pain and allow you to react to the situation. Because of this masking effect, you might feel okay. But later, after the rush of adrenaline and cortisol has worn off, you could be in serious pain. Therefore, if paramedics are not called to the scene of your accident, it is vital that you seek medical attention on your own, as soon as possible. One of the biggest mistakes a slip and fall victim can make is to delay medical treatment. This is chiefly because it will simply be more difficult to convince an insurance claims adjuster of the severity of your injuries if you wait several days or longer to seek treatment. The longer you wait, the greater the chance an adjuster will doubt the seriousness of your injuries or believe that they were not caused by their client. The faster you seek treatment, the more credible your claim will be.
Contact an Indiana Slip and Fall attorney
If you have been in a slip and fall accident and need expert advice, we are here to answer your questions. Call the attorneys at Jacobs Law at 317-520-9283. You may also complete and submit a contact form online. When you do, you will be contacted within 24 hours for further assistance.