Slip and fall or trip and fall cases are one of the harder cases to prove. There can be a number of causes for a slip/trip and fall. There can be a liquid substance on the floor or ground, i.e., water, soda, oil etc. There can be an object such as a grape or other piece of food. There can be a problem with the actual flooring, such as too much wax, a hole or crack in the concrete or even a torn carpet. The possibilities are endless, but one thing is constant: in order for the owner to be held responsible, the owner must have had notice of the hazardous condition before your unfortunate incident. While there are many ways to prove notice, the point of this blog is not to bore you with legal jargon and burden of proofs, but rather to educate you on what you can do to help further your case.
If you are ever involved in a slip/trip and fall incident, the first thing you should do is report the incident to the property owner or management. This event usually triggers many things that may ultimately help your case. First, it will cause a written report of the event to be made. This report will usually include pictures of the scene, a statement from you and statements from any witnesses. Second, it will trigger medical help. More likely than not, as soon as you report the incident the first thing the owner or management will ask is if you would like medical attention. If you are injured badly enough, then it is always advisable to accept the medical attention.
While the owner or management will likely take pictures of the scene, it is also advisable for you to take your own pictures. For one, it is not always a guarantee the owner or management will take pictures. But more importantly, even if pictures are taken, you do not know which pictures the owner or management will take. By taking your own pictures you ensure the scene, as it looked on the day you slipped or tripped, will be preserved forever because without doubt after your incident the area will no longer look the same as it did on the day you were injured.
Do not limit your pictures to just the item that caused you to trip or slip; instead, make sure you take pictures of the entire scene. This gives a more accurate depiction of how the area looked as you were approaching it because no one walks with their head down looking only at the ground. Your pictures should not depict this view only either.
In addition to taking pictures of the scene, take pictures of your injuries if you have visible injuries such as scraps, swelling, bruises and bleeding.
Taking these few steps at the outset of your slip/trip and fall will help you in the long run should your case proceed to litigation.
If you have further questions about slip/trip and fall cases or if you have been involved in an incident and you are in need of aggressive, courteous and professional representation, contact Cogburn Law Offices today. We can help.
About the Author: Attorney Karen L. Hanks works as a personal injury attorney for Cogburn Law Offices and also specializes in commercial litigation, probate, wills and trusts and guardianships. Karen actively supports her community by utilizing her talents to provide pro bono services to individuals in need. To learn more about Karen, click here.