Injuries from slipping and falling can be debilitating and painful—especially if due to another’s negligence. Like any kind of accident, you must be careful what you do afterwards—both from a medical perspective as well as a legal perspective, especially if you need to recover damages.
Get medical attention immediately. Visit your doctor, an urgent care center, or an emergency room if the injuries are serious. You’ll do two things: first, get treated, and two, begin documenting your case. Make sure to follow instructions, get necessary tests and prescriptions, attend follow-up medical visits and start the healing process.
You should also inform the facility’s owner, manager or employee of your accident and injuries, and get the details in writing. In addition to keeping your own notes, you should request a copy of their written report before you leave.
There are a number of things you should do to prepare for filing your claims and possibly filing a lawsuit.
If you are able at the time of the accident, use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene. (If you aren’t, a friend or witness may be able to help you.) This includes the surroundings, what caused your accident, your injuries, and any property that you may have had with you that was damaged or broken (jewelry, a watch, a phone or tablet, torn clothing, etc.) Store these damaged items in a safe place after you take pictures of them. Take as many pictures as you can to be able to give to your attorney.
Document everything, including the location of the incident and business name. Get names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of any witnesses to be contacted later if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit. Write down every detail you can; don’t rely on recall, especially if you’re going to court.
Collect any documentation related to your injuries and the accident. This can be anything from a police report, medical records, including prescription and testing records, X-rays, etc.. If you’ve missed a significant amount of work because of your injuries, this should all be documented as well, even if you have to keep them in a notebook or journal.
Scan these documents and store them in a cloud-based service platform, and give copies to your attorney. You can also give him or her copies of these documents on a flash drive. Always keep your originals; if your attorney requires originals, make sure you keep at least one copy.
Do NOT Give Statements
No matter who should ask, politely decline to give statements over the phone or in person to the property owner, any insurance company or their attorney until you’ve spoken to one yourself. Be calm and polite to the property owner, of course, and don’t post anything on social media.
Statute Of Limitations
West Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations for you to file any claims related to an accident. If you do not file your claim two years from the date of the accident, you will not be allowed to file. Any filings will be dismissed by the court.
West Virginia also has a comparative fault statute for nearly all accidents. This means that if were partially responsible for your accident, you’ll probably be assigned a percentage of fault. If you are assigned a 25% were shown of your accidents responsibility, any settlement you receive will be reduced by 25%. In other words, if you would have received $10,000 as an accident settlement, but you are partially responsible for your Slip-And-Fall, your settlement will be reduced and $2500, and will only receive $7500.
Injured? Call Us
The Love Law Firm is Charleston, West Virginia’s personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling slips & falls and premises liability cases. Call us today at 304-344-5683 (or use our online contact form) and schedule your free consultation. There’s no fee until we win your case, and our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t pay unless we win your case.