When you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, it’s important to act quickly. You may be entitled to compensation, but only if the owner or occupier of the premises was negligent. That’s something you’ll have to show with evidence, which can go away quickly with a rapid cleaning job and a repair. Here’s what you should do to take care of yourself and to preserve your chances of winning a legal judgment.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Making sure you are ok is the first priority. You can call an ambulance from the scene, or otherwise attend a doctor’s office or hospital. Try to get a medical report of your condition. This report is important as a record of what happened and the immediate assessment of your injuries.
2. Document the Accident Scene
In slip-and-fall cases, an owner or occupier is held responsible if they allowed dangerous conditions to occur on the property. Failing to clean up spills in a store, torn carpeting or shaky handrails in apartment buildings, or allowing ice to accumulate on sidewalks are all possible examples of dangerous conditions.
In Ohio, there are certain conditions under which the owner or occupier may be held liable. If the hazard was obvious, in other words, the injured person should have seen it and avoided the hazard accordingly, the shopkeeper may not be liable. In addition, the occupier has to give notice to others of known hazards. Finally, if the hazard has existed for a long enough time, the court says the occupier had constructive notice of its existence, and should have taken steps to make the area safe.
By taking photographs and notes of what the area looked like when the accident occurred, you can give your slip-and-fall attorney the information they need to make a case on your behalf. If you wait too long, the owner could clean up evidence or make repairs to hide the fact that they neglected to keep the area safe.
3. Get Contact Info of Witnesses
Even if there is security camera footage of the accident, it is helpful to gather information from witnesses who saw your fall. Pictures only tell part of the story. Witnesses see the event in question up close. They may provide valuable testimony later on, including whether there were any hazards in the area. If you are able, get the phone number and email of witnesses so they can be contacted at a later date.
4. Speak With an Attorney
In Ohio, there is a statute of limitations on slip-and-fall accident claims. That means there’s only a certain period of time during which you can bring a lawsuit and claim damages. If you are planning to sue the city or government body, you may have even less time. Even if you were partly responsible for your injuries, Ohio law permits fault to be apportioned so you can still recover damages.
The expertise of a lawyer is helpful for you to determine who might be held legally responsible for your slip-and-fall accident. Additionally, while you are recovering from injury, your focus should be on you — and not on figuring out how the law works. To learn more, contact the slip and fall lawyers at FDS Law for a free consultation.