With winter comes snowmen, snowball fights, Christmas, and other exciting activities. Unfortunately, it also means the ever-present danger of slipping on ice and snow. Even when you’re careful and avoid obviously slippery areas, you can still find yourself flat on your back after an incredibly painful fall.
If you hurt yourself slipping on ice or snow, you may have a personal injury claim against the owner of the property. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer near you now to discuss your claim and figure out your next step.
Get Medical Attention
Your first priority must be your health. Falls can cause serious injuries, from sprains and broken bones to traumatic brain injuries. Whether you seek medical care from your primary physician, an urgent care center, or the emergency room, it’s important to get seen as quickly as possible. Not only does this allow you to get time-sensitive treatment for any injuries you may have, it also starts a trail of evidence that you will need for your personal injury claim.
Report the Incident
You should also report the incident to the proper person. If you were in a place of business (or on their grounds) when the fall occurred, you should speak to a manager to document your injury and get a copy of your accident report. Make sure that nothing you sign waives their liability or forces you to accept liability for the accident. If the accident occurred at a private home, notify the homeowner and get their homeowner’s insurance information.
Evidence is key in any personal injury case. In a slip and fall case, photographic evidence is helpful. Take pictures of where you fell, paying careful attention to unmarked slippery areas or large icy patches without salt. You should also take pictures of your injuries. If anyone saw the fall or stopped to help you, get their contact information and pass it on to your attorney. Their statements can be very helpful as you pursue compensation.
Save Your Clothing and Shoes
The clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident can also be helpful in your quest for compensation. In some cases, insurance companies will try to shift blame to the victim for not wearing appropriate footwear. If your shoes are treaded and would have been enough to protect you on a salted walkway, that can be helpful in your claim. If your clothes tore or were damaged in your fall, they are also useful pieces of evidence.
Document Your Injuries and Their Progress
In addition to proving liability, you have to show that your injuries have caused you demonstrable losses. By documenting your injuries and how they affect you each day, you highlight how your injuries keep you from performing basic tasks or taking care of yourself. Make sure you note any days you have to take off of work because of pain or limited mobility. Take photos of your injuries throughout the healing process to show their severity.
Get in Touch with a Personal Injury Attorney
As soon as possible after your fall, contact a personal injury attorney in your area. People often skip this step, thinking that they can save time and money by negotiating their own compensation. This is a mistake that can cost you a lot of money. The insurance industry has decades of experience in denying accident claims and depriving accident victims of the compensation they are due. They have a whole list of tactics they can and will use on you to drive down the value of your settlement.
The best way to fight this is to hire an aggressive personal injury attorney who will fight for the compensation you’re owed. They know how insurance companies work and what evidence will force them to take your claim seriously. Your attorney can also properly assess the value of your claim and use that to decide where to start negotiations.
Most slip and fall claims end in a settlement with the homeowner’s insurance policy or the business’ commercial liability policy. It is very rare for personal injury claims to go to court. If yours does, though, your attorney will prepare your case to go to trial.
If you’ve been injured while falling on ice or snow, take the time to talk to a personal injury attorney in your local area and explore your options.