If you are looking for information on how to file a slip and fall claim, then you have come to the right place. This is when you can hold the property accountable when you or your loved one has encountered an injury either by tripping or slipping on their property. You can also recover the losses for the damages that occurred as a result of this accident. In this blog, we will be walking you through a step-by-step guide that will not only help you understand the options that lay ahead of you but also make it easier for you to take the next steps.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The first thing to do if you have fallen down is to seek medical attention as soon as you can. Even if your injuries seem minor at the moment, you shouldn’t neglect them. When you get your injuries examined by a doctor, sometimes it can uncover additional injuries that are not visible to the naked eye. Moreover, seeking medical attention will help with your claim, too, as it will have proper documentation of your injuries. In most cases, slip and fall settlements are completed within 9-12 months of treatment completion. Make sure you keep all the records of expenses, treatments, and medical visits available because all these documents will prove to be a vital part of the claim settlement process.
Document the Scene
When the accident has occurred, you might not be in the right state of mind, and it’s understandable. But it’s important to document the scene. You or someone who was with you should take pictures of the scene. This will ensure that if there is any hazardous condition, such as icy sidewalks or wet floors, it’s well documented and can be mentioned in the claim process with proof. You should also ensure that you are capturing any irregular surfaces that led to the fall. If there were any warning signs or lack thereof, make sure to capture them, too. Additionally, determine if there were any eyewitnesses of the incident and whether they would be willing to support your case. Your claim would only become stronger if you can gather more evidence.
File an Accident Report
The next step for you is to file a report. Mostly, this applies to those accidents that have occurred on a business property, and the report is referred to as an incident report. You must notify the supervisor, manager, or owner of the property as soon as you can. Reporting the incident will create a formal record of it. When you are filing the incident report, don’t make the mistake of accepting any blame for the incident or discussing anything about whose fault it was. All of these things can influence slip and fall claims down the line.
If you want your slip and fall settlement to succeed, preserving evidence is an important part of the process. Confused as to what this means? Well, if your shoes had torn during the fall or if any part of the clothing was impacted, keep those preserved as it is because these are a part of the physical evidence. All correspondence with insurance companies, property owners, or other parties who were involved in the accident should be stored somewhere where you can access it easily and quickly.
Consult With an Attorney
Before you straightaway dive into the process of filing a slip and fall claim, it’s best to consult with a slip and fall lawyer. Choose someone who specializes in such cases. They will be able to offer you the best tips and industry insights on how you can win the case and get the claim. They will also help you navigate the legal complexities of your case so that you can strengthen your claim.
Notify the Insurance Company of the Property Owner
If you get a green light from your attorney regarding the slip and fall claim, then your next step is to notify the insurance company of the concerned property owner. But when you are talking to the insurance representatives, you need to be very careful and choose your words wisely. They will definitely try their best to use strategies to minimize your compensation, and you don’t want that. So, the best way forward is to stick to facts and keep emotion out of the way. Also, if they ask you to make any recorded statements, remember that it’s not a good idea to do so without consulting your attorney first.
Gather All Bills and Medical Records
Your attorney will advise you to keep all your relevant bills in one place, but make sure you also gather all your medical records. During the claim process, the extent of your damages will be determined, and that’s when you need these documents so that a strong case can be made in your name and you get your compensation without any delay.
Take the help of your attorney to figure out how much damage you have incurred as a result of your accident. This not only includes economic losses but also non-economic losses. Things that should be kept in mind while calculating damages other than your medical bills are your pain, suffering, and lost wages. But don’t be too greedy. Apply for a reasonable and fair compensation.
File a Lawsuit
Another reason why hiring a good attorney is important is because your attorney will help you negotiate with the insurance company to reach fair compensation. In the case that negotiations don’t go as planned and the insurance company isn’t willing to pay out the claim, your attorney will help you file the lawsuit against the responsible party. Keep in mind that litigation takes time and is a very formal procedure. But if you want to have the compensation you deserve, sometimes there is no other way than litigation.
So, when you began this blog with the question in mind, ‘How to settle a slip and fall claim,’ I’m sure everything seemed daunting to you. But let’s hope we have been able to soothe your mind and answer some of your questions through this blog. With the right guidance and knowledge, it’s possible to get a fair compensation. But don’t forget to prioritize your health throughout the process, and if the legal complexities seem too much to handle, seek legal counsel. This will only increase your chances of success. A lawyer specialized in these cases knows what the best course of action is, no matter how tricky the situation seems to be. Whether you have to walk the path of litigation or negotiation, your attorney will help you navigate these uncharted waters and reach the best possible outcome. So, think carefully about your next step because your actions can make a lot of difference here, and the legal system is right beside you to support you throughout your pursuit. For more information visit Brain Injury Law of Seattle or contact us today!