Winter is here… Which means snow and ice is in our future. Slip and fall accidents are normally part of negligence claims when the property owner is aware of the problem but does not repair or fix it before so much time passes. Did they attempt to scrape the ice? Or put down salt? If not, you may have a negligence case.
Here are a few things you should do if you have fallen on ice:
Get Medical Attention
Icy sidewalks can really do some damage (and so can stairs). If someone has fallen onto these types of surfaces make sure they’ve been taken care of right away. Otherwise there could be long term effects including osteoporosis or nerve damages which may lead into paralysis.
Sure, you can slap a Band-Aid on, but make sure you get a doctor to check you out and create a record of your injuries, especially the timing!
Inspect the Scene
It’s time for a little detective work. What made you slip? Was there an obvious sign warning pedestrians about the slippery state of your sidewalk and how it can cause accidents? Take pictures with your cell phone so we have visual documentation on file, video recordings are great to have as well.
As mentioned above, after seeing a doctor to document the timing and severity of your injuries, the next critical step is taking photographic evidence. You must take the photos as close to the time of your slip & fall as possible.
If you choose to rely on your word, the judge or jury will have to make a choice based on your story vs your defendant’s story. This will likely weaken your case, and you may lose a claim that you could have won. Make sure to take plenty of pictures of the icy sidewalk that you fell on.
It is time to strengthen your case. Witnesses help your story, so look around. Did anyone see you slip & fall? Ask witnesses for their name, number, email, and address.
When working with a Slip & Fall Attorney this makes the process a lot easier as they can quickly follow up with witnesses on your behalf. They can get the written and signed statements, which will help strengthen your story. These are called witness statements and are powerful in helping you make your case.
Get the Facts Straight
Armed with photos (and maybe some video) and your witness accounts, take a minute to write everything down that you remember – Minor details might slip from your mind. Do not forget to keep track of all your injuries and symptoms too.
Hire an Experienced Slip & Fall Lawyer Right Away
Hiring an experienced Slip & Fall Lawyer could be the best thing you do for your case. A lawyer will handle all the tense negotiations on your behalf. An attorney with enough slip and fall experience under his belt will ask all the right questions, and make sure you do everything you can do to win the claim.
In Missouri you have five years to file your claim. For slip and fall cases, it is imperative you move quickly, however, because you need to quickly gather the evidence and talk to witnesses.
If you think someone else may be responsible for your injury, please KNOW WHAT TO DO: Call Tad 417-865-4400