Slip & Fall
“Slip & Fall” is a commonly used term to describe an injury that has occurred when someone slips, falls, or trips on someone’s premises. Usually the cause is as a result of some kind of dangerous or hazardous condition. These accidents can occur at someone’s home, a commercial building, a shopping mall, grocery store, just about anywhere. Falls commonly occur as a result of slippery surfaces, uneven sidewalks, gaps and holes in the ground, poor lighting and other hazardous conditions.
A property owner has an obligation to maintain a safe environment for their guests and patrons. If you injure yourself while on someone’s property as a result of a dangerous condition, the property owner or business proprietor could be held responsible for your injury.
Proving negligence is critical to your case. Just because you were injured while on someone’s property does not prove negligence. We have to show that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition you encountered, and failed to do something about it. For example, if you are shopping at the market and someone drops a bottle of juice on the floor and you slip on it a few minutes later, the store would not be responsible. They would argue that they had no knowledge of the condition and therefore not responsible. Now if you slip on that same broken bottle of juice and the spilled juice on the floor is dirty, sticky, and there are track marks leading in different directions, then the market could be held responsible. The dirty, sticky juice, and track marks are indications that the juice had been there for sometime and the store failed to clean it up. Cracked or uneven walking surfaces, drain pipes discharging onto walkways, and other hidden hazards are examples of where an owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.
Both you and the property owner can be held responsible on a varying degree. A property owner has an obligation to maintain a safe environment and you have a duty to watch where you are going. Therefore it is very important that you understand the following:
WHAT YOU SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT DO WHEN YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A SLIP & FALL ACCIDENT.
Immediately report the incident to management or the property owner as soon as possible. As you report the incident be calm, keep your cool. Emotions usually run high after an accident and it is very important that you not accuse the other person of some wrongdoing. All this accomplishes is getting the other person angry at you. Keep in mind the person taking the report from you may be the same person who will be reporting the accident to their insurance company. If they are angry at you, they will do everything within their power to try and blame you for the incident. The insurance company has an obligation to their insured to defend what their insured tells them. At the appropriate time and place we will prove that they were responsible for your injuries. Also, make sure you request a copy of the report.
If you are injured, call the paramedics. There is nothing more important than your health. Keep in mind that if you are injured and you do not seek medical attention right away, the insurance company will not believe that you were injured. The insurance company only believes what can be proven through medical documentation. They are not going to take your word for it.
Take Photographs. If you have a camera or a camera in your cell phone, take plenty of close up and general pictures of the area before the condition changes. It is very common that the area of your fall will be cleaned up or repaired immediately after your accident. If you cannot photograph the area, make sure your accident report contains a detailed description of what caused you to fall. (dirty sticky wet substance with trail marks, one inch crack in floor, ¾ inch rise in walkway, missing manhole cover, etc).
Look for witnesses. It is quite common that the property owner will not acknowledge responsibility for your injury and will blame you for not paying attention. Obtain the name and telephone numbers of anyone that may have seen the accident or came to your assistance. Their statements may be vital in proving your claim.
Call our office immediately. The sooner we start our investigation the better off you will be. It is crucial that we be able to immediately follow-up on witnesses and obtain and preserve physical evidence.
Most importantly, DO NOT talk to the other persons insurance company. Keep in mind that insurance companies employ highly trained professionals called “adjusters.” Adjusters will attempt to lull you into a false sense of security by telling you it is very important to get your side of the story, "before they make a liability decision against their insured.” The first thing they will ask is your permission to take a “recorded statement.”
This would be the biggest mistake you could make. The adjuster already knows that you are going to blame their insured. What the adjuster wants is to extract as much information from you as possible that can be used against you later.
The adjuster will piece together your responses to his carefully prepared questions, in order to support their insured’s version of the accident and thereafter justify denying your claim or passing on a percentage of liability onto you. Remember the adjuster is NOT your friend. We are your friends and protectors! You can seriously damage your case by speaking with any insurance company representative. If you do, it may be difficult to undo the damage. Call us immediately to avoid this critical mistake.
If you or a loved one are injured in a slip & fall accident, you are entitled to compensation for your pain & suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. We understand the physical pain and suffering an accident victim has to endure. We understand the emotional pain and strain on families as a result of the financial crisis of lost income, mounting medical expenses, and inability to provide for your family. To help ease the pain we pledge to provide you with the following:
Free initial consultation
We accept your case on a Contingency Fee Basis (No recovery – No fee)
We advance all costs related to presentation of your claim
After hours availability via an emergency pager or E-Mail
Multilingual staff fluent in English, Spanish, & Hebrew
Personal care and attention, along with prompt return of your calls
We make sure your rights are fully protected
We ensure you and your family are fully and fairly compensated for your loss.
Call us today for your free consultation at (213) 386-7586