- Get medical help. If you need emergency medical assistance, call 911. Even if you don’t think you need care right away, see a doctor as soon as possible for a thorough exam. An injury may appear to be minor at first, but more serious symptoms may not appear until 24 hours or more after the accident. Also, seeing a doctor documents your injury in case you do have a claim.
- Take pictures of the scene. If possible, take pictures or video of where you fell before the property owner can fix the hazard that caused your accident. Record the time, date and anything that contributed to your fall, such as clutter, broken pavement, poor lighting, etc.
- Look for witnesses. If anyone saw your accident, get their names and contact information (address, telephone number, email address, etc.). Record their statements on your phone (video) or another device.
- Report your accident. Tell a manager, owner or someone in charge at a business what has happened and ask to file a report. Give them the facts, but don’t say anything that indicates you were at fault. Record names and contact information for anyone you speak to. Ask if there will be an incident report and how to get a copy of it. Then be sure to get a copy.
- Keep records of your accident. Save everything related to your fall and your injuries: medical reports, receipts for treatment and medication, therapy reports, work or school absence reports. Save stained or torn clothing from your fall without washing them. Start a written or video journal about your recovery. It should discuss information about going through medical treatment and therapy, your pain and suffering, setbacks in your recovery, special occasions you miss because of your injury, etc. Record your (and your friends’ and family’s) thoughts about anything that has changed in your life because of your slip-and-fall accident.
- Don’t sign anything. You may hear from the property owner, a lawyer or an insurance company soon after your accident. They may have a check for you. You may be asked to sign a release to receive the check, but this will be a waiver that gives up your right to any further claim. You should not accept any settlement offer without a qualified lawyer’s advice. It is most likely far less than you deserve.
- Contact a South Carolina lawyer. Engaging a lawyer as soon as possible after a slip-and-fall accident is the best way to protect your rights. Your attorney can ensure any offered settlement truly provides full and fair compensation for your injuries and other losses. Even telling an insurance company that they’ll have to talk to your lawyer lets them know they must take you seriously.
Joye Law Firm can work to protect your rights to full and fair compensation after a slip-and-fall accident anywhere in South Carolina. Put us to work for you now. Call Joye Law Firm or fill out this online contact form to set up a free consultation and claim evaluation.