You suffered a fall due to someone else’s negligence.
You were smart and followed the 3 most important steps after your slip or trip and fall:
- You sought immediate medical care
- You made sure an incident report was created
- You took a lot of pictures
You should be proud of yourself. But don’t stop there! Make sure you fully protect your legal rights by following these three key additional steps.
Tip #1: Follow Doctors Orders Exactly
If you were treated by paramedics or seen in the emergency room after your fall, you were probably referred to follow up with another doctor. This could be your primary care doctor, an orthopedic surgeon or a neurologist. Whoever it is, make sure you see them as directed.
Make sure you get ALL of the medical care you need. Do not be a hero and try to “tough it out”. Getting all the medical care you need early on can make a huge difference in your long-term recovery.
And make sure to follow every doctor’s order and recommendation to the tee. Insurance companies are ruthless and will seek to exploit anything to undercut your claim – even your medical treatment.
If for example, you miss a doctor’s appointment or don’t complete all of the recommended therapy for your injury, the insurance company and their lawyers will portray you as an irresponsible patient.
If your injury causes you permanent pain, the insurance company will use “noncompliance” in your medical records to paint you as someone who is exaggerating their injuries for money.
Don’t give the insurance company the satisfaction – follow through and get all the medical care you need.
Tip #2: Send a Notice and Preservation Letter
If you are well enough, we encourage our clients to write a letter to the property owner (or their insurance company if you know it) notifying them of your fall and that you were seriously injured. If you are not well enough to write a letter, have a friend, family member or personal injury lawyer do it for you.
In addition to giving notice of your fall and the injury, make sure to remind the property owner and their insurance company to save all evidence of the incident.
Make sure the defendant knows to save all photos, video surveillance, interview statements and names of witnesses. This helps ensure that all of the key evidence in your case will be available when you need it.
Alternatively, if you send a preservation letter but the defendant destroys evidence, your lawyer can use this behavior to show the property owner acted with bad intentions, which can drive up the settlement or jury value of your claim.
Tip #3: Call a Lawyer
Big business insurance companies are highly sophisticated and immediately work to undermine or destroy your personal injury claim. As soon as they learn of your incident, they have investigators, claims handlers and lawyers working with the property owner in an effort to figure out how best to defend your claim.
You need a personal injury lawyer to level the playing field. A qualified slip and fall lawyer is going to be your best hope to your legal rights and ensure you receive a fair settlement. Insurance companies look for every opportunity to low-ball your claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to preserve the evidence, build the strongest case and negotiate with the insurance company to secure the best result.
Yes, you have to pay a lawyer a fee from your settlement. But the value a good personal injury lawyer will provide your claim will, most likely, result in true accountability and more money in your pocket in the end.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall incident, please contact us or call us at (412) 281-4100 and ask to speak with a personal injury attorney.