After a person is injured in a slip and fall accident, they may feel they have grounds for a lawsuit but might not know how to go about the actual process.
Before getting into a lawsuit, you should always report your slip and fall incident through the appropriate channels and get medical attention as soon as possible after the fall occurs. You should also contact a lawyer as soon after the event as possible to make sure your rights are protected.
At Wruck Paupore, our Indiana slip and fall lawyers are awaiting your call. We can start you off on the right foot with a free initial case assessment when you call our offices right now at (219) 322-1166.
The process of recovering compensation starts as soon as the accident occurs. There are a few critical steps that every slip and fall injury victim should take before they even get into the filing process that will affect their ability to recover.
In any case where you sustain a personal injury, it is important that you follow the proper procedures for reporting the incident. In addition to meeting certain insurance or legal requirements, filing a formal report shortly after the accident helps establish the direct connection between the accident and your injuries.
If the incident occurs in a public area, the best way to start this process is by calling 911. The emergency dispatcher will send medical help to the scene of the accident. They may also send law enforcement to file an official police incident report.
If you sustain your injury at work, you may need to fill out an incident report with your employer, who will submit it to their worker’s compensation insurance provider.
If you suffer your injury at a private business or commercial property, like a retail store or a sports arena, the incident should be reported to employees of the establishment, who will usually follow their own procedure to document what happened. These incident reports and subsequent communications made by the business in addressing the incident may become important evidence.
In every instance, document the scene with your own photographs of what caused you to fall and the surrounding area. This may be the most important evidence in your case. If other people in the store saw what happened, make sure to get their contact information.
If you are not sure how to report your incident, be sure to contact an experienced Fort Wayne personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There are often short time limits on reporting your injury correctly, and it is best to avoid having these arbitrary deadlines come between you and the monetary recovery you deserve.
Seeking medical evaluation and treatment after a slip and fall is critical. Taking this step as soon as possible is important for your personal health and can also be useful in pursuing monetary recovery later.
You should always visit your nearest hospital’s emergency room immediately after sustaining a personal injury. If you were involved in an accident that could have caused an injury but are unsure if you sustained any harm, it is still important to take this step. Many types of personal injuries may not be apparent immediately after the accident without professional testing. If left untreated, these injuries could worsen over time, even to the point of becoming life-threatening.
Getting medical attention is important for your long-term financial recovery as well. Establishing a medical record immediately after the accident is the best way to establish that the accident was the cause of those injuries. Make sure you tell the medical providers where and how your injuries occurred so that this is documented in your medical records. Without this evidence, the door is open for the other side to argue that you sustained your injury at another time or that your condition was made worse during the time when you didn’t seek care.
You should not worry about filing your lawsuit until you have gotten an initial medical evaluation and made sure that any immediate health conditions have been addressed. Once this is handled, you should reach out to your Indianapolis slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you with reporting your incident properly if you have not done so already.
You may also find it helpful to have the help of a lawyer when gathering and recording evidence, calculating potential damages and communicating with other parties and insurance representatives, not to mention preparing your actual court filings.
In filing a lawsuit, you will have to name the party that you feel is responsible. However, identifying fault in some slip and fall cases can be somewhat complicated.
Depending on the situation, one or more parties may owe you a duty of care. Typically, this duty starts with the property owner. Generally, property owners owe duties to their guests to prevent foreseeable harm. The extent of this duty is defined by the relationship between the guest and the property owner. For example, the duties that a retail store owner owes a customer may be different from those that a dinner party host would owe a guest on their personal property.
Further, it is common for many commercial property owners to contract away some of their property maintenance obligations. If you were injured in a store, and the store owner is a tenant in the space, the lease agreement between the property owner and the store owner will outline who is responsible for each aspect of property management. Some property owners will hire external contractors to handle maintenance and inspection issues, such as clearing ice and snow. If these contractors are negligent in their work, they may also be liable for the consequences of a slip and fall injury.
Indiana’s statute of limitations provides personal injury victims with two years from the date of the incident to file their initial complaint in court. Much of this time can be taken up by gathering evidence and estimating damages, so it is important that you get the process started early.
If you miss the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations, you will almost certainly be barred from recovery. For this reason, we urge you to reach out to an Indiana slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.
Apart from the statute of limitations, recovery for slip and fall injuries often turns on evidence gathered soon after the injury occured, so it is important that you do not wait to consult an attorney about your legal rights.
When you call the South Bend slip and fall lawyers at Wruck Paupore today, you can obtain a free initial case evaluation. Call (219) 322-1166 to learn more.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.