Building a Slip and Fall Claim? Avoid These Common Mistakes
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the top causes of accidental injuries. While some falls are the result of sheer clumsiness, there are many others caused by negligent property owners who could’ve taken steps to prevent these accidents.
When you file a personal injury claim against another party, you can pursue compensation for any of the damages you incurred had the slip and fall not happened. However, even if there are clear signs that the property owner was at fault, there’s no guarantee you will receive a payout. As such, it’s important to do everything you can to increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
Primarily, you should avoid serious mistakes that might otherwise compromise your claim before you’ve even filed your first pieces of paperwork. Let’s look at a few common errors claimants often make:
1. You Didn’t Document the Accident Scene
Unless you need urgent care, you should take steps to thoroughly document the place where you fell. Start by taking pictures of the hazard that caused your injuries and the surrounding area. If anyone saw you fall, you should take down their names and contact numbers.
Additionally, the property may be equipped with surveillance cameras that captured footage of the accident. You should note their locations and ask for copies of the videos they captured. Leaving before you have these files could mean you’ll lose them forever as these recordings are often erased or overwritten within a few days.
2. You Didn’t Visit the Doctor Promptly
Delaying your doctor’s visit after a serious fall might not just cause your condition to deteriorate, but could also lead to disputes during proceedings. For instance, opposing parties might argue that you are liable for some of your medical expenses as, had you undergone a medical assessment within a reasonable timeframe, you might’ve avoided many of these costs. The claims adjuster may even challenge your credibility, asserting that your injuries can’t really be that serious as you didn’t require urgent care.
3. You Failed to Report the Accident to the Property Owner
While you might be in a hurry to leave the place where you were injured, it’s crucial to the success of your claim that there are records of the accident. As such, you should ask the property owner—or the manager on duty (if the accident happened at a business)—to draft an incident report and insist that they provide you with a copy.
4. You Rushed Into Negotiations
After a serious fall, your costs can add up at a rapid pace. From medical bills to lost income to everyday expenses, you’re probably in a hurry to settle your claim and move on with your life. However, until you’ve achieved maximum medical improvement—the point in your recovery at which your condition will not improve with further treatment—you should not accept an offer. Agreeing to a settlement too soon could mean you won’t have funds to deal with any additional complications that might arise.
Discuss Your Case with a Miami Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
If you were injured because of a property owner’s negligence, you might be able to recover compensation for many of your losses. At Viñas & DeLuca, PLLC, we can assess your situation to determine whether you have grounds for a claim.
Our lawyers operate on a contingency-fee basis, so you won’t have to pay us a cent in attorneys fees unless we win your case. Dial (305) 372-3650 or tap through to our contact form HERE to request a free consultation with a Florida slip and fall attorney.