In most cases, if an accident occurs on someone else’s property and a claim or lawsuit results, it is considered a premises liability case. Property managers and owners generally have the responsibility of ensuring that the premises are safe, assuming that you are an invited guest on the premises. If they fail to uphold this responsibility, they could be held liable for damages.
Following a slip and fall accident, you may be tempted to reach out to property management. You should inform them of your fall, yes. But if you believe you have a case due to negligent behavior on their part, you should speak to a lawyer before communicating any further with the property manager or property staff. Some steps you should take following a slip and fall accident on another’s premises include the following.
Get Medical Attention
In the immediate wake of an accident, the most important thing is to ensure that you are treated for your injuries and understand the full extent of them. This is particularly important if you hit your head in a slip and fall accident, as you may not immediately know whether you have sustained a concussion. Seeking medical attention early on also ensures that your injuries are documented as being connected to the accident, which can help you if you seek damages in a slip and fall claim.
Report the Accident
You will want to report the accident to whoever is in charge on the premises as soon as possible. That will likely be the property manager or landlord. But even if you can’t reach either of those, find the person who is in charge at the moment. You should complete an accident report that contains the details of the incident. Leave a copy with them and make sure to take a copy for your records. If they have no such form, make sure you create a document detailing the accident and send them a copy.
If you cannot contact the property owner, manager, or landlord, you should reach out to qualified legal representation who can help you file a claim. If property management reaches out to you after the fact, you should not give them any information. Refer them to your lawyer. If you speak to the property manager, you might accidentally say something that could be used to compromise your claim or case.
Document the Accident
If you’re able, you should collect information from anyone who witnessed your accident, as a personal injury lawyer may want to collect statements from them afterward. Take pictures of the accident spot if you can, and as soon as possible after the accident because property managers will often try to fix the issue that caused your accident when they realize they could be held liable. Prepare a statement documenting the circumstances surrounding your accident, and make sure that you preserve any clothes or other articles that may have been damaged or factored into your slip and fall. These can be used as evidence for your claim later on.
Don’t Broadcast Your Accident
Just as you should not give any information to the property manager if they try to contact you after an accident, you should not broadcast the accident to friends whom you do not trust to keep the information private. In particular, you should not post anything on social media about the accident. While it may be tempting to express your displeasure with the premises where your fall took place and/or the management of the premises, doing so could hamper your ability to obtain compensation. Your doctors and your personal injury lawyer should be your main contacts about your claim throughout the case.
Contact a Qualified Premises Liability Lawyer
You should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as your urgent medical needs have been addressed. Personal injury lawyers will be able to take the facts of your case and help you file a claim that will give you the best chance possible of holding the appropriate party accountable and obtaining compensation. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases, such as slip and fall accidents, in Texas is two years, so it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately following your accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you should reach out to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. With premises liability cases, such as slip and fall accidents, the physical evidence is important, so it is critical to gather your evidence and contact a lawyer as quickly as possible to prevent the possibility that evidence may go missing or be destroyed.