If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident at someone’s home or a business, it's not easy to prove the owner was negligent and responsible for compensating you. You don't want to make it even harder to win your case by making errors that weaken your claim.
Here are six common mistakes in slip and fall accidents you should avoid.
1. Not Filing an Incident Report
Notify the property or business owner immediately after your accident and file an incident report. This report puts the owner on notice of your potential claim for compensation and documents that your slip and fall accident occurred. If you don't file it, you could have more disputes with the negligent party’s insurance company about their liability to compensate for your injuries.
2. Delaying Medical Treatment
Even if you don't think you were hurt or believe your injuries are minor, seek prompt medical care. You should be examined by a doctor for hidden injuries to protect your health and avoid disputes about whether your injuries were caused by the slip and fall accident.
Another common mistake victims make is not following their doctors' advice or not getting consistent treatment, resulting in unexplained gaps in their medical care. Don’t make this error. It could give the insurance company ammunition to argue that your injuries aren't as severe as you know them to be.
3. Not Getting All Contact Information
It's crucial to obtain the contact information for the negligent party and their insurance company, along with any eyewitnesses to your accident. If you fail to get this information for witnesses, you could lose vital testimony that corroborates the owner’s negligence in causing your fall.
4. Forgetting to Take Pictures
Snapping photos is often challenging to accomplish depending on your condition after the accident. But if you're able, or can ask someone to do it for you, this documentation is essential for proving the hazards on the scene. If you wait until later to take them, the owner might remove or repair the dangerous condition or posted a warning sign.
5. Accepting the First Settlement Offer
It's almost always a mistake to accept the first settlement offer from the insurance provider. It might make a low-ball offer in the hopes you'll accept less than the actual value of your claim.
Settling your case before you know the full extent of your recovery might also jeopardize compensation for future medical expenses and wage losses. In addition, you should never settle your case without consulting with an experienced premises liability attorney to protect your legal rights.
6. Waiting to Hire an Attorney
Another big error some people make is letting months go by before consulting with knowledgeable legal counsel. Here are some of the ways this delay could hurt your case:
- The more time passes, the harder it is for your lawyer to collect evidence to prove the other party’s negligence.
- You might something to the insurance adjuster that weakens your claim.
- The statute of limitations—which is the timeline you have to file a suit under Kansas or Missouri laws—might expire.
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Slip and Fall Accident?
If so, you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.