When you suffer serious injuries in any kind of accident, reporting the accident can help you establish exactly when the accident took place and who may bear liability for that accident. An accident report can also provide vital evidence about exactly how the accident occurred, including information that might fade from your memory over time.
In the case of a slip-and-fall accident report, however, you may wonder exactly where you need to file that report – and how to ensure that you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Filing a Report with the Premises Owner
Ideally, when a slip-and-fall accident occurs, you should file a report with the premises owner. In the case of an accident in a store or business, for example, you might want to connect with an employee to issue a report about the accident.
When possible, ask to speak with a manager about the accident. A manager will have better knowledge of what the company’s policy is for dealing with incidents that result in serious injury to a customer. Often, the manager will need to fill out a specific slip-and-fall accident report in order to create a company record of when the incident took place.
You should always notify the business where a slip-and-fall incident took place about your accident. Notifying the premises owner or manager serves several important purposes.
- It creates a record of the accident, which can prove vital to a later personal injury claim.
- It lets the business management know about the hazard that caused the accident, which they can then fix to avoid further injury to other visitors.
Do not simply get up after a fall and walk away, especially if you suspect that you have suffered injuries in the fall.
Reporting the Accident to Local Police
In addition to filing a report with the facility management, you may want to file a report with the local police, especially if you have suffered serious or even catastrophic injuries in your accident. If you call 911 to report the accident, the dispatcher will likely send the police to the scene of the accident as well as an ambulance.
A police report can prove extremely valuable as you move forward with a slip-and-fall accident claim after the incident. The police officer that responds to the scene will likely investigate the scene of the accident, including:
- Talking to witnesses
- Evaluating the cause of the accident
- Blocking off the area so that others do not suffer serious injuries
A police officer’s report will establish when the accident took place, where it took place and the likely cause of the accident. Did you slip because of a spill that management failed to clean up? Because of a broken handrail or broken stairs? Did you trip over debris on the floor that the business owner should have cleaned up? The police officer can help establish evidence of where and why your accident took place.
Filing a Claim with the Insurance Company
An accident report serves as evidence of where and when your accident took place – and that evidence can prove vital when you get ready to deal with the insurance company that covers the liable party. Insurance companies often require evidence in order to pay out after a slip-and-fall accident. Evidence may include the accident report as well as:
- Statements from witnesses
- Photos from the accident scene
- Information from business management or the owner of the property about the state of the property and what led to the incident
The more evidence you can provide following a slip-and-fall accident, including a clear accident report that establishes where and why the incident took place, the easier it can prove to move through the claim process and get the compensation you deserve.
Do You Need a Lawyer to File a Slip-and-Fall Accident Claim?
When you suffer serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you may wonder if you really need to work with a lawyer to get the compensation you deserve. You filed an accident report. The manager accepted liability on behalf of the store and let you know that they would include accurate information about what led to your accident.
Do you really need a lawyer?
In many cases, you should contact a lawyer to help handle your slip-and-fall accident claim. A lawyer can help file the initial claim with the insurance company that covers the liable party, which may increase the odds that you will recover the full compensation you deserve.
Did you know that multiple factors can contribute to a single slip-and-fall accident – and that if your lawyer uncovers more than one party that contributed to the incident, you may have the right to file a slip-and-fall accident claim against each one? For example, you might discover that a vendor put down a cord, but failed to secure it properly, leaving the vendor partially liable for your accident. However, since the premises owner or management failed to issue guidelines regarding cord placement or how to secure them, the premises owner might also share liability for the incident. A lawyer can help work through all those critical details on your behalf.
Insurance companies often use complicated, confusing tactics to help lower the compensation they have to pay out following serious slip-and-fall accidents. A lawyer can help you successfully navigate those tactics and give you a better idea of how much compensation you really deserve. From avoiding any admission of liability on your part to helping lay out the full compensation you may deserve, a lawyer can help at every step of the claim process.
A lawyer can also negotiate on your behalf as settlement offers come in, reducing your overall frustration.
Contact a Slip-and-Fall Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible
If you suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, do not try to handle a claim on your own. Contact Pacific West Injury Law today to schedule a free consultation.