Knowing what to do after a slip and fall accident empowers you to develop a successful claim strategy and get the medical attention you need to recover from your injuries. The first step after a slip and fall is to report the accident to the property owner and, if applicable, the police. Next, you should see a doctor, even if you don’t think you suffered bad injuries. Next, you should file a claim with the property owner’s insurance company (if applicable) and with the court. Another essential step often missed by victims is documenting everything that occurred before, during, and after the accident. Doing so helps you develop a solid case you can present to the insurance company and the judge or jury.
Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC has decades of experience successfully serving slip and fall victims throughout Pennsylvania. We understand the mental and physical pain victims can experience because of an injury they get on someone else’s property. If you had to miss work or seek medical treatment because of a broken arm, fractured ankle, or concussion because of a slip and fall, consider contacting a slip and fall attorney at our office.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
What victims do after a slip and fall can greatly impact their ability to recover from their injuries, physically and legally. While each situation can vary, in most cases, the victim should take the following steps after getting hurt on someone else’s property:
- Report the accident
- See a doctor
- File a claim
- Document everything
By taking these steps, the injury victim can address the accident’s physical, financial, and legal consequences. From there, they can shape and support a lawsuit against the at-fault party, providing a pathway for them to recover what they need to rebuild their life after the accident.
Report the Accident
Reporting the accident is the first step someone should take after a slip and fall. They should begin by telling the property owner (such as a store employee) that the accident occurred. Doing so might entail telling the business or its employees on the day the accident occurs and, in some cases, sending out a legal letter to the store’s owners later on. Victims may also choose to report the accident to the police.
See a Doctor
The next step after a slip and fall is to seek medical attention for your injuries. The adrenaline and trauma response traveling through someone’s brain and body after a sudden event like a slip and fall often masks the true extent of their injuries. In the moments directly after the incident, you may not think they are hurt badly, but this feeling may be misleading. Doctors can examine you and determine what injuries you are experiencing and an effective treatment protocol.
Seeing a physician after a slip and fall also serves another vital purpose: it creates a connection between the accident and your medical condition. You can use this documentation later on to prove liability and boost your claim for compensation.
File a Claim
Once you have reported the accident and seen a doctor, it’s time to file a claim. How you accomplish this depends on the unique circumstances at play in your situation. Sometimes, you may file a claim with the responsible party or their insurance company (directly or indirectly). In other cases, you may jump straight to filing a legal claim.
If you have any questions about your legal rights or how to hold someone accountable for your injuries, consider reaching out to a reputable personal injury attorney. They can look at the facts in your unique situation and tell you what your options are. If you choose to hire them, they can also file legal or claims paperwork, freeing up your time to focus on what is most important to you. Hiring an attorney also ensures that you always have someone going to bat for you in the courtroom and during settlement talks.
Keeping accurate and comprehensive records of the accident and how it impacted your life can help you heal and boost your legal claim. Documentation that you should save includes medical records (like after-visit summaries), receipts, and paperwork where you request time off work.
Keeping a pain diary is another way to help document the effect that the accident and your injuries have on your emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. In this pain log, be clear about how you feel each day and what you can and cannot accomplish because of your condition. For example, if someone has a wrist and hand injury, they might write: “Wrist and hand pain is at a 9 out of 10 today. Lost feeling in my fingers and could not grip my coffee cup this morning.”
What Should You Do Immediately After a Fall?
The first things you should do after a fall are report the accident and seek medical attention. Reporting the accident makes sure the property owner is on notice of the incident and creates a paper trail you can use to prove your case. Seeing a doctor protects you from exacerbating injuries you don’t know you have.
Often, adrenaline, cortisol, and other brain and body responses to a sudden event can make victims feel like they are in much better shape than they actually are. Victims can safeguard their physical well-being by seeing a doctor shortly after the accident, even if they feel fine.
How Long Do You Have to Go to a Doctor After a Slip and Fall in PA?
If you’re in a slip and fall accident, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the incident. One benefit of taking this step is ensuring the doctors can identify and begin to treat your injuries. The other benefit is establishing a link between the fall and your physical pain or condition. If you wait too long after an accident to seek medical treatment, proving liability may be more difficult. When you see the doctor, make sure to tell them about the slip and fall so they can make a notation in your record and give their opinion about the impact of the incident on your physical health.
Keep in mind that if you didn’t have to have surgery after your fall, you may still be entitled to compensation. An attorney can help you understand your right to receive slip and fall settlements without surgery.
How Do You File a Claim After a Slip and Fall?
You can file a slip and fall claim in a couple of ways. Sometimes, you first file a complaint with the business or individual who owned the property where the slip and fall occurred. You might need to do this if the company has an internal procedure that they like people to follow first or if you signed an agreement waiving your right to file a separate lawsuit in traditional court. After you complete this step, it may be time to file a legal claim in court. An attorney can help with this process, or you can try to accomplish this on your own.
When deciding which action to take, it’s important not to miss Pennsylvania’s filing deadline for legal claims. Under Pennsylvania law, most victims must file their slip and fall claims within two years after the accident. Depending on the circumstances, the deadline may be longer or shorter than this in any given case. For example, claims against the government typically need to be brought in a shorter amount of time than this, while things like being under 18 can lengthen the deadline. A lawyer can answer questions about the legal deadline in your unique situation.
Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC: Slip and Fall Attorneys Serving Pennsylvania
Experiencing a slip and fall accident can significantly impact your life, causing you to miss work, hobbies, time with family, and other daily activities. Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC commits its time and resources to helping injury victims get the help they need to protect their rights and get the compensation they deserve. Past clients praise Eric Rayz and the team for going above and beyond when handling client matters and getting clients the legal damages they were due in a reasonable amount of time.
If you were in a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania, contact our dedicated team today by calling 267-435-2426. We have convenient locations in Huntingdon, Philadelphia, and Allentown and provide free, no-obligation consultations.