If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Under New York law, property owners owe specific legal duties to guests and other visitors, and they can be held liable when their breach of these duties results in injury or death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, there are several important steps you can and should take to preserve your claim.
1. Get Treatment for Your Injuries
First, and most importantly, seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries so that you can receive prompt and proper care and treatment in furtherance of the healing and recovery process. In addition, such care and treatment, and the documentation of it, is important to help protect your legal rights.
This begins with your initial visit to an emergency room or other medical facility after the accident, and continues as you receive ongoing care and treatment.
Once the doctor has diagnosed your injuries and recommended a treatment plan, it is important to follow all directions. Abiding by your physician’s recommendations will not only help you take steps toward recovery but, if you later file a lawsuit against the negligent property owner, will also reduce the defense’s ability to argue that you contributed to the severity of your injuries or that you exaggerated your injuries.
2. Avoid Discussing the Accident and Injuries
Aside from seeking medical attention and contacting a lawyer, you should generally try to avoid discussing the accident with anyone else. You should be especially cautious about speaking with a representative of the property owner’s insurance company.
The insurance company will be looking for anything it can use to deny or minimize your claim.
You should also avoid posting about the accident online, including the accident, treatment, condition, limitations, etc. The attorneys for the at-fault person or entity (known as the defendant) will likely be able to obtain any social media posts that pertain in any way to the accident or your injuries, even if you have the strictest privacy settings activated, and they do everything they can to use that information against you in court.
3. Keep All Records and Receipts
You should also make it a habit to keep all documents, including records and receipts, related to your slip and fall accident. Make a file and put all of these documents in the file as soon as you receive them. These materials include:
- Images and scans from medical appointments
- Medical bills and explanation of benefits statements (EOBs)
- Prescriptions and receipts for prescription medications
- Receipts for other out-of-pocket costs, such as a cane, crutches, wheelchair, etc.
- Any records you receive from your employer
- Any other records or communications you receive related to your accident
All of these records will help your lawyers build a strong case on your behalf, including for lost income, reimbursement of expenses, etc. The more information you can provide your attorneys, the less time it will take to perform a thorough investigation and the sooner your case will be able to move forward.
4. Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Injury Attorney
Once you have seen to your medical needs, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as reasonably possible after you have been injured. Having capable legal representation on your side will enable you to focus on your recovery while your attorney does what is necessary to properly pursue your claim on your behalf
Although they may seem straightforward, slip and fall accident claims can be complicated. Do not assume that you can handle the case on your own or wait for the property owner or insurance company to make a fair offer. Instead, look for an attorney with experience in slip and fall accidents and other premises liability claims.
Learn How Lever & Ecker, PLLC Can Help
The lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC have more than 55 years of combined legal experience, to represent injury victims in Westchester and the metropolitan New York area. Our attorneys have extensive experience in slip and fall accidents and other cases involving dangerous properties.
Learn how our lawyers can help by calling (914) 288-9191 today for a free consultation. We take personal injury cases very personally, and we will pursue the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.