Getting into a slip-and-fall accident can leave you injured, confused, and at the mercy of people who don’t have your best interests at heart. Slip and fall cases fall under the doctrine of premises liability. This is a civil action that allows victims to pursue damages when injured on another person’s private or public property.
Property owners are obliged to keep their premises free from undue risks pursuant to New York law. This comprises establishments, including shops, restaurants, and residences. In Garden City, for instance, a careless property owner may be responsible for your losses if you trip, slip, or fall.
Suppose you are a Garden City resident and have sustained injuries due to a slip and fall accident. In that case, an experienced Garden City slip and fall attorney can help maximize your chances of getting justice and compensation.
- Collect and Preserve Evidence
Your evidence and its strength play a critical role in determining the outcome of your case. The at-fault party will use it to decide whether to offer you fair compensation. If your case goes to trial, the jury is going to decide your case based on the strength of your evidence.
After your slip and fall accident, collect and preserve all evidence until you obtain the compensation you’re entitled to. Try to get the names and contact information of witnesses. Also, be sure to keep important supporting documents safe. That includes your medical records, paystubs to show proof of lost income, as well as invoices, receipts, and other financial records related to your slip and fall accident.
- Take Photos of the Scene
Taking a picture of the area where you fell and sustained the injuries are great for presenting proof for your claim. They give defendants and insurance companies visual proof instead of just paper evidence.
Capture anything that might have contributed to the slip and fall accident – a spill on the floor or a parking lot with potholes. Photos of your injuries are also essential. Notably, the pictures you take must indicate the date they were taken so they can be administered as evidence in court.
- Seek Medical Treatment
If you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you need to seek prompt medical attention, even if you’re not sure how severe your injuries are. Your objective is to get justice and fair compensation for injuries suffered as a result of the accident, so you need to know the extent of your damages. If your doctor recommends a treatment plan, follow it to the letter and avoid engaging in activities that might compromise your claim.
When dealing with insurance companies, perception can play a role in getting compensated. If the insurer thinks you’re faking or exaggerating your injury and subsequent losses, they will likely deny your claim. Medical records can encourage the defendant to come to offer a higher settlement.
- File Your Claim As Soon As Possible
You have a limited amount of time to bring a personal injury claim. You don’t want to risk time running out before you’ve had the chance to file your case. In New York, you have three years from the date of the slip and fall accident to file your claim. Once this deadline expires, the court will permanently dismiss your case, and you won’t be able to pursue compensation.
And if you’re dealing with an insurance company, you want to check the terms of the insurance policy, which may highlight deadlines under which you must provide the insurance company with notice of your claim.
Filing your claim as soon as possible also allows you to protect your rights and preserve the evidence you need to build your case.
- Do Not Jump at the Initial Offer or Sign a Release Too soon
It’s a common practice for insurance adjusters to quickly respond to a personal injury claim. They offer to settle your case in exchange for a signed release of claims form.
Chances are, at this stage, you don’t have a full understanding of the extent of your slip-and-fall-related losses, especially if you’re still receiving medical care. If you accept the offer and sign a release, you’ll give up your right to take any legal action if it turns out your injuries are worse than you first thought.
- Hire an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney
You are bound to receive a higher compensation amount if you work with a reliable attorney experienced in slip-and-fall cases. An attorney can investigate the facts of your case, determine the extent of your injuries and expenses, and advocate for your interests. They will uphold your rights and make sure any settlement you accept will cover your current and future losses.
Slip and fall injuries can range from minor to catastrophic. Nonetheless, you may be entitled to compensation for losses incurred as a result of the accident. Proving liability and obtaining fair compensation hinges on getting prompt medical attention, collecting and preserving evidence, and filing a claim with legal time limits.
Working with an attorney experienced in handling slip and fall claims also gives you the best chance of getting justice and maximizing compensation.