Following a slip and fall accident, there are certain actions you may take, that could majorly impact your case. The biggest mistakes following a St. Louis slip and fall accident to avoid are: giving a recorded statement to the landowners' insurance adjuster, not getting medical treatment in time, not taking pictures or reporting the incident at the scene, and not contacting a lawyer. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, consult a skilled slip and fall lawyer that could advocate for you.

First Steps Following an Accident

It is most important when a person has a slip and fall injury to immediately report to the manager or the people on duty. The injured person should get the names and contact information of the employees of the business where the accident occurred. The person should get the name of the manager and store owner so that if they deny that the person ever complained, the person has evidence and proof that they did make a complaint.

Taking Pictures of the Scene

The injured party should take pictures of the scene, items on the floor, and of the employee who documented the incident. Most likely, the business will put out a cone or a wet floor sign, dry the floor, clean up the milkshake, scrape off the ice, or get rid of the dangerous condition that caused that person's slip and fall. It is critical that the injured person documents the scene of the incident.

Seeking Medical Assistance

One of the common mistakes following a St. Louis slip and fall accident, is not seeking medical attention. By seeing a medical professional, an individual gets the medical attention they need, stop an injury from progressing, and secure documentation of their injuries.

If a person has been injured in a slip and fall case, they should seek medical assistance right away. If necessary, they can go to the hospital by ambulance directly from the scene. Otherwise, they can go to an urgent care, emergency room, or their primary doctor right after the incident. The person should keep a history of any medical providers who treated them for their injuries from the slip and fall accident.

Importance of Filing a Claim

Another mistake to avoid is not making a claim. When a person falls, they should determine why and how they fell. Perhaps they did not see what they tripped on before they fell. It is only after they fell when they are on the ground that they feel the ice, notice the water or see the oil that caused the slippery condition that contributed to their fall. That should be noted in the incident report.

A lawyer can identify the evidence, determine the parties responsible for the incident, put the defense on notice, file suit, and pursue the claim. It is often necessary to file suit and push and litigate slip and fall cases because defendants do not want to pay damages.

Establishing Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

One of the mistakes following a St. Louis slip and fall accident that people often make is, assuming that liability automatically lies with the property owner.

A person must show there is a dangerous condition on the premises and the defendant was negligent. Some people think that just because they fall on someone's property, the property owner is automatically liable. Nothing could be further from the truth. A person must prove a dangerous condition of the property that the defendant could have known about and was there for a sufficient time that the landowner or store is culpable.

For example, the natural accumulation of snow and ice that it is not shoveled or salted does not necessarily make a landowner liable. An injured person should not give a recorded statement or approach the defendant to tell them they never shoveled or salted. If a person does that, they do not have a case.

Comparative Fault

Another thing people do not realize is that their own fault comes into play in slip and fall cases. A person must watch where they are going and should not think that whoever put the water on the floor is automatically liable. If a person should have seen that a dangerous condition existed and did not avoid it, they have comparative fault which will decrease their recovery of damages.

Holding the Responsible Party Accountable

Holding the responsible party accountable can be difficult in slip and fall cases. The store may not own the parking lot. It may be that a maintenance company maintains the property. There are many cases where the injured party must sue multiple entities to find the responsible party. Rarely do these companies take responsibility. Another mistake is to think that those responsible are going to stand up, admit liability, and compensate the injured person.

These cases are vigorously defended. The defense lawyers often pull security tape, record statements, and deny liability to prevent people from recovering against them. A determined slip and fall attorney could fight just as vigorously in order to achieve a positive outcome for the plaintiff. If an individual has been injured in a slip and fall accident, they should work with an attorney that could help them avoid the typical mistakes following a St. Louis slip and fall accident and advocate for them.

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