Thursday, September 26, 2019

When “Oops!” Becomes “Ouch!” What To Do After a Slip, Trip, and Fall Accident

If America has learned anything from Bob Saget and America’s Funniest Home Videos, it’s that it can be incredibly funny to watch people fall down, and of course, it’s even better if that person is doing something stupid like trying to skateboard along a railing.

But what about someone who slips on the ice outside of a store and seriously injures themselves? That’s not nearly so amusing — and it can be actionable.

Read on to learn more about slip, trip, and fall accidents, and what to do if you have had one.

What Is Premises Liability?

Public buildings, workplaces, parking lots, and walkways — in other words, any premises — are required by premises liability law to be safely maintained. To make sure that people who traverse these buildings and other parts of a property stay safe, that means they should be kept clean. Spills of all kinds should be cleaned up quickly, and caution signs should be displayed after cleaning or waxing a floor or when obstacles are present.

Walkways, steps, parking lots and other outdoor surfaces should be kept free of snow and ice, as well as other debris.

If You Fall

It’s important to know what actions to take in the event of an accident of this nature. If you should slip or trip and then fall, be sure to report the incident. Get in touch with an employee or manager, or the owner of the property right away and explain what happened.

Make sure they complete a written incident report and get a copy to take with you. It’s also a good idea to gather the contact information of any witnesses who saw your accident, or who could testify to the dangerous conditions that caused it.

Take Pictures and Videos 

Now that almost everyone has a cell phone capable of taking photographs and videos, it’s pretty easy to document conditions on the premises after an accident. If you don’t have a smartphone, ask a bystander or witness to use theirs and send you the pictures to your email or to a relative’s phone.
It’s usually not enough to get a wide-focus shot of an icy parking lot. Try to snap (or even better, record) the exact spot where you slipped and fell.

Seek Medical Attention As Soon As Possible

Your fall may require an ambulance. Even if it doesn’t, get to your doctor’s office right away for a checkup. Tell your doctor exactly what happened, and make sure everything is documented properly. This paperwork — and the fact that you sought medical attention — can be crucial down the line, if your case ends up going to court.

Remember, too, that some injuries don’t always show up right away. You might feel fine and even be able to walk away from the scene of the incident seemingly unharmed. But you never know when you’ve tweaked a muscle, pulled a nerve, or otherwise set off a chain of medical reactions that will end in pain and complications.

Contact an Attorney

It doesn’t hurt to seek out the services of a personal injury attorney after an accident like this. There is no commitment required upfront, and it’s always good to know your options and be able to make an informed decision. You might not end up having a case, or you may choose not to pursue legal action. But let a lawyer take a look at the facts and talk to you about the specifics of your circumstance.

“All personal injury attorneys worth their salt will offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations just to chat with potential clients,” say the experts at “And they should never charge any fees upfront.”

Wrapping Up

Slipping or tripping, then falling, can lead to serious injuries like broken limbs, traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, chronic back pain, and more. If it happens in or on a piece of property where premises liability means someone owed you a duty of care, you may have the right to pursue legal compensation.

Report the accident, document the scene and collect witness information, and seek medical treatment. Then, consider consulting with an attorney to get the justice you deserve.

This is a guest blog entry.

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