Slip and Falls in Seattle: What to Do Next
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If you have been involved in a Seattle slip and fall incident, chances are that you may be uncertain about what you need to do next, to protect your interests. As the phrase indicates, there is potential for the risk of injury in slip and fall accidents. This can include trauma to the head, injuries to the spine or back, broken limbs, or a fractured hip. If the injury took place on someone’s property and the owner is deemed to be negligent, the person who was injured can make a claim to be compensated for losses, such as medical bills.
As a slip and fall attorney Seattle residents can rely on, we at Craig Swapp & Associates often get inquiries from individuals who need to know what they should do next. It’s prudent to find out what your rights and responsibilities are.
And following an accident, you might be feeling rattled or otherwise out-of-sorts, especially when there are injuries or damage to property to consider. Being involved in any kind of mishap having to do with slipping and falling can be quite upsetting, so it’s useful to consult a list of the main tasks to take care of.
With that in mind, here are steps people should take after slip and falls in Seattle.
The first thing you need to do is check out your physical status. For this reason, as leading Seattle slip and fall lawyers, we want to underscore the importance of getting treatment from a medical professional, such as your family doctor, or a local clinic, hospital or emergency room. You’ll want a doctor to treat your injuries as well as run any required tests, such as diagnostic x-rays or scans from an MRI.
Another reason you need to obtain treatment from a healthcare provider is so you can have the doctor provide documentation that you suffered an injury due to a slip and fall accident. This doctor’s report will serve as a crucial tool in any evidence you may need to present when making a claim. Remember that you must adhere to the physician’s treatment orders. If, for some reason, you did not obtain the treatment that your doctor ordered, the legal team for the opposing side in your slip and fall case could raise the argument that you did not actually suffer an injury.
One of the first things any Seattle slip and fall lawyers will tell you to take care of is creating a full report about what happened. After an incident, inform the management or owners about the slip and fall accident and the status of your injury. Write down the information as soon as possible, while the details remain fresh. It’s best to obtain a copy of this accident report for your records. And if the police arrived to investigate the accident, you will want to know how to formally request your own copy of the police report.
Photographic evidence is useful when legal authorities are investigating a potential slip and fall accident. So, use your smartphone camera, or portable digital camera, if available, to take pictures of your injury as well as the location where the incident occurred. For example, if the floor was slippery and wet when you were injured, it’s best to take pictures immediately, before workers clean up the area. This is particularly useful in situations where there are no warning signs to keep people out of danger. You’ll also want to get images of indications of your injury, such as a neck brace, stitches, bandages, and bruises for the record.
To keep things organized and logical, you will want to gather all the documents associated with the slip and fall accident in one place. Keep records of all expenses that you incur due to the accident. Your file will also include letters between you and the property management and insurance companies. Keep a record of what you were doing the day of your injury leading up to the incident, with specific details about what happened during the accident. Also make sure to retain documents showing lost income because you had to be away from work for diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
Accident victims should keep in mind how important it is to preserve the shoes and clothes they happened to be wearing during the slip and fall accident. Above all, do not clean or wash these items. You want to preserve any indications of blood, debris, damage or dirt to your shoes and clothes to help underscore the danger of your accident.
As any Seattle slip-and-fall attorneys will tell you, it’s imperative to steer clear of accepting blame or assigning blame to someone else after a slip and fall accident. Leave the investigative matters to the authorities. Legal professionals will be assessing the evidence of your case. So, avoid making statements to the insurance company of the property where the accident occurred. And do not sign any documents from the property owner’s insurance firm, or from the property owner/manager themselves.
In this era of social media connections, it might be tempting for you to report the details of your slip and fall accident online, to keep your family and friends informed. But since this is a legal matter, it’s best to be very judicious and cautious about what kinds of descriptions or photos you post on sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
To ensure that your legal interests have proper representation, you’ll want to set up an appointment to hire and then meet with a lawyer. It’s difficult to navigate the legal system by yourself as an amateur. Ideally, you will have experienced legal professionals on your side who know about the intricacies of slip and fall cases in Seattle and dealing with insurance companies, property managers and owners, and the courts.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a Seattle slip and fall incident, it’s important that you obtain appropriate legal representation. That’s where Craig Swapp & Associates can be of assistance. To learn more about our approach to slip and falls in Seattle or to make an appointment to consult with the best slip and fall attorney Seattle has to offer, please contact us today.