Slips, trips, and falls are the third most common reason for lost workdays and injuries in workplaces in the United States. A slip and fall can result in a wide variety of injuries like contusions, strains or sprains, broken bones, paralysis, concussions, spinal cord injuries, and even fatalities.
The problem is that most people don’t take slips and falls seriously, assuming that they are a common part of daily work life. But there’s a lot a workplace can do to prevent these injuries, and it’s due to their negligence that your injury occurred in the first place.
If you have recently suffered from a slip and fall and are wondering what steps to take next, you are in the right place. Read through the article below so you can feel more prepared for the upcoming trials rather than dazed and confused.
Seek Medical Treatment Right Away
No matter if you are injured or not, you have to seek medical attention. That’s a must.
Don’t go back to work and pretend like everything is fine because you are worried about losing your job. Don’t, in any case, ignore your injuries and keep going to work every day as if it’s just an ordinary day.
Visit a medical professional as soon as you get your injury. It could be a doctor that you have known for a while, but it’s better if it’s someone who is unknown to you, so they can be more objective. You don’t want people to think you got a biased medical opinion.
Inform the doctor that you have had a slip and fall, so they can examine you from head to toe for any injuries. Have them document everything and send you a report on it, so you can have everything in writing.
A lot of slips and falls might not seem serious at first, but a few days into it, you might start feeling faint or confused, basically the aftereffects of a head injury. If that’s the case, go back to your doctor and ask them to give you the once-over again. And get a report on that as well.
If you don’t feel up to it, do not rush back to work. In fact, it’s better for your health and also the overall case if you take time to recover and recuperate.
Why Did You Slip and Fall?
You are an expert on the job that you do and your workplace setup. Probably you’ve done the same job a thousand times over without any injuries. So what was the issue this time around?
There must be some reason that caused you to slip and fall since they don’t happen randomly. You will want to take the time to think about this situation properly after you have gotten checked out by a doctor.
It’s important you outline carefully why you fell and how the situation could have been prevented since most workplace injuries are preventable if proper safety measures were implemented in the first place.
Once you have an idea of why you slipped and fell, then document that, as well as everything else, in the point below.
This cannot be emphasized enough. No matter what it is, big or small if it’s related to your slip and fall, it must get documented in your case file.
Until you inform a slip-and-fall attorney, you need to document everything for yourself. All this information will be highly useful to your attorney since they can use it to build a stronger case for you and get you better compensation.
You will want to take pictures of your injuries and of the spot where you got the injury. Take screenshots or printouts of all the emails you exchanged with everyone regarding the slip and fall, both at your workplace and outside it.
And of course, you will have all the documents from your medical professional outlining your injuries and the outcome of it.
Have the time for it? Then consider interviewing or messaging some of your colleagues to ask them if they have ever experienced a slip and fall in the same manner and add that to your case file as well.
Essentially, you are building up a case against your workplace and trying to prove that they could have prevented your injury (and many others), but they didn’t because of negligence, ignorance, or whatever other reason.
Write down everything you do, everything that happens during and after your slip and fall, as if you were writing a diary. Be coherent and clear, and type it up, rather than write it down by hand, to ensure there’s no confusion later on due to poor handwriting.
Remember that memories can fade very fast. Even a day after the slip and fall, you might not remember the details exactly. If you are injured and can’t write stuff down, do a voice recording or ask someone else to document it.
This might not be possible if you work alone or in remote locations. But if you have a colleague who works with you (that should really be the case for all workers) or if you know that your accident was witnessed by some bystanders, then you can use this to your advantage.
Get witness statements as well and make sure that you document them well, either by doing video or audio, and then get their contact information so your lawyer can speak to them in the future if need be.
The great thing about objective uninvolved witnesses is that they have no reason to lie about the slip-and-fall situation. They will be entirely honest about the accident, which means that the opposing party can’t refute your accident or claim that you are making a false statement.
Get Security Footage, if Possible
This might or might not be a possibility depending on where you had your accident. If it was inside an enclosed tunnel or subway system where there are no security cameras, then you won’t be able to get any video footage.
But sometimes you get lucky, and your slip and fall took place in an area where security cameras are aplenty. It could be that the business opposite the injury site had a security camera focused on you. If that’s the case, contact the business owners and ask them to give you the security footage or at least retain it until your attorney asks.
Most folks will be happy to help you out in this regard. Also, you never know if you don’t ask. If your request doesn‘t work, then a subpoena or a legal claim from your attorney will surely work.
Don’t delay in this, as businesses usually throw previous tapes or records over them if there’s nothing of interest. You will want to grab the security footage before this happens.
Remember, you are within your rights in a slip and fall incident to ask for the security footage. You are not doing anything untoward, so there’s no need to feel shy or out of place.
Inform Your Workplace of Your Injury
Do not keep your injury or slip and fall to yourself. There’s no need to play the hero here. As soon as you get injured and are able to, contact your supervisor or any relevant workplace injury colleague and inform them of your injury.
Tell them that you are going to seek medical attention outside of the workplace and that you will take some time off to recover from the injuries.
But Don’t Play the Blame Game
It’s essential to inform your workplace, but do not place any blame upon them yet. There’s no need to do that at this moment in time.
Yes, you might be upset or angry, and you might want to take it out upon your workplace by yelling at them or emailing them angry words. But none of that is going to help your cause.
In fact, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stay neutral, patient, and calm. It might not be easy to do this, but it will help your case quite a bit.
Inform them that you are injured and taking time off, but don’t assign blame. Also, don’t take the blame upon yourself either.
You are the victim here, so you need to ensure you take care of yourself rather than your workplace at this point. Don’t let fear of losing your job or income get in the way of doing the right thing here.
Keep the Clothes You Fell In
This is one trick that not a lot of people are aware of. But it can be another essential piece of your case file.
Keep all the clothes and other accessories that you wore during the slip and fall, including all safety gear. You don’t want to wash any of this, because any blood stains or splatters will be useful to your attorney in building a good case against the workplace.
Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney
You might not have considered even contacting an attorney for a slip and fall, especially if you labeled it “minor” in your head. But no matter how big or small the injuries are, you need to get hold of an attorney. It will give you some peace of mind that you did all you could regarding the slip and fall.
It’s also a service you are doing to all your colleagues to ensure that a slip and fall like this doesn’t happen to others in the future. You are protecting them by taking this action, especially if others won’t do it because they are too fearful of losing their jobs.
When you contact your slip and fall attorney (choose them carefully as well), then you will present your case to them and hopefully, the complete case file you have already created on the injury and the situation at hand. All your correspondence with your workplace, all the medical documentation, and everything else will be in your case file.
Once the attorney reads the case file, they will have a very good idea of what the case is all about and whether you should be fighting it in court or not.
Remember that a slip-and-fall attorney like Alpha Accident Lawyers sees hundreds of cases like yours every year, so they are experts in this field. They can tell at a glance whether you should go ahead with suing your workplace for negligence or not.
You are not experienced enough to make this judgment on your own. And consultations with attorneys are usually free, so why not get an expert’s advice in this regard?
Getting Legal Help Is Essential in a Slip and Fall
You are not alone in this fight against unforeseen circumstances. And you are not going against your employer by demanding your rights be taken care of.
That’s the reason slip and fall laws have been set up in the first place. It’s to protect folks like you who got injured while they were just trying to do their job.
Also, hire a slip-and-fall attorney so you don’t make any mistakes in this complicated situation.