A trip and fall accident can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. It may occur due to uneven pavement, a slippery floor, or some other hazard. While many may seem minor, these accidents have the potential to lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, concussions, and even long-term disabilities.
Taking appropriate steps after a trip and fall accident is crucial to protect your health and your legal rights. If you have been injured, seek medical attention immediately. Then, call Klein Lawyers at (604) 874-7171 for a FREE consultation. Our experienced lawyers will evaluate your case, identify the liable parties, and pursue fair compensation for your losses.
What To Do After a Trip & Fall Accident
We are rarely prepared for sudden injuries, and the experience can be overwhelming. However, the steps you take after an accident can have an impact on your physical and financial recovery.
Here are the actions we suggest you take following a trip and fall accident:
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Your health is your priority. Call 911 or visit the closest emergency room if your injuries are severe. If your injuries are not critical or do not require immediate emergency medical treatment, you should still make an appointment with your general practitioner as soon as possible. Some injuries might not manifest until hours or days after the accident. A thorough medical examination can identify these injuries early.
Visiting a healthcare professional promptly also establishes a medical record linking your injuries to the fall, which can be invaluable in a personal injury claim. Make sure to document your care and keep copies of all paperwork you receive.
2. Report the Trip & Fall Accident
As soon as you can, report the accident to the owner, manager, or landlord of the property at which it occurred. This could be a store manager, a homeowner, or the city if it happened on a public sidewalk. Make sure you get a copy of the written report. It will serve as documentation of the incident and can be important evidence when pursuing compensation.
3. Document Everything
Collect evidence about the accident and your injuries. Take photos or videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and anything else that might be relevant, such as weather conditions, obstructions, or lack of warning signs.
If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information and written statements of what they saw. Check for and make note of any video surveillance in the area of the accident. Your lawyer can request or subpoena the footage. Make sure to preserve any physical evidence, like the shoes and clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident.
4. Keep Records
Start a file to keep all documents related to the accident and your injuries. It should include the following:
- Medical records
- Receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses you’ve incurred
- Records of any work you’ve missed due to your injuries
- Correspondence you’ve had with property owners, insurance companies, or others about the accident
- Journal of doctor visits, pain levels, and how your day-to-day activities have been affected by your injury
Read More: Key Evidence in Trip and Fall Cases
5. Do Not Make Any Admissions or Sign Statements
In the immediate aftermath of a trip and fall accident, you may be contacted by the property owner’s insurance company. It is essential to consult a lawyer before admitting fault or signing any statements. What you say can be used against you and may damage your claim.
6. Consult a Lawyer
Personal injury law can be complex, and each case is unique. An experienced trip and fall lawyer can help you understand your rights and the best action to take. They can evaluate the circumstances of the accident, explain your options, identify the liable parties, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and, if necessary, represent you in court.
What Injuries Can You Get from a Trip & Fall Accident?
Remember, your health is your priority. Seek medical attention after a trip and fall accident. Some injuries may not show symptoms until hours or days after the accident.
Some common injuries sustained in trip and fall accidents are:
- Sprains & strains
- Torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles
- Broken hips
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
Read More: Damages in Trip and Fall Cases
Who Is Liable After a Trip & Fall Accident?
Trip and fall accidents usually fall under occupiers’ liability. According to the Occupiers Liability Act § 3(1), property owners and occupiers have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and warn visitors of known dangers. If they fail in this duty and you are injured as a result, you may have a valid occupiers’ liability claim.
Read More: Who Can You Sue in a Trip and Fall Case?
However, proving liability in a trip and fall case can be challenging. It involves demonstrating that the property owner knew, or reasonably should have known, about the hazard that caused the accident and failed to take appropriate action to remedy it. This can involve complex legal arguments and requires a thorough understanding of the law.
What Is the Basic Limitation Period on a Trip & Fall in B.C.?
If you’re injured in a trip and fall accident, remember that there are time limits for filing a personal injury claim. In British Columbia, the Limitation Act § 6(1) establishes that you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Missing this deadline may bar you from receiving compensation.
The more swiftly you contact a trip and fall lawyer after your injury, the better. Your lawyer will need ample time to investigate and assemble a strong case. Additionally, they can ensure that no deadlines are missed that could endanger your claim.
Consult Klein Lawyers After a Trip & Fall Accident
A trip and fall accident can have serious repercussions. But, by taking the proper steps, you can protect your health and your rights. Seek medical attention, report the accident, document everything, avoid admissions of fault, and consult with a trip and fall lawyer. Following this course of action will put you on the path to recovery and obtaining any compensation you may be entitled to.
If you’ve been injured in a trip and fall accident, Klein Lawyers has the skill and experience to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a FREE case evaluation. We serve clients in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.