Injuries from slip and fall accidents can range from a few bruises to severe injuries. Painful and embarrassing, this type of personal injury that can mean a long-term convalescence if not handled well. In NYC’s East Village, slip and fall accidents are all too common. They can happen at work, in public, or even at someone’s home, and are responsible for nearly one million emergency room visits every year.
If you’ve been injured in an East Village slip and fall accident, once the initial shock is over, you’ll have to describe what happened to the property’s owner, manager, or an employee in charge. You’ll also have to describe it to an insurance adjuster, should you decide to file a claim. Should you find yourself filing a lawsuit, you’ll also have to describe your accident to your personal injury attorney. Here’s how to handle it, even if you don’t think you’re a “writer.”
Right After Slip and Fall Accidents
Use your cell phone or smartphone to take pictures of the accident scene as best you can. Include your injuries, if they’re obvious (such as cuts and/or bruises) and any property that was damaged in the accident.
Were there witnesses? Get their contact information (name, phone number, address, email) before they leave the area.
Most retail locations have surveillance video. Make sure to ask for a copy before you leave, or it could be quickly erased.
Of course, you need to seek medical attention for your injuries. If you don’t, and later file a claim or a lawsuit, a lack of medical records will work in favor of the defense, who may claim your injuries weren’t severe or serious. After your initial medical exam, you’ll need to follow up with your primary care physician and follow any treatment and/or therapies prescribed.
If you are asked to “sign something,” don’t—it could be a waiver of your rights, and you could be signing away your very right to sue. Don’t sign anything without speaking to a slip & fall attorney first.
Filing An Accident Report
Many places will request that you fill out an accident report. In some cases, you may also be required to fill out a police report. Reports are important for a number of reasons, including for a company’s insurance filing, any visits from OSHA, as well as your own accident claim.
If you’re asked to write an accident report yourself, the important thing to remember is to stick to the facts of the case, and avoid saying anything that could endanger your claim. You can also get help from your personal injury attorney in writing one, to ensure that it’s written correctly.
An accident report should contain just the basic facts:
- The date, time and location of the accident
- Name of the establishment, department or section where the accident occurred (this is important if you were in a retail store, warehouse, etc.)
- Details about your injuries
- Name and contact information of employees in the area at the time of the accident
- Name and contact information of any witnesses in the area at the time of the accident
- The circumstances and conditions of the area where the accident occurred
- Any equipment or materials involved (machinery, tools, etc.)
Even if you prepare an accident report for the location where you were injured, you should also consider preparing your own accident report for your files. Include these points, sticking with facts, but including any additional relevant information. Your personal accident report will be useful to your East Village slip and fall accidents attorney as well, and make preparing your case easier for him or her.
Their Attorneys And Insurance Adjusters
Right after your accident, you may be contacted by the other party’s insurance adjuster and/or attorney to discuss your case and a potential settlement. This may sound like a good idea to get your case settled quickly, but it isn’t. By speaking with them, you’ll give the other party information they need to eradicate evidence and repair any damages that led to your accident. Your call will be recorded, and anything you say will be used to discredit you and deny your claim.
Bottom line: don’t speak to them or attempt to negotiate.
Talking with the other party in any capacity can cause you to lose your case before it’s even filed. This is where an East Village slip & fall attorney can protect you from losing the compensation you need to take care of yourself. Should you find yourself talking to an adjuster or attorney, let them know that they will have to speak to your attorney first, and don’t say anything else.
Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier has been helping injured New Yorkers with slip & fall cases for over 25 years. Call us at (212) 777-9400, or contact us online. We’ll schedule your free consultation, and let you know how we can help you. There’s no fee unless we win your case. We’ll fight for your rights and get you the settlement you need to take care of your injuries and get on with your life.