1. Report the Accident to the Owner of the Premises

If you get hurt in a slip and fall (or trip and fall) accident, you should report the accident immediately to the premises owner or supervisor. If you get hurt on commercial property, report the accident to the highest ranking person that you can find there. If you get hurt on public property, and the injury is not severe enough to require an emergency response, report it to the city or town that day if possible.

Even a short delay in reporting the accident can seriously jeopardize your claim.

2. Gather evidence

If you have a slip and fall accident, take pictures immediately. Photograph and video the accident scene from as many angles as you can before you leave the scene. If you do not have a camera or are not physically able to take any pictures after your injury, have a friend or relative take pictures as soon as possible, before anyone fixes or changes the area of the accident. Gather the names, numbers and addresses of any witnesses to the event.

3. Medical Treatment

If you are hurt, it is important to seek medical attention immediately after the accident, or as soon as your injuries are felt. If you do seek medical attention, be sure you identify the accident to your medical professional as the cause of your injuries to your medical professional. Insurance companies and juries will later see this medical record, and will be unlikely to award a victim money for an injury that is not reported to their medical professional right after the accident.

It is equally important to attend all of your scheduled medical appointments . Again, the insurance company and the jury will see your record of medical treatment, and if you regularly miss scheduled medical treatment, it will lead them to assume that your injury was not severe or that you healed as of the time that you started to miss your appointments.

4. Time Limits to file an action

In Louisiana, the time limit to file an action, called the statute of limitations, for a slip and fall case is one year. (Ci. Code. Art. 3492). You must file an action in court within one year from the date of the slip and fall accident.

5. Get an attorney before speaking to an insurance company

Secring an attorney after your accident is imperative, not only because of the short time limit to file your action, but also to help you deal with the insurance companies. After you report the injury, you will likely receive a call or a visit from an insurance adjuster asking you to give a tape recorded statement describing the accident and your injuries. No law requires that you provide the insurance company with this recorded narrative, and, as a general rule, giving such a statement will not help you if you do not have a lawyer.

Contact the experienced New Orleans personal injury lawyers at Smiley Law for professional help with your slip and fall case.

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Seth Smiley
Seth is an attorney licensed to practice in Louisiana and California. He is the owner and lead attorney at Smiley Law Firm. To speak with Seth fill out the form on this page.
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