You’re walking through the aisle at your favorite South Florida supermarket. You push your cart as your eyes scan the shelves for the secret ingredient for your famous recipe. Suddenly, you feel your foot fly out from underneath you. After a split second blur, you find yourself on the floor. The pain receptors in your brain start to go off. You’re on the floor and can’t believe you’ve just been involved in an accident. The next thought that may cross your mind is what to do you do next?
In the state of Florida, proving negligence in a slip and fall incident can be difficult due to the standard of proof placed upon the accident victim. If you don’t take the right steps from the very beginning of the case you could find yourself injured with no recourse for fair compensation. To make sure you have the strongest possible case, follow these tips to help get your case on the best possible footing.
Get Information from Witnesses
Independent witnesses are always something important to have any case. These people and their perception of what happened can lend credibility to your case. Look around for anyone who might have seen what happened to you or were close enough to the scene of the incident to provide context to the situation. Take down their names and contact information.
Likewise, these people may offer some information that is damaging to your case. Either way, it is important that you understand their perspective because it is very likely that the store where your accident happened will also get their information and story as well.
Speak with an Employee to Document the Case
It is important that you begin the documenting process from the moment something happens. That means looking around for store employees as well. If an employee happened to witness what happened to you or was in your vicinity when the incident occurred, take down their name and contact information. Ask to speak with a manager or the person in charge and fill out an incident report. Make sure that you ask for a copy of the report for your records and to review with your attorney.
Let the manager know that you would like for them to keep any video of you in the store that day. While these video are not typically available to you or your attorney prior to filing a lawsuit, preserving it will help in proving your case if your case need to be litigated to be resolved. On the other hand, if the video shows that the store was not negligent, they will sometimes be willing to show you a copy. While this might deal a fatal blow to your case, you will not have spent significant time and money on a losing enterprise.
Apartfrom takingnames down and filling out reports, it is just as important to document the scene and the incident visually. That means you should take pictures of the surrounding areas paying special attention to any warnings in the area, the foreign substance that caused you to fall, and any signs that the substance had been there for a significant period of time.
You should also take photographs of any physical injuries you might have sustained in the incident. Whether it is cuts or bruising, these photos can help show the significance of your injury and can serve to show permanent after effects of the fall like scarring. Being able to demonstrate the progression of a significant injury will also help in establishing what medical care may be necessary in the future as a result of the incident which can have a significant impact on the damages you may be able to win as a result of the incident.
Contact The Guzman Firm, PLLC
After taking the first steps, speak with an attorney as soon as you are able. An experienced attorney can help you find the medical care you need and will begin to take the appropriate steps to protect your rights.