You Can Suffer a Slip and Fall Accident at Any Age: Here’s What to Do About It
Slip and fall injuries are usually attributed to old age or distracted children, but anyone can suffer from a slip and fall accident at any age. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for 21.3% of ER visits and are the main cause of worker’s compensation claims.
What to do If You’ve Suffered a Slip and Fall
Slips and falls are rarely taken seriously, especially by young people. However, taking the following steps can help protect your health and financial future, regardless if it’s a false alarm.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention After a Slip and Fall
We understand that falling in a public place can make you feel embarrassed and falling at home may make your family assume you can’t take care of yourself. But it’s very important to set your fears and insecurities aside, as a slip and fall could cause serious injury, paralysis, or death.
After a fall, your fight or flight response will kick in, which may numb the pain or make your injury look less severe. If you fell from a great height (i.e., off a ladder), hit your head, or the pain is getting worse by the day, don’t delay medical treatment and go to emergency right away.
Contact a Lawyer (Even if You Have Minor Injuries)
An attorney can be a valuable asset if you slip and fall in a business or on the job. Not only will they be able to advise you on the evidence you need to receive a great settlement or go to trial, but they’ll also do what they can to fight for your legal rights as an employee or customer.
While lawyers can be expensive, many personal injury lawyers will either work pro bono (i.e., for free) or on contingency. A contingency lawyer will only ask for payment if they win your case. If you just need legal advice, contact a lawyer that offers free slip and fall accident consultations.
Speak to Your Employer or the Store Manager/Owner
If you fell at work, you should document where and when it happened, even if you have minor injuries. Don’t deny medical treatment if it’s offered, as that could void a worker’s compensation claim or prevent you from suing. Report any incident within 24 hours to satisfy local labor laws.
If you fall in a store, seek medical care right away. While waiting, you can inform the store manager or owner if they weren’t present when the accident occurred. Keep in mind that a fall near the premises, like on the sidewalk or alleyway, would also count as the store’s property.
Document Everything and Start Building Evidence
Whether you fell at work or in a store, make sure you personally document as much as you can about the accident. Take pictures of the scene and take note of anything that caused your fall, such as a pool of water or slime, a bunched-up carpet, loose wires, or a lack of wet floor sign.
Request security surveillance footage if the accident was caught on film. If anyone witnessed the fall, ask for their contact information and whether they’d be comfortable writing a statement.
Keep Warm, Stay Hydrated, and Don’t Stop Moving
At-home slips and falls that you can walk away from still require attention. Drink mineral water, cuddle up with a few blankets, and monitor your condition. If you feel well enough to move, check if your symptoms get worse after walking. Don’t jump or run if you’ve hit your head.
If you’re at home and you’re waiting for the ambulance, try to stay warm. Use a carpet, rug, or soft surface if you’re too injured to stand. Keep your arms and legs moving, if possible.