Many people underestimate how devastating a slip and fall can be. They often result in broken bones, concussions and other traumatic injuries. These may lead to steep health-care bills and time off work. Fortunately, a personal-injury attorney may be able to help you recover some of these losses in a civil lawsuit.
Falls send thousands of Americans to the hospital each year. In fact, according to BrainAndSpinalCord.org, they account for 21 percent of paralyzing spinal injuries. These often require ongoing care, and many victims must adjust to a limited lifestyle.
Identifying premises liability comes with unique legal challenges, but if the proprietor’s negligence contributed to the incident, then he or she may be responsible for your financial losses. An Albuquerque personal-injury attorney from the Law Office of Brian K. Branch can evaluate your case to determine if you may have valid grounds for a lawsuit. Call us today at 505-764-9710 to schedule a consultation.
Until then, read on to learn four tips that could strengthen your claim:
- Keep Your Shoes
In most cases, the property owner is required to ensure the floor is safe to walk on, which means it is safe for common shoe-sole materials. Your shoe composition may help your attorney prove that the slipping hazard constituted a breach of duty.
After the incident, you should stop wearing your shoes, but make sure you keep them in a safe place. Seal them in a plastic bag immediately.
- Photograph the Scene
Photographs may be invaluable evidence in a slip and fall case. Be sure to take pictures of the floor surface, and try to include other landmarks to show which premises you were visiting at the time.
It is likely that the proprietor will remove or repair the hazard immediately after your accident. If this happens, then the evidence will disappear.
Photographs can provide evidence that you slipped because of a hazard on the floor, such as perishables or liquids. Without pictures, the other party may argue that you were unsteady on your feet, not looking where you were going or preoccupied.
- Get an Incident Report
It is important that you notify the proprietor of your accident as soon as possible. If you were in a store or another commercial establishment, then inform an employee immediately. He or she will create an incident report as the law mandates for these situations. The incident report will contain crucial information such as the time, date and incident description. Request a copy and keep it in a safe place.
- Request Evidence Preservation
The premises may have security cameras; however, many businesses record over their security tapes every 24 hours, or only keep them for a month.
You need this footage. Preserving this evidence requires swift action. Ask the proprietor for a copy of the security tape. If you have an injury lawyer, then he or she will demand in writing that the proprietor preserve all video footage from the day in question.
If an object caused your accident, such as a floor mat, then ask the proprietor to preserve it as evidence. If possible, photograph it. Employees frequently throw such pieces of evidence away unknowingly. If this happens, then you will lose a crucial piece of evidence that could otherwise be tested and evaluated.
If a slip and fall accident in New Mexico caused your injury, then you may be eligible for compensation to pay for lost wages, health-care expenses and other damages. Call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch for legal guidance. A personal-injury attorney is available at 505-764-9710 to evaluate your case.