LawCall™ is a weekly, thirty minute call-in show about legal topics of interest. Each week, we discuss personal injury, auto accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, slip and fall, DUI accidents and birth injuries, as well as bankruptcy, family law, divorce, landlord and tenant law, dangerous and defective products, legislative matters, and current issues in the legal world. We take your calls LIVE every Sunday at 11:35pm. Call us at 1-877-525-LAWS (5297) during the show.
This Week On LawCall™ — Slips, Trips, and Falls: Premises Liability
Did you know that you may be held legally responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on your property? It’s a legal area called premises liability – also known as “slip and fall” claims. Have you been hurt at someone else’s home or business? What if it was partially your own fault? Do you still have a claim? If you’re a property owner – how can you protect yourself from a lawsuit?
If you have questions about a premises liabilty, tune in to LawCall™ this Sunday, when Tallahassee personal injury attorney Mike McKeon and his guest, attorney Craig Brown, will answering your questions about injuries caused by slips, trips, falls and other accidents that have occurred at someone else’s home or business.
Seven Things You Should Do If You Slip And Fall
Try to determine what caused you to fall. Did you trip over something, like a curb, or step, or object? Did you slip on something, like a liquid, food product, or item on the floor?
Also, try to identify any and all warning signs in the area. For example, is there a “Wet Floor” sign anywhere?
Take pictures of what caused you to fall. The more, the better! Puddles dry and messes get cleaned up, and there is no guarantee your attorney will be able to obtain pictures from the property owner or manager.
Report the Fall
After falling, report the fall immediately. Be completely truthful about what happened and where you are hurt. If you are in a commercial establishment, you will likely be asked to complete an Incident Report. Make sure you fill out the incident report and read it before you sign it. Take a picture of the report before turning it in.
Get Names of Witnesses
Did someone help you up off the ground? Did an employee casually state, “There should’ve been a wet floor sign up!” Get that person’s first and last name and their phone number.
If you fall to the ground, your shoes and clothes will probably be dirty and you will want to change them. That is fine, but don’t wash them. Put them in a plastic bag. Why? If the culprit of your fall is a liquid, there may be remnants on your clothing. Your clothing is now evidence. Also, a key issue in many fall claims is what type of shoes the injured person was wearing at the time of the fall. Once you get home, take your shoes off and put them in a plastic bag.
Also, if you have any visible injuries such a bruising, swelling or cuts, take pictures of those injuries and note the date and time you took the photographs. If someone else takes the photographs for you, note who took the photograph and when it was taken.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you are having any pain after a fall, go to a medical professional immediately and report any pains you are experiencing. Pay attention to your body. Sometimes pains do not become apparent for several days.
Call an Attorney
Businesses do not have to preserve video evidence of your fall unless they receive a written request, within a certain amount of time. Contact an attorney immediately so that he or she can send out a “Spoliation Letter,” which instructs the business to preserve the evidence you will need to prove your claim. Even if you are unsure whether you wish to pursue a claim, you should contact an attorney early on to determine what steps are necessary to preserve your legal rights.
LawCall™ features Tallahassee personal injury attorneys, Vinse Barrett, Jimmy Fasig, Dana Brooks, Mark Nonni and Jaeson Homola, plus guest attorneys from across North Florida who answer your questions on a different legal topic every Sunday. Long-time newscaster Frank Ranicky anchors the program.