Being faced with an accident, such as a slip and fall, is not uncommon. We have all been there and understand that it is very easy to trip on something or slip on the wet floor, a wire from any appliance, or even a toy that your child left on the floor when they are done playing with it.
Most slip and fall incidents are minor accidents. There may be nothing more than a bit of embarrassment and maybe a bruise to deal with later on. However, suffering a severe injury can significantly impact your life. Depending on the severity of your injuries and whether you were on someone else’s property, you might be eligible to seek compensation from the person for your incurred losses due to your injuries.
Of course, to hold an at-fault party responsible, you must establish that your slip and fall injuries were due to the property owner’s negligence. The best way to establish this negligence is to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claims and build your slip and fall personal injury case.
Why Is It Important To Have Evidence In A Slip And Fall Case?
Although Florida’s personal injury laws heavily favor the injured party to ensure that they can seek their fair compensation, you cannot expect to receive this compensation from the negligent party’s insurance or a verdict in your favor (if it goes to court) without any evidence to support your claim.
Ideally, you should collect most of the evidence right after the incident happens. The evidence also must be dependable enough to be useful to establish their negligence. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Florida can help you collect the proof you need to make a strong case for your slip and fall accident.
If you do not know what evidence you might need to establish a strong case, this post will help. We discuss what you need to know about gathering evidence for a slip and fall personal injury case in Florida so that you can make a strong case and seek the compensation you duly deserve for the losses you’ve incurred due to someone else’s negligence.
It might seem unfair that you have to collect evidence to prove that you slipped and fell due to someone else’s negligence to keep their property safe, but there is a precedent for that. While many people have genuine personal injury claims due to slip and fall accidents, there is no shortage of people that have tried to take advantage of the system for their benefit.
This is the reason plaintiffs must carry the responsibility of presenting the evidence that proves they have a meritorious claim. The evidence should show that the offending party is indeed liable for the accident that resulted in your injuries and that you were not to blame for the injury yourself.
Courts in Florida have set this as a standard because it can protect property owners from individuals who seek personal gains through false claims. Therefore, without the necessary evidence, you cannot expect to obtain a settlement for your slip and fall injury case. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer that knows what evidence to collect can be crucial to make a strong case.
Essential Documents You Need For A Slip And Fall Injury Case In Florida
Property owners in Florida are required to identify potentially dangerous conditions on their property and correct those issues – or they should at least warn their visitors of the potentially unsafe conditions until they can fix the problem. If you are filing a slip and fall case, you will need to provide evidence that the property owner failed to fulfill these duties.
Here are some essential documents that can serve as evidence for a slip and fall accident in Florida.
1. Accident reports
Suppose that you had your slip and fall accident at a commercial venue, such as a department store. In this case, you should not waste any time contacting the property manager immediately to report the accident. Many businesses tend to ask injury victims to fill out a form or report of the incident in case there are any accidents. This helps them gather the necessary information that allows the business and the insurance provider to follow up with you regarding the accident.
Make sure that you fill the report after the accident and before you leave the property. Do not lie about anything and report only the facts of the injury, including the date, time, and location of the incident. Additionally, you should request a copy of the report for yourself because it can help you as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit.
2. Police report
While it might not be the case every time, some slip and fall cases result in a call to law enforcement in the area. If that has happened in your case, the police will file a report for the incident. You can request the police to provide you with a copy of the incident report.
The report can help you make a stronger case, especially if you were taken away from the place of the accident by emergency services or lost consciousness because of the accident.
3. A written account of the accident itself
Some slip and fall accidents do not require calling law enforcement or emergency services. If your accident did not occur on a commercial property that requires filling out an accident report, you should not waste any time writing a report yourself. Make sure that you include the date, time, and location of the incident in the report.
Your report should also include a detailed description of the environment, what you were doing before the incident happened, and what took place after the accident. The report should also discuss any notable aspects of the surroundings, such as any debris on the property, who was present there, and any other information that could be relevant to your slip and fall accident.
4. Any visual documentation
The best evidence to substantiate your claim is visual documentation such as videos or photographs of the accident. Pictures and videos can often reveal information that you might not have been aware of when the incident occurred. The video can record any instances that prove the offending party’s negligence that led to your accident.
The video may also capture the negligent party’s actions in response to the accident that led to your injury. Any CCTV footage at the business can be useful for this. Pictures and videos of the scene of the incident taken from the phone of anyone present at the location could also be useful.
5. Any eyewitness accounts
If the accident occurred in a public setting where other people witnessed what happened, you could find more evidence to substantiate your claim. You can request people who witnessed the accident to testify on your behalf because they might have seen something you missed.
If you can, you should collect the names and contact information of people present at the incident scene. You will not need to worry about obtaining their testimonies if you have hired a personal injury lawyer. You can provide your lawyer with the information, and they will contact the witnesses on your behalf to recount the accident.
6. Documentation for emergency treatment
You should definitely head to the emergency department in a hospital following your slip and fall accident, provided that you were not taken there immediately after the incident already. Receiving immediate medical attention is important to ensure your well-being. Additionally, going for the treatment will also create a detailed and timely record of your injuries. This could serve as crucial evidence for your slip and fall case.
Suppose that you suffered a badly sprained ankle because of the accident, and you go to the doctor to seek treatment. In that case, it would be hard to argue that the accident did not cause the sprained ankle. Consider another scenario: You went home after the accident happened and went to see a doctor for treatment the next day because the pain was unbearable. In that case, the defendant can claim that the injury happened after you left the accident scene.
7. Your medical records following the slip and fall accident
Make sure that you request comprehensive medical records that document all the tests, treatments, medication, and doctors’ recommendations due to the injury. All the medical records from the first time you went to the hospital to the latest follow-up appointment related to injuries caused by the accident are useful here.
You should also save any co-pay and prescription receipts, medical bills, and receipts for any additional expenses related to your accident and subsequent injuries. Your medical records can be critical to determine the long-term effects of the injuries, how they can affect your future earning potential, quality of life, and other information necessary to calculate the compensation you should duly seek to receive.
8. Payment slips
If the accident leaves you unable to earn income, you should provide your personal injury lawyer any payment slips from your workplace. The pay stubs can be useful in calculating any loss of income, other financial losses, or how your paid and sick leaves were affected by the accident. This can help your lawyers calculate a more accurate estimate of the compensation you should receive.
Are You Looking for a Florida Personal Injury Attorney?
Hiring the right legal professional to represent you in your personal injury lawsuit can make a world of difference in your chances of earning the compensation that you duly deserve. If you are looking for a personal injury law firm that can guide you regarding the evidence you need to strengthen your slip and fall personal injury claim, consider contacting the professionals at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers.
The attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have years of experience working with clients to help them pursue the compensation they deserve in their personal injury claims. The experienced lawyers from the firm have an excellent track record, work on a contingency fee basis, and will go to court if needed. If you’re looking for a Palm Beach Gardens personal injury lawyer who will help you seek fair compensation for your personal injury case, working with Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers can be ideal for you.