Metro Detroit Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer
Often times a prospective client will reach out to our office weeks or even months after suffering a slip and fall accident seeking to pursue a claim for damages. Sometimes the best evidence to support their claim for damages has faded, changed or been replaced. It is more difficult to re-create the scene of a fall as time passes. Here are 5 tips to help preserve the evidence of a slip and fall claim to maximize your recovery:
- Photograph The Accident Scene - nowadays most people have a cell phone with a camera. Taking pictures of the accident scene where you fell or the hazard you encountered is crucial to your slip and fall case. The scene of your fall will look very different in the days, weeks, months and years after you suffered your fall. By taking photographs of the scene, you properly document the way your surroundings looked on the day of your fall. Some important things to remember is to take pictures from various vantage points and distances, but to be sure to include the vantage points and distances you encountered before falling. For instance, a crack in the sidewalk might look much easier to see (and thus avoid) if you are taking a photo from 6 inches away, as opposed to your vantage point when walking.
- Seek Immediate Medical Treatment: if your injuries are server, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. This may seem obvious, but sometimes people try to "tough it out" after an injury or delay getting treatment hoping symptoms will heal. Not only does seeking treatment provide relief and diagnose your injuries, it also helps documents the cause, date and time of your injuries. It is much harder for an insurance company to argue your injuries were caused by something other than your slip and fall if you seek treatment immediately after falling, rather than waiting a week or two before seeing your doctor.
- Request An Incident Report: if your fall occurred at a business, inform the manager or staff member and fill out an incident report and request a copy for your records. Documenting the incident including the circumstances and reason for your fall helps prevent any argument that you failed to give notice of the incident or that it occurred somewhere else. Establishing the timeline for the incident early can really help your case in the long run.
- Names of Witnesses: if possible, try to obtain the names and contact information of witnesses who saw your fall. Obtaining this information at the time of the fall is much easier than trying to track someone down later on. Your attorney will certainly want to speak with anyone who saw your fall in order to confirm the details of your account and the specific circumstances you faced at the time of the slip and fall.
- Don't Wait To Contact An Attorney: contacting an experienced Michigan slip and fall attorney early can further help to preserve evidence of your incident and maximize your claim. Remember in Michigan, the statute of limitations for negligence/premises liability cases is three years from the date of the injury causing incident. Even if you are not sure you want to pursue a case, it never hurts to get more information. At Metro Detroit Injury Lawyers, we offer free consultations for personal injury cases with no obligation.