Being victim to a slip and fall accident is horrible enough—but it can get worse. Without following the right slip and fall accident procedures you could be stripped of entitlements to a personal injury claim and a fair settlement. If you’ve recently been involved in a slip and fall accident, follow these 6 tips to protect yourself after a slip and fall accident:
Know your Timeframe(s)
Under Ontario’s Statutes of Limitation act you have a limited amount of time to file a claim after a slip and fall accident. For most accidents (without extenuating circumstances) this timeframe is two years. Failure to file a claim within two years may strip you of your right to a settlement. In addition to the timeframe to file a claim after an accident there are also strict timeframes on when you need to return paperwork to your insurance company—so don’t let any of them lapse.
Don’t Sign Anything
Never sign anything without a lawyer present. Homeowners, business owners and other property owners may try to get you to sign a waiver that says they were not responsible for your slip and fall. This often happens while the victim is still in shock from the accident. Signed documents impugn your ability to build a solid case.
Don’t Say Anything
While admitting no fault in writing has long been the best way to protect yourself after a slip and fall, these days you need to watch what you say as well. If you say something, in front of a witness—or worse, camera (and you likely won’t even see it seeing as there are video cameras in every smartphone)—you could be inadvertently denying yourself to a personal injury claim. You are not legally required to answer any questions about the fall to the property owner, so don’t say anything until you have consulted with your lawyer.
Get Names and Document Everything
If there are any witnesses to your fall you will want to get their names and contact information. In addition to witnesses you will want to document everything you can, which means taking pictures or videos with your smartphone of the scene (a video of a witness’ statement would be fantastic) and of what caused the accident. If the property owner tries to alter the scene in any way document what they did—and if possible, catch them in the act on video. You will also want to visually document your injuries.
See a Doctor
Seeing a doctor after a slip and fall is a good idea—both for your case and for your health. You may not know how serious the accident was (which is common in slips and falls that involve head trauma), as some injuries can take days, weeks or months to develop. Without proper medical documentation it will be difficult to prove the injuries you sustained in the accident.
If you’re reading this then you’ve likely recently had an accident and are unsure of what to do. Well your first step should be to call us. We will ensure that you are protected in every legal way, and we will help you build a case for any personal injuries you sustained. Call us today at Conte & Associates, Whitby’s personal injury experts—and your best source for tips to protect yourself after a slip and fall accident.