When you, a family member, or friend suffer a bad fall and are injured, you need to take action immediately. Once the injured person is provided essential medical care, family and friends can be very helpful. Begin by taking pictures with your cell phone or a camera of the area where the fall occurred. Try to get pictures that display the surface where the fall occurred and the lighting conditions at the injury site. Obviously, note any snow, ice, wet surfaces, trip hazards such as uneven concrete, holes, or other things that make the surface unsafe. Obtain the shoes the person was wearing at the time of the fall and preserve them for examination.
Once theses immediate things are done, take a step back and think about all the circumstances surrounding the fall. Was the person that fell carrying anything, in a hurry to get somewhere, walking a dog on a leash, or wearing shoes that were inappropriate for the weather? Is there any evidence that alcohol or prescription drugs might have compromised the balance of the person who fell? Finally, is there anything about the person’s health such as advanced age, prior injuries that affect balance, poor eye sight, etc. that might be a factor in the fall?
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses at the scene of the accident when it occurred, or shortly after it occurred, provide still another source of the valuable information/testimony. Witnesses should be located and interviewed as soon after the accident as possible. Memories are always better shortly after the accident.
Most good trial attorneys will agree with the statement that almost all slip and fall accidents can be both won and lost in front of Minnesota juries. The key to increasing your odds of success is to gather the evidence discussed above and weave it into a compelling story that an insurance adjuster will find persuasive and, in rare cases, which a jury will make a substantial award on if the insurance company refuses to settle the case.
At Caldecott & Forro, PLC, we can provide assistance to people injured in slip and fall accidents. This article is not a substitute for legal advice in the context of a specific case. Caldecott & Forro, PLC provides free initial consultations to clients and potential clients on all personal injury cases.