According to The National Floor Safety Institute almost 8,000,000 patients make their way to the ER every year after suffering injuries from a slip and fall.

It’s extremely important to seek first the care of a medical professional in the wake of a slip and fall. And, of course, it goes without saying that the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney will be invaluable in recovering damages. But you should also avoid the following common mistakes people make in these cases:

Failing to Document the Hazard that Caused the Accident:

Whenever possible, collecting evidence of the hazard that caused your injuries is extremely important. By the time you have had an opportunity to seek medical attention, those responsible will have repaired or cleaned up the causes of your accident and removed any evidence there was. Documenting the hazard in the first place goes a long way to establishing fault in your case. So, snapping a quick photo or two or identifying a witness that can testify to conditions can help bolster your claim that the hazard was there in the first place.

(Proving Neglect in Personal Injury Claims)

Failing to Follow a Physician’s Instructions:

Again, seeking medical attention at the outset is a vitally important element of proving you suffered injury as a result of your fall. Courts don’t exactly look kindly on a plaintiff that delayed medical treatment. That delay may actually give fodder to a defendant’s claim that you were never really injured in the first place. Getting immediate medical care also shows you are mitigating damages in that you are preventing your injuries from getting worse.

And to that end, following that first visit, it’s equally important that you follow the physician’s medical advice and instructions to ensure as swift a path to recovery as possible.

Leaving the Location without Alerting Owner(s)/Management of the Accident:

Before leaving the scene of the accident, it’s always important to make management aware of what has just occurred. Firstly, they should understand that there is a current hazard that should be address in order to avoid any future accidents. It’s also important that they are given an opportunity to develop a report based on the injuries and prepare a response to any demand for resulting damages in your claim.

Accepting Quick Settlement Offers from Insurers Before Having an Opportunity to Speak with an Attorney:

The insurance company hired by the store owner will likely want to offer a quick settlement if it sees potential damages in its client’s future. To keep those damages from skyrocketing, insurers often make a quick settlement offer to the injured party. When that happens they required you sign a release from future damages. It is simply not in your best interest to sign a quick settlement offer before speaking with an experience personal injury attorney because oftentimes those settlements don’t take into account lost wages, loss of employability, full medical care and more. You might not even understand at that point the full scope of injuries suffered because of delayed muscle onset soreness (DMOS), seen quite often in injury claims. Once you sign that release, you no longer have any claim arising from your injuries or the accident in question.

If you’d like to speak with an experienced slip and fall personal injury attorney about filing a claim, call the attorneys at Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago (773.881.9000). The initial consultation is free, and there’s no fee unless we win damages in your case.