Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

wet floor sign slip and fall

What to Do if You Have a Slip and Fall Accident in Orland Park

Injuries in slip-and-fall accidents range from bruises to broken bones to spinal damage or traumatic brain injuries. Accidents can result from damaged floors, broken or uneven steps, spilled liquids, or weather conditions like rain or ice. You could be entitled to compensation if you have suffered injuries because of a slip-and-fall accident. You must act quickly, though, to preserve evidence and meet deadlines for insurance claims and legal filings. A lawyer knowledgeable in Illinois personal injury law can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process. The following steps can help you protect your legal rights after a slip-and-fall accident.

  1. Seek Medical Help as Soon as Possible

Your top priority should be to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Not all injuries that may result from a sip-and-fall accident are obvious right away. If you suffer a broken bone in a fall, you will probably know about it as soon as it happens. A severe traumatic brain injury could put you into a coma. The effects of a minor traumatic brain injury, also known as a concussion, might not emerge until later.

Medical attention can ensure that you receive the care you need. It also provides important information that you will need for your personal injury claim. Your medical records will demonstrate the extent of your injuries. When it comes time to determine your total damages, your medical bills will be an important part of those calculations.

  1. Do Not Admit or Accept Blame

Midwesterners have a reputation for politeness. This often extends to the Chicago suburbs. After an accident, it might be tempting to try to brush it off, and words like “My mistake” or “Oops, I wasn’t looking” might want to escape your lips. Resist this urge as much as you can. It can harm your case.

In Illinois, slip-and-fall cases rely on a legal doctrine known as premises liability, which requires property owners to repair dangerous conditions or warn people about them. If they fail to do so, they could be liable for injuries caused by those dangerous conditions. There is a catch, though.

Illinois also has a rule known as comparative negligence. If you are partly at fault for your injuries, a court can reduce the amount of your damages. Property owners will look for any way to claim that you were partly at fault. If you admit fault after a slip-and-fall accident, you would be doing their job for them.

  1. Report the Accident

If your accident occurs on the premises of a business, such as a store or office, you need to let the management know about it. The company might investigate and produce an accident report. You can ask them to provide you with a copy of that report.

It is also often a good idea to notify local law enforcement. They might send an officer to investigate and prepare a police report, or you can submit a report. This can provide important information when you file your claim for damages.

  1. Gather Evidence

You may be able to begin collecting evidence for your claim immediately after the accident if your injuries are not too severe. Your priority, however, should be your own safety.

Document the Scene of the Accident

Take pictures of the area where you fell that show the conditions at the time of the accident. Try to include the hazard that caused the fall, such as spilled liquid or broken concrete, as well as wider shots showing that the property owner did not place any signs warning of the danger.

If you are not able to get pictures, write down as much as you remember about how the accident happened. You could also make an audio or video recording of what you remember on your phone.

Document Your Injuries

Take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible. This might include bruises, broken bones, bandages, or a cast.

Talk to Witnesses

If possible, get the name and contact information of anyone who witnessed your accident. They can provide statements or testimony to support your claim.

Keep a Journal About Your Injuries and Medical Treatment

As you recover from your injuries, it might be hard to remember specific details from when the injuries were at their worst. By keeping a daily journal describing how you feel and how your treatment is going, you can create a record of how the accident is affecting you.

  1. Save What You Were Wearing When the Fall Happened

The clothing and shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident are important evidence. Do not wash or clean them, and keep them separate from the rest of your clothes. Damage to the clothing and stains from dirt, blood, or other materials can show how serious the fall was. Your shoes can demonstrate that you would not have fallen if the floor were not wet or damaged.

  1. Remember That the Other Side’s Insurance Company Is Not Your Friend

Most personal injury claims end in settlements with insurance companies. That does not mean that you should accept whatever the property owner’s insurance company is offering you. They will almost certainly make a lowball offer to get you to go away. In fact, you should not talk to an insurance adjuster at all until you have spoken to an attorney.

  1. Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

The process of claiming damages after a slip-and-fall accident can be complicated. Insurance companies count on people feeling overwhelmed and accepting a fraction of what they deserve. A personal injury attorney who knows Illinois law can help you understand your options and fight for your rights. Keep in mind that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.


Injured in a Slip-and-Fall Accident? Contact an Orland Park Attorney Today!

Michael J. Brennan is a personal injury lawyer with decades of experience advocating for the rights of accident injury victims in Orland Park and throughout the Chicago suburbs. He is a tireless advocate who will fight both in and out of the courtroom to recover the compensation you deserve. Contact Michael J. Brennan today to begin your journey toward justice and compensation. 

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