Something as simple as a slip and fall accident can leave you dealing with long-term pain and mobility issues. When bills are piling up but you can’t return to work because of your injury, a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused the accident may be the best way to protect yourself financially. Without the help of an experienced slip and fall attorney, however, you may end up losing out on the compensation you deserve. These are some of the most common and costly mistakes in slip and fall cases to avoid.
1. Failing to Seek Medical Attention
While bruises and cuts are readily obvious, many injuries sustained in a trip and fall aren’t immediately visible. Symptoms letting you know something isn’t right may not even show up for days after the fact. That’s why it’s critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible after leaving the scene of the accident.
Anyone hurt in a fall should get a full checkup as soon as possible to ensure they don’t have potentially serious wounds such as bone fractures, soft tissue damage, internal bleeding, or a traumatic brain injury. The possibility of a concussion or other dangerous injuries is high if you struck your head during the fall.
It is also necessary to receive a diagnosis from a medical professional and start a paper trail on how your injury impacts your daily life. Having medical records clearly showing the date you sustained the injury is important for your financial recovery.
2. Waiting Too Long Before Filing a Lawsuit
While you have the legal right to recover damages from the liable party, you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to file a suit. There is a strict statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Louisiana. It’s better to begin the process as quickly as possible by retaining an attorney soon after the fall. It takes time to thoroughly investigate the accident, identify the negligent party liable for your damages, and gather all the evidence necessary to argue your case in court.
3. Talking With Insurance Before Consulting an Attorney
Providing a recorded statement to an insurer before speaking with legal counsel is one of the biggest mistakes a slip and fall victim can make. No matter where or how you were hurt in a fall, the insurance adjuster you end up speaking with has a clear financial interest in reducing or denying your claim. Insurance companies make less money if they pay out more, which is why adjusters often try to get victims to say things that will hurt their own case. Always talk with your attorney before dealing with any insurance company. In situations where an insurer denies your claim in bad faith, it is also critical to have an attorney with litigation experience to protect your legal rights in court.
4. Admitting Fault
Getting you to admit fault, even partially, is one of the easiest ways for insurers or the negligent party to get off the hook for covering your costs. Unfortunately, many people are inclined to blame themselves after a fall. You may be embarrassed or unsure of what caused the accident at first. Laughing off the event with a simple joke about it being your fault for being too clumsy can seriously cost you down the line. Never admit fault for any fall, whether you are talking to a bystander who witnessed the accident, an insurance adjuster, or the property owner.
5. Posting on Social Media
The person who caused your accident will likely look for ways to argue that you aren’t as hurt as you claim, especially if you have extensive medical bills or have suffered a permanent disability. Taking completely innocent photos or videos out of context to claim the injury isn’t actually causing you pain is a common defense tactic. Turning your social media profiles to private so only existing friends can view your posts is a start, but it doesn’t offer as much protection as you’d think. The best course of action is to avoid posting about the accident at all.
Consult a Louisiana Slip and Fall Attorney About Your Injury
Were you or someone you love seriously harmed in a slip and fall? The Scott Vicknair law firm wants to hear from you. Our passion is defending victims of negligence by working towards their financial recoveries. Call 504-500-1111 to schedule a consultation, or use our convenient online contact form.