Proving Your Legal Rights After a Winter Slip and Fall Accident in Pennsylvania
Winter can be a dangerous time to be out walking. Snow and ice can make driveways, sidewalks and parking lots very slippery, and slip and fall accidents can leave victims with painful and debilitating injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a winter slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to financial compensation. While the law is complicated, winter slip and fall accident victims can file claims in many cases. If you have a claim, acting quickly could be important for protecting your legal rights—and, if possible, there are some steps that you will want to take right away.
What To Do (and What Not To Do) After a Winter Slip and Fall Accident
What should you do after an accident involving snow or ice in Pennsylvania? Here are some tips from the premises liability lawyers at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC:
1. Document the Location Where You Slipped and Fell (if Possible)
If possible, and if you can do so safely, you should try to document the location where you slipped and fell. The easiest way to do this is by taking pictures and videos with your phone. Since snow and ice can melt (or be removed by the property owner), it is important to try to preserve evidence of the scene of the accident while it is still available.
Of course, if you are in the hospital or at home with a serious injury, this won’t be possible. You also might not feel comfortable going back to the location of your accident. In either of these scenarios, you can hire a law firm to document the location of your slip and fall accident for you. Additionally, even if you have cell phone photos and videos from the scene of the accident, your law firm will still need to investigate promptly.
2. Document Your Slip and Fall Injuries
Another important step you should take to prove your legal rights is to document your slip and fall injuries. Take photos of your injuries (or your bandages), and be sure to keep all scans, images and other records you receive from your healthcare provider. Being able to demonstrate the timing of your injuries is important, and you do not want to give the property owner’s insurance company any excuse to claim that your claim isn’t valid.
This also underscores the importance of seeking medical treatment promptly. When you get hurt in a winter slip and fall accident, seeing a doctor should be your first priority. While you should keep the need for documentation in mind, the most important thing is that you receive a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.
3. Take Notes (and Keep Taking Notes Throughout Your Recovery)
Along with taking photos and collecting your medical records, you should also take detailed notes. Write down everything you can remember about the location where your accident happened. Did you fall on snow or ice? Did it look like the property owner had tried to clear the driveway, sidewalk or parking lot where you slipped and fell? Were their shovels, salt bags, or a snow blower or snow plow in the vicinity? These are all factors that could be important to your claim for just compensation.
You should also take notes about the conditions at the time of your accident. Was it snowing or sleeting? If not, how long ago had the snow or sleet stopped? Was it morning, afternoon or evening? These are also factors that could play a key role in establishing your claim.
In addition to taking detailed notes about your accident, you should also continue to take notes throughout the recovery process. Keep track of your out-of-pocket costs and the time you miss from work. Record your daily pain levels and any activities or events that you miss as a result of your injuries. The more information you can write down to share with your lawyers, the better.
4. Do Not Make Assumptions or Let the Property Owner Talk You Out of Filing a Claim
The costs of slip and fall injuries can add up quickly. As a result, it is critical that you make informed decisions about asserting your legal rights. With this in mind, you should not make assumptions (i.e., you should not assume that you are responsible for your own injuries), and you should not let the property owner talk you out of filing a claim. Hopefully, this won’t be an issue. But, if the property owner offers to cover your medical bills out-of-pocket or tries to convince you that it isn’t liable, you should not let this dissuade you from speaking with a lawyer.
5. Talk to a Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Lawyer About Your Legal Rights
Due to the substantial costs of slip and fall injuries, it is important that you speak with a lawyer about your legal rights. Property owners can be held liable for premises-related injuries in many cases—and, in most cases, recovering just compensation involves filing a claim under the property owner’s insurance policy. Homeowner’s insurance and commercial liability insurance policies both cover the costs of slip and fall accidents, including victims’ medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other financial and non-financial losses.
Talking to a lawyer is free, and you can hire a lawyer to handle your winter slip and fall accident claim at no out-of-pocket cost. Schedule a free consultation to find out if you have a claim today.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC
If you need to know more about your legal rights after a winter slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania, we encourage you to contact Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC. With offices in Allentown, Bethlehem, Doylestown, Easton and Stroudsburg, we handle premises liability claims statewide. To speak with an experienced lawyer in confidence, give us a call at 888-777-7098 or request a free consultation online today.