After You Fall, What's Your Next Step?
When the weather outside is frightful, everyone should take extra care when walking. Even the most careful person, however, can have an accident if they slip and fall on snow or ice. If you are injured as a result of falling on ice while walking on someone else’s property, you need to have the accident documented in case you later decide to bring a lawsuit.
- If you are injured, get a to a doctor or an emergency room. Make sure to tell medical personnel how you fell and what caused you to fall.
- If the fall took place on commercial property, find an employee and report the accident. If you can’t do it at the time of the fall, do it as soon afterwards as possible.
- If the fall took place on public property, you must file a Tort Claims Notice within 90 days of the accident. If you fail to do so, you are forever barred from filing suit against the public entity that owned the property.
- If possible, go back and take pictures. If you can show that there was no salt on the walkway, or that the walkway was negligently shoveled, it will make your case easier to prove.
- Save your footwear from the accident. This can be used as evidence in your case. If you can show that you were wearing appropriate footwear, the defense cannot later say otherwise.
Since ice is a changeable defect, it is important to get as much information and documentation as possible, at the time of the accident. The accident site could look very different once the ice has melted.