I Was Injured on Someone Else’s Property. Now What?
Uneven steps, wet floors, poor lighting – all of these issues, plus many more, can cause injury to an unsuspecting person. If the injury occurs on that person’s own property, then there aren’t many questions about what to do next. But what happens if a person is injured on someone else’s property due to negligence on the part of the property owner?
Keep reading to learn the steps to take in such a situation.
Step #1: Seek Medical Attention
While this may seem like the obvious first step, injuries may not always be immediately apparent – or they may seem less severe than they actually are. Until you have a thorough medical analysis, you won’t know the true extent of the damage. Symptoms may not become evident for weeks or even months. See a doctor immediately and document all diagnoses, treatments, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and negative effects of your injuries.
Step #2: Take Pictures
As soon as you can, while things are still in the same condition as they were at the time of the accident (and ideally, before you have left the property), photograph the scene. A cell phone camera is more than sufficient. Make sure your photos highlight the dangerous object or condition of the property that caused injury to yourself or someone else.
Step #3: Gather Evidence and Information
Were there witnesses present when the injury occurred? If so, get their information to the extent that you are able to do so. Look for other people who can speak to the condition of the property at the time of the injury – a maintenance crew member or another resident, perhaps. Preserve clothing and shoes that were worn by the victim – do not wash or clean them in any way, but store them so that they will be left in the same condition.
Step #4: File the Proper Reports
If the incident occurred at a business, inform the business manager and file an incident report. If an attack was involved, you’ll need to file a police report. Get copies of any reports filed by medical personnel. The more documentation you have, the better – so get copies of everything you possibly can.
Step #5: Document Everything
Medical records, lost wages, pain and suffering – anything that resulted from the injury sustained while on the other person’s property needs to be officially documented. Any expenses or damages that you can prove may be reimbursed to you, so it’s essential that you keep up with everything and maintain impeccable records.
Step #6: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
One of the most important things you can do after you’ve been injured on someone else’s property is to contact a respected personal injury lawyer. Often, after an accident, you’ll be contacted by an individual – either someone from an insurance company or an attorney for the other party – asking you for more details about your injuries, and requesting that you sign a release. You should never speak to anyone about the incident or sign anything without an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. Doing so could result in your throwing away thousands – maybe even millions – of dollars in compensation, and it could drastically hamper your ability to get your life back on track.
Injured on Someone Else’s Property? Call Wettermark Keith!
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