Evidence of Your Accident | Slip & Fall Injury Claims
Colorado Springs Slip & Fall Law Firm
Premises Liability > Claims > Evidence
The burden is on you to prove your slip and fall claim. Learn what kind of evidence you’ll need to get the injury compensation you deserve.
In the United States alone, almost eight million people visit emergency rooms every year due to injuries sustained in falls. About one million, or 12 per cent, of these visits, are due to slip and fall accidents. ¹
The property owner’s insurance company may not pay out on a slip and fall victim’s injury claim or compensate every victim, notwithstanding how common these events are.
Claims adjusters will want to know the specifics of how and why you fell and the kind and extent of your injuries to determine how much money to provide you.
Proving your case against a property owner requires solid evidence. You should start gathering proof of your slip and fall accident as soon as possible after it occurs.
Damage compensation claims require proof of injury in photographs, medical records, and other documentation.
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YOU SHOULD BRING PROOF
The onus of proof lies with you as the slip-and-fall victim. As such, you or your attorney must prove that another party’s negligence resulted in your injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident.
You’ll need a “preponderance of the evidence” to prove that the landowner is at fault. For this purpose, you must provide evidence that the property owner was more likely than not responsible for your injuries.
The specifics of each slip-and-fall occurrence will determine the nature of the proof you’ll need to sustain your burden of proof. Furthermore, the significance of each piece of evidence varies from one circumstance to the next.
But if you want to get the money you’re owed, you must prove every part of your claim.
Your mission is to establish who is at blame here:
1.Was responsible for taking reasonable precautions to prevent harm to you and others.
2.Failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent an unsafe state from occurring or creating one.
- Caused your harm by the infraction itself
Damages (or losses) you suffered due to your injuries must also be demonstrated.
Insurers are more likely to deny claims if the policyholder cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were injured and that the defendant was at fault.
THE OWNER’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY
Premises liability law is the foundation of any litigation involving an injury sustained on unsafe property. Under this body of law, property owners must ensure the safety of their guests.
While it is not the property owner’s responsibility to ensure the safety of anybody on the premises, they must take reasonable precautions to eliminate any obvious risks to the safety of their patrons.
Those who have fallen due to a slippery surface must prove:
- The owner of the property was aware of a hazardous situation
- Second, the property owner didn’t bother to fix it.
Whether or not the property owner had any idea the area was hazardous can be the most difficult element to prove in a slip and fall lawsuit.
Surveillance footage and incident reports are two prominent types of evidence used to demonstrate comprehension.
VIDEOS FROM AN OBSERVATORY
The circumstances leading up to an accident can be pieced together with video recordings. A video can reveal when marbles were spilled in a toy store aisle, who spotted them, and how long it took for them to be cleaned up.
Prolonged delays in fixing unsafe circumstances can be used as evidence that property owners knew (or should have known) about the danger but did not take appropriate steps to safeguard the safety of visitors to the property.
UPDATE REPORTS ON INCIDENTS
When customers or employees sustain injuries while on the premises of a store or other commercial establishment, the proprietor is required to file an incident report.
The specifics of an occurrence are typically documented in an incident report. If the facts of your case are similar, you can utilize this information to establish that the owner knew about the dangerous situation yet did nothing to fix it.
The owner of a building is not likely to voluntarily send over CCTV footage or incident reports without legal pressure from you or your lawyer.
TELL ME, WHAT IS A SUBPOENA?
A subpoena is a legal document issued by a court that compels a witness or defendant to appear in court to testify or present evidence.
Subpoenas can be used to request:
- Documents such as incident reports,
- surveillance footage,
- still photographs,
- insurance and
- financial documents,
- employee and payroll records,
maintenance logs can all be requested via subpoena.
Both parties in litigation can issue subpoenas. If you have legal representation, that lawyer can serve and sign subpoenas on your behalf. It depends on the court, but you may be able to issue your subpoenas if you’re acting as your lawyer in a lawsuit.
Owners risk contempt of court if served with a subpoena but refuse to produce the relevant documents. Those guilty of contempt of court may be subject to criminal or civil sanctions, such as monetary fines or incarceration.
An individual or organization receiving a subpoena may legally refuse to comply under certain circumstances. A person or organization may refuse to comply with a subpoena if the requested evidence cannot be located, is protected by attorney-client privilege, is irrelevant, or may result in criminal prosecution.
Subpoenas can typically be issued only after a lawsuit has been filed in the state. Telling the property owner in your injury claim notification letter not to destroy evidence will prevent evidence destruction without having to file a lawsuit.
PROOF THAT THE SITUATION IS DANGEROUS
To prove that a property owner had a responsibility to safeguard a visitor or customer may be more difficult than proving that a dangerous condition existed.
Common unsafe conditions include:
- Broken decks, stairways, or railings;
- cracked, unlit, or frozen walkways and parking lots; cluttered common spaces;
- fire alarms without working batteries;
- wet flooring;
lack of smoke detectors are all examples of potentially hazardous situations.
The real malfunction of the fire alarm is physical evidence that something is harmful. However, an injured party can demonstrate the existence of a danger of damage through the use of witness testimony, photographs, and videos.
It is preferable to gather this evidence at the slip and fall scene rather than travel back and forth later. After a fall, if you can’t get up on your own, ask someone nearby or a witness to assist you.
In a perfect world, evidence would be collected at the scene of the accident, but this is not always practicable. You, or someone acting on your behalf, should return to the location as quickly as possible if it is necessary to collect any remaining evidence.
The ubiquitous nature of smartphones has made instantaneous photography possible in almost any setting. Smartphone images also have the added virtue of being time- and date-stamped, making them more trustworthy.
The situation of a slip or fall should be documented using photographs and video. List the causes of your slip and fall, such as a puddle of liquid, icy conditions, or a damaged staircase.
After a fall, it’s impossible to have too many photos taken.
Things to remember include:
- The weather, and everything else about the fall.
- Your injuries,
- Where the accident occurred
- What you were wearing (including shoes)
Focus your shots and use good lighting to get the most professional-looking results. Never alter your photos with filters or editing software. Changing even one picture might undermine your credibility.
If there were witnesses present, ask for their names and contact information. You or your lawyer may want to utilize their testimony as evidence in your case.
You should get statements from witnesses to explain what happened and why the property owner did nothing to make the area safe after you were hurt.
Try to avoid befriending any witnesses. A witness may appear unreliable if you create even a casually cordial relationship with them.
On the other hand, if only your friend or family member witnessed your slip and fall, their statement can still be used in support of your injury claim.
YOUR RECORD OF THE EVENTS, IN WRITING
Taking the time to document the details of your slip and fall accident will greatly benefit your injury claim. What led up to the fall, what happened during the fall, and what happened following the fall should all be described in detail.
Include every piece of information you can recall, as even the smallest detail may prove crucial to the result of your case.
If you can, try to take notes right after your accident while everything is still fresh in your mind.
DOCUMENTATION OF YOUR FALL-RELATED LOSSES
You still need to show your injuries even if you can prove that the property owner owes you a duty and that you fell because of a hazardous condition.
, Are acceptable forms of evidence.
- Along with your medical records
- Photographs and videos of your injuries
- Clothing with blood on it or tears,
- Shoes with holes, Broken jewellery,
- Sratched eyeglasses are all signs of a bad day
Any injury claim you make may suffer if you haven’t sought medical attention after the incident. Get duplicates of your medical records from when you were treated for your slip-and-fall injuries, whether by an ambulance service, hospital, walk-in clinic, or private practitioner.
Keep your clothes and shoes if someone tries to say they caused your fall.
Still, showing proof of injuries is not enough. If that wasn’t enough, you’d also need to prove that you’ve suffered actual monetary losses. In a personal injury claim, damages refer to the financial losses you incurred due to your slip and fall injuries.
The financial costs associated with a slip and fall accident could include:
Expenses that are not covered by insurance include:
- A financial loss can be proven by providing evidence such as
- Medical bills,
- Prescription drugs,
- Medical device receipts.
Paystubs and other documentation from your employer will be required to establish the amount and duration of missing wages.
If you were injured and unable to drive, you may be entitled to compensation for alternative services such as
- Child care,
- lawn care,
- Taxi cab fares.
- Housekeeping Services
Non-monetary losses are common in cases involving slip and fall accidents as well. Since the monetary amount of these losses is often in dispute, proving them can be difficult.
Non-economic damages typically include:
- Pain and suffering
- Negative psychological effects include
- separation from loved ones,
- Sadness and depression,
- A decline in quality of life.
To prove these costs, you must provide evidence of how your injuries have altered your daily life.
One powerful method of demonstrating the results of an injury is through the use of a journal. In this notebook, keep track of your thoughts and feelings, your physical and mental limits and the things you have to skip out on because of them.
ENCOURAGING THE COLLECTION AND STORAGE OF EVIDENCE
When you have accumulated all the supporting data for your claim, you must file it away safely.
Following these guidelines will aid you in protecting your evidence:
- Keep all of your medical receipts from any providers. If you have lost your medical bills, please contact your provider to seek a replacement.
- Bloodstained clothing and other physical evidence should be sealed in a plastic bag with zip closure. Make sure to mark the bag with the date of the injury and the contents using the permanent marker.
- Save all media files on a hard drive, USB, or cloud storage. Put a brief explanation next to each printed photo.
- You should contact your company to get a record of the money you lost in pay. Keep your pay stubs for future reference. Do this if you can access them via a website; printing them off from there is the most convenient option.
- To make it simpler to email your insurance company or lawyer, you might consider scanning all relevant documents. Once digitizing the pictures, put them in the same digital archive as your other photographic evidence.
- Arrange your home, so everything is out of the way yet still simple to find, like a safe. For their peace of mind and the sake of organization, many victims of injuries opt to create injury claim files.
Never send the insurance company the original paperwork or other proof that they need. Gather evidence by making copies of paperwork and taking photos of relevant items (such as stained clothing) to add to your demand package.
CONSIDERATIONS INVOLVED IN HIRING LEGAL REPRESENTATION
Many people who have been injured in accidents worry that they don’t have sufficient evidence to get compensation. This makes sense.
Discussing your case with a knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer will help ease your mind if you have concerns about the validity of your claim.
It is not only time-consuming but also stressful to collect and store evidence. Possessing a competent lawyer to gather and safely store evidence on your behalf might improve your case’s chances of success and relieve some of the pressure you may be feeling.
Since many people injured by a slip and falls believe they cannot afford legal representation, they often choose not to pursue compensation for their injuries. Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis and offer free consultations to discuss your case and its value.
When a lawyer takes a case on contingency, the client doesn’t have to pay anything upfront. The lawyer is not compensated until the matter is successfully settled or awarded. If they successfully obtain compensation for their client, they will receive a certain fee as their reward.
Don’t take any cash to your consultation with a personal injury attorney if you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall.
COLLECT EVIDENCE OF YOUR SLIP AND FALL FOR A MORE COMPELLING INJURY CLAIM
Get your paperwork to file a successful slip and fall claim. Take care of the legal stuff like a pro to give your injury claim more weight.
Maintaining order in one’s life is crucial for achieving any goal, whether to manage a profitable business, get good grades in school, or maintain a smooth family.
The organization is crucial when it comes to claims for injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents.
Filing a claim with the property owner’s homeowner’s or liability insurance company is a common compensation method for injuries sustained in a fall. It is up to the injured party to prove that the property owner either knowingly or negligently caused or failed to eliminate a hazard on the premises before any compensation is awarded.
When negotiating a slip and fall accident settlement, it is crucial to have all of the relevant documents related to your case in one convenient location. While you are on the phone with the insurance adjuster, you can bet that they will review the information they have compiled on your claim.
When looking for a personal injury lawyer, it is equally vital to have your paperwork in order. When meeting with an attorney for the first time, it is helpful if you come prepared with as much information as possible.
GETTING READY TO FILE A CLAIM FOR A FALL
The first order of business in the claims organization process is locating relevant materials to compile a claim file.
It is not necessary to have a fancy accident claim file to be valuable. Supplies at reasonable prices can be found at supermarkets, discount warehouses, office supply outlets, and on the web.
To quickly get the information you need, the system should categorize various documents into distinct folders (such as medical records).
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
To begin, you’ll need some method of organizing the various components of your claim.
- A letter-size plastic or metal container,
- A magazine file holder,
- A hanging file box with colour-coded folders,
- and a large plastic accordion-style file folder with multiple sections are all viable filing alternatives.
- A Big Binder With Three Rings
As the claims procedure progresses, so will the stack of papers required to document the accident and its aftermath. Choose a solution that can grow as your document storage needs do.
You may need to buy more folders or dividers, depending on your design. Binders require tabbed dividers and a hole puncher to be fully functional. Use large envelopes or zip-top bags with holes to store your photos and documents.
DIVIDE THE CLAIM FORM INTO SECTIONS
You’ll also need to purchase some if the container doesn’t come with labels.
Make sure you clearly label each subfolder in your file. A label maker, computer typing, or handwriting can all be used to create the required labels for your sections.
In the sections you’ve created, label things like
- Medical records and bills,
- Wage verification,
- Incident reports,
- Eyewitness accounts,
- Photographs, videos,
COLLECTING INFORMATION ON ACCIDENTS INVOLVING SLIPS AND FALLS
Attorneys and insurance adjusters give each personal injury claim its folder. You can confidently manage your injury claim by adopting the same structure utilized by the experts.
Your ability to negotiate with the insurance company after a fall depends on how serious your injuries were.
Hiring a qualified personal injury attorney to handle your claim after a serious slip and fall accident is essential to get the financial compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Mark the front of the file with a label. Your real name, the date of your injury, the name and contact information of the insurance company’s point of contact, and your claim number should all be included. However, sensitive information should not be exposed externally in a file. You can safely store the data inside the folder’s front cover.
Don’t forget to have your contact information close at hand. Keep a list of important contacts on the front of your binder or file box.
Please include the following information:
- The property owner’s insurance company
- The location where you were hurt
- Your contact information (name, address, phone, fax, and email)
- Anyone involved with your claim:
- The insurance adjuster, your lawyer, and your doctors
You might use colour to organize your files. Cindy, for instance, has received 13 medical invoices from 8 different hospitals and clinics. She creates a separate folder for each healthcare provider rather than consolidating the bills into a single master folder. All of these red files are for medical expenses, and she knows.
Consistently submitting paperwork is required. Set aside a regular time each day or week to file your paperwork. To ensure that no vital paperwork is misplaced or damaged in the interim between sorting mail and filing it away, it may be best to do so right after you’ve finished sorting mail.
Keep the originals of everything in your files. Never provide the insurance adjuster with the original document or the only copy you have. Create duplicates for your claim packet.
Original documents, such as bills and receipts, should never have any changes made to them. Having copies means you can make notes on them and share them with your agent or the insurance provider.
Do your filing by the clock. Put the most recent paper in the front of its file.
Be sure to secure your insurance claim paperwork. Keep it somewhere that children and pets can’t get to it and ruin or lose the paperwork. Keep your claim records out of the hands of interested parties.
ENCLOSING ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS IN YOUR FILE
Whether or not you plan to retain the services of an attorney, compiling the appropriate paperwork is essential to establishing liability for a slip and fall accident.
You can expect to hear from the property owner and their insurance carrier, among others, shortly after filing a claim for damages related to an injury.
You must preserve a copy of all such correspondence in a separate part of your injury claim file. If you end up hiring a lawyer, make sure to retain any correspondence between you and your new legal representative in this folder.
If counsel is representing you, the insurance company should not be making contact with you. Don’t forget to have your attorney receive copies of any correspondence.
You may be contacted in writing via email, facsimile, or regular mail. Always check your mail and email daily, so you don’t miss any time-sensitive or vital correspondence.
You should print out any important emails and keep them with your claim paperwork. In addition, you can make a designated folder in your inbox for all correspondence about your claim.
Include the original and a copy of each letter you send and receive in the “correspondence” section of your claim file.
Include the following in your correspondence section:
- A letter from your insurer reserving the right to deny your claim pending investigation (also known as a “reserve of rights” note or “reservation of benefits” letter
- Your letter of notification to the negligent party and their insurer
- All correspondence between you and the insurance adjuster, including but not limited to
- letters of protection to medical providers promising to pay if your claim settles;
- your demand letter to the insurance company;
- any other letters, notes, or emails
Always put the most recent letter at the front of the stack, regardless of the type of mail.
STATEMENTS AND MEDICAL BILLS
Your medical bills and records will strengthen your slip and fall injury claim. A bodily injury must be shown to file a claim.
The entire amount of your medical bills will play a significant role in determining how much compensation you will receive for your injury. Compile and sort through all invoices and receipts for medical care following the accident. Even if your health insurance covers most of your medical costs, you are still responsible for paying the remaining balance.
Be sure to include the full amount of your medical bills in your injury claim; otherwise, Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance may file a subrogation lien against your settlement to collect what they spent on your behalf.
Medical statements and bills should be filed by the day they are received. Don’t forget to add in all your medical expenses, not just those from visits to the doctor or emergency department visits.
Don’t overlook bills from:
- Consider mental health professionals for injury-related expenses
- Hospital bills, including those for surgery or inpatient stays;
- Bills from chiropractors and physical or occupational therapists;
- Costs for medications and medical devices bought on your own;
- Bills from radiology departments and separate bills from radiologists who read the test results;
- Ambulance or life-flight care at the scene.
Please include replacement service receipts. Because of the injuries, you may have to pay someone else to undertake chores like mowing the lawn, shovelling the snow, or watching the kids.
Keep receipts for any meals or taxis you paid for while getting medical attention.
HEALTH CARE HISTORY
You will need copies of your medical records to prove that your injuries were caused by the slip and fall incident and to back up the medical care you received.
An attorney who handles slip and fall cases will be able to assist you in obtaining these documents.
If a medical facility or practitioner sends you a bill, it should be accompanied by thorough documentation of the care you received. It is necessary to submit a written request to obtain copies of your medical records.
You must give your written consent if you want a copy of your medical records or want them forwarded to someone else. Please make sure a consent form is filled out. The clinic or hospital may require you to utilize their unique request form.
Make a note of all your medical care, surgeries, therapies, and treatments since the accident to ensure you don’t forget anything. Check off each item on the list to ensure you have the appropriate medical documentation.
DOCUMENTATION OF PROPERTY DAMAGE
In contrast to other claims, property damage is unusual in slip and fall cases. A fall, however, might be hazardous to one’s possessions.
A fall can cause damage to a wide variety of personal items, including watches, wedding bands, other expensive jewellery, eyeglasses, cell phones, shoes, and clothing.
You’ll need receipts to back up the money you spent on repairs or replacements. You should keep records of everything related to your property, such as bills, tickets, and expert appraisals.
RECEIPT FOR UNPAID WORK
You might need to miss some time at work after getting hurt in a fall because you have to rest and get checked out by a doctor.
To get your missed pay reimbursed, you need proof from your employer that you were indeed unable to work. Get a formal statement from your employer outlining the time you were absent from work and any compensation you were due.
Suppose you’re self-employed and have suffered a loss of income due to your accident. In that case, you may need to provide tax records, profit-and-loss statements, documentation of missed assignments, or other documents to support your claim.
This file subfolder may be the tiniest, but it plays a crucial role nonetheless.
PROOF OF YOUR ACCIDENTAL SLIP AND FALL
You’ll need to prove that the property owner was at fault to win compensation for your injuries. Any evidence proving the property owner was at fault for your damages should be included in your claim, no matter how slight.
Organize any witness testimonies and contact information you have here by the last name.
A lawyer who takes your case will seek to question any potential witnesses. Likewise, the insurance provider for the party at blame will probably wish to get in touch.
In this section, you should also include:
- Any relevant police reports
- There should be: Incident records from the landowner where you were injured
Images and movies
Evidence from photos and videos is crucial to supporting your case. With today’s technology, you can readily get photographic proof for your slip and fall claim. The camera quality of modern cell phones has risen to professional standards.
Take photographs or video at the scene of the slip and fall whenever possible. It would help if you described everything that stands out about the place, from the ice walkway to the recently swept floor without a warning sign.
It’s important to document your injuries immediately following the fall and as you heal.
Please make the most of your cell phone’s camera by paying attention to the lighting and using its features, such as the flash, to get the finest shot or video possible.
Do not use filters or photo editing software. You don’t want to get into trouble for photo shopping.
Make sure to use high-quality ink and paper when printing photos.
TYPE ON THE BACK OF THE PICTURE:
- Date took, photographer’s name, and
- A quick summary of the photo’s subject matter
- Additionally, you should keep this evidence in digital format on your computer.
PERSONAL NOTES FROM YOU ARE IMPORTANT
Taking thorough notes can make a huge difference in a claim for damages after a slip and fall. Whatever you have on hand, from a legal pad to a journal to a plain old notebook, will do. Your notes can be typed up as well.
Keep your notes in the file whether you utilize paper, digital, or audio recording.
Document what happened as quickly as possible following an accident. If you put off writing up your case, you risk forgetting important details or drawing inaccurate conclusions from your memories.
Keep comprehensive and dated notes. Keep careful records of your case. If necessary, you can revise your earlier notes.
Keep track of
- Your daily pain levels
- The date, time, and specifics of every phone or in-person discussion with the insurance adjuster, medical caretakers, the property owner, your attorney, and anyone else associated with your claim • any treatment adverse effects.
- Keep track of all settlement offers, counteroffers, and notes in a spreadsheet.
- A description of your physical and mental limits while recuperating, including details on the people and organizations that supported you during this time.
Your notes can be crucial evidence for the “pain and suffering” aspect of your claim.
Remember that the insurance company and the jury may look through your notes as evidence. Do not write anything in your letters that you wouldn’t want to be read aloud in court.
Keeping a schedule of claims for slips and falls
Keep a calendar handy to note important dates and appointments connected to your injury claim, and file it away with your other claim paperwork. Keep track of the days with a calendar until your claim is finalized.
Key dates for your calendar:
- Mark all of your doctor’s visits, therapy sessions, and important mail deliveries and pickups on your calendar.
- Mark your calendar for the time and date you and the claims adjuster have agreed to speak. Keeping track of when you and the claims adjuster communicated will help prove that they lived up to their responsibilities.
- A date to put on your calendar is when your state’s statute of limitations expires. A claim must be settled or a lawsuit filed before the statute of limitations expires.
The statute of limitations varies by state; in California, for instance, it is two years from the date of injury. You must initiate litigation about your claim no later than this date if you cannot come to an amicable resolution. If you don’t, you might not be able to get any money for what happened.
Insurance providers will not notify policyholders of approaching deadlines. They are not obligated to see that your claim is resolved before the deadline.
CALL A PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEY IN COLORADO SPRINGS
Don’t put off calling a personal injury lawyer until the deadline is almost upon you. Before bringing a lawsuit, your attorney will need time to compile evidence and establish your case.
The good news is that most personal injury lawyers are ready to work on a contingency fee basis and give free initial consultations. Your lawyer will only get paid if they successfully negotiate a settlement or win your case in court.
Legal representation can be obtained without undue difficulty or expense. Put your money away, pick up your injury claim file, and consult a lawyer about your options without delay.
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