The standard to establish liability in Slip and Fall cases vary in the many states in which we practice. However, while the law of each state may vary, there are certain issues which are consistent throughout slip and fall cases in every state. Regardless of where you reside, it is my professional opinion that you involve an attorney early in a slip and fall case so that the attorney can do a proper investigation of the accident scene. Never assume the accident scene will remain as it was on the date of your injury. Many of the conditions that caused a slip and fall injury can be corrected or cleaned or lost in a short amount of time. If you have been injured in a slip and fall incident, it is critical that you obtain and document information quickly after the accident.

At the Law Offices of David P. Cline, we have extensive experience handling slip and fall incidents of all types. Any attorney whom you might select to handle your slip and fall case must have experience handling these types of incidents.

Here are a few simple rules to follow regarding any slip and fall accident:

1. Witnesses: Take the name, address and telephone number of any potential witness and preserve this information. Preferably, give it to your lawyer. I would recommend that a lawyer or trained investigator be used to contact the witnesses. If you were unable to obtain the names of any witness, or possibly were too injured to ask for this information, return to the accident scene for any potential witnesses to the accident. Try to revisit the scene of the accident several times at the same time at which your accident took place. Some people may have a habit of being in that area at the same time each day and you might be able to find a witness.

2. Photos: Take many photos, no matter how trivial, of the accident scene. Take photos of where you fell, especially any floor surface, as soon as possible to capture the condition at the time of your fall. Take photos of any warning sign, or lack thereof. Take photos of your clothing and shoes. If you sustained a visible injury such as a bruise, cut, scrape or stitches, casting or any other visible injury, take photos to preserve the state of the injury at the time of the injury. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

3. Evidence: Save the shoes and clothing that you were wearing at the time you slipped and fell. Place them inside a plastic bag or container and tape it shut so that any materials stuck to the shoes or clothing will remain. Do not wash them. If possible, complete an accident report. If the item that you slipped on is non-perishable, save a sample in a safe place where it will not be lost. If the item is perishable like fruit or vegetables try to preserve the item in a liquid chemical preservative or in a freezer.

4. Ownership: Establish who is responsible for the condition that caused your slip and fall. Do not assume that the owner is responsible for your accident. The responsible party might be an independent cleaning crew, a previous construction company, the landlord of the building, or some other individual. The rule is to have this explored early, preferably by your lawyer.