Slip and fall cases are classified as premises liability accidents. The process of slip and fall cases is determining how and where the incident occurred, what transitory substance was on the floor, and whether the plaintiff had reason to believe that that substance could be there. A skilled attorney will want to determine if there was an opportunity to avoid the condition, whether the property owner knew or had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition, and if the owner had time to cure it.
Every business should have a procedure in place for a person who has fallen on their property to fill out some kind of incident report. This is important to someone’s injury case. It is important for someone to know what steps to take after their slip and fall accident in Clearwater, and have an experienced injury attorney help them with their case and their incident report.
Factors of Cases
Older people are more subject to more serious injuries from falls. Slip and fall cases, if the damages are in excess of $15,000, are heard in the sixth judicial circuit court in Pinellas County or if the damages are under $15,000, they will be heard in Pinellas County court. A person has to be able to call or connect the injury that they sustain to the fall. Most likely, proving that the injury was caused by the condition requires expert testimony.
Incident reports need to include important information, such as the facts surrounding someone’s injury, including:
- Date and time of the fall
- Where they fell
- How they fell
- What was on the floor around them
It should include witnesses who may have seen them fall, as well as information about security cameras that may have captured the fall. It should include photographs of the floor, surrounding area, and anything they may have slipped/tripped over, causing their fall.
Someone’s incident report should include the contact information of any witnesses as well as a representative of the business in which they fell. They should get a manager’s name and contact information, gather any information they can about the employee that came to their aid and any other employee they spoke to on the day of the fall.
Importance of Incident Reports
Incident reports are timely records of everything that happened the day of the fall. Many injury cases can take years to resolve, facts and information can get lost along the way. With an incident report dated the day of the fall, there is little to argue about what happened. Incident reports also give someone’s lawyer an initial list of people they need to interview and a list of initial evidence they may want to obtain.
The last and most important part of an incident report is getting a copy. Many people do all of the above, but forget to obtain a copy of the incident report. Sometimes these reports get misplaced or altered and the injured party is out of luck. So if sometime in the future someone finds themselves in the unfortunate situation to have slipped, fallen, and unable to get up, they cannot forget to fill out an incident report.
Working with an Attorney
Experienced slip and fall lawyers know that they have to make sure that they file the appropriate documentation to preserve any video tape or any surveillance that exist not only on the subject property but potentially in alternate locations that may have captured the incident. Lawyers also recognize that they have a limited amount of time in order to gather evidence and take either photographs or video tapes of the conditions that caused the fall prior to that condition being cured, so timing is of the essence.