Getting injured in a slip and fall accident is a common, but unexpected experience. It is important to know what your first steps should be after the accident to ensure that you are protected and can recover easily.

First, you should immediately seek medical treatment. No matter the severity of the injury, it is crucial to always see a doctor and inform your medical provider of the accident. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible affirms that you were injured from the accident and acted quickly. This can build your case against insurance companies or defendants who may argue that your injuries are not from the accident or not as serious as you are claiming.

Next, you should report the accident to whoever was in charge of the property where you fell. If you are able to file an official accident report, make sure to ask for a second copy to keep for your records. If they do not have an official policy, send an email or letter to whoever was in charge that explains the accident and any damages you suffered. While filing a report, it is useful to take any photos or videos of the area where you fell and talk to any witnesses at the scene. Documenting the accident and having witnesses testify or simply explain to you what they saw can strengthen your case.

While examining the scene of the accident, you should also try to determine what caused the slip and fall and ask yourself questions about the accident. For example, if you slipped because of a wet floor, ask yourself what made the floor slippery? Were there signs informing you that it was slippery? Were other people affected? Make sure to write everything down so you don’t forget any detail. Even if you might not think that it is an important fact in the moment, you should still write it down just in case. Try to create a full story of the accident, your injuries, witnesses and those who may be liable, and questions you still need to answer within 24 hours of the accident.

Although you should accept help from those people in charge of the property where you slipped and fell, be careful in how you react and what you tell them. Avoid discussing the specifics of the accident with them, as they may use anything you say against you in court. Simply report the accident and obtain their contact and insurance information.

Finally, work with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you get a fair settlement. Let an expert negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get the maximum coverage. If you agree to a settlement, keep in mind that you have lost your right to sue them or request a future settlement if your injury lingers and you realize that they did not compensate enough for your medical treatment. Let an experienced attorney handle the case so you can maximize your recovery.