UPDATED: DECEMBER 12, 2019
If you or someone close to you got injured as a result of a fall on snow or ice, there are some important steps (pun intended) to take. The mere fact that you fell on snow or ice, however, does not necessarily mean that you have a potential personal injury claim.
If you are injured in any accident, obviously get medical attention immediately. Don’t jeopardize your health in order to gather evidence to be used later in a possible personal injury case. Having said that, it’s crucial that evidence is gathered right away after a slip and fall on ice and snow because the evidence melts and witnesses quickly forget about snow and ice conditions. This evidence should be gathered and presented to your New Jersey personal injury attorneys, such as Raff & Raff, who can evaluate the evidence and facts and advise you on whether or not you have a potential case.
TOP 3 THINGS MOST INSURANCE COMPANIES USE TO EVALUATE SLIP & FALLS CASES:
The three important things that the insurance companies look at when they evaluate a claim are:
(2) Witness statements; and
(3) Evidence of the weather conditions.
Adjusters frequently decide that a case is baseless if the only evidence that is in play is the plaintiff’s version about how he or she fell.
Ask a friend or family member to take photographs of the area where the fall occurred as soon as possible. They should take a bunch of pictures from different angles. You want to be able to see a close-up of the spot of the fall, a wide shot of the area, the lighting conditions, whether there was any salt or sand spread around the area, the depth of any snow, etc. You also want to capture any slopes where water is melting off of snow piles and re-freezing. If you can’t get pictures taken that same day as the fall, then go back the next morning, because they may still be helpful, and if the area looks different the next day (for example some of the snow melted), then write down how it is different.
You should also get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all persons who witnessed the fall. If the fall occurred in a public place, there may be several people who are can be very helpful witnesses, but if you don’t get their names then you may never see them again. Also, it is a good idea to write down everything that you can remember about the fall and about the weather conditions, as soon as you are able.
We hope that these tips can help you in the event that you are injured in such an accident. Stay safe!
By: Michael Raff, Esq.