Have you slipped in a parking lot and realized that it can be a result of an unmaintained parking area? If you suffered minor injuries, it doesn’t call for a case. However, if the fall was harsh that resulted in major wounds, it might result in long-term treatment and huge medical bills. Additionally, the injury can lead to several intangible damages, including emotional and mental distress, trauma, missed income, depression, etc.
If you have had a slip and fall in a parking lot, you should take certain steps to protect your interests. We advise hiring a renowned firm to help you file a claim and sue the liable party responsible for your fall. The personal injury lawyers at Nicoletti Law Firm based in Florida, are experts at handling such cases and can help you recover the right compensation amount. Here’s what you should do in such cases-
1. Check your wounds. Ask for medical help immediately.
You might not feel any pain after the accident due to the adrenaline rush. However, the first thing to do is check your injuries and call for medical help immediately. You could have severe injuries that need emergency medical attention.
Documenting your injuries and reporting them to the police and the doctors is also important. If you ask for immediate medical attention, it can prevent the other party from claiming that you weren’t injured or that something else caused your injuries, not the accident.
2. Before leaving the parking lot, make a video of the scene.
To sue the responsible party, you must demonstrate that your fall resulted from a poorly maintained parking area.
How will you prove it? The best way is to click photographs or record video of the parking area, particularly anything that you think might have caused the fall. Try to cover the entire accident area in the photos to include details such as a missing side rail, bad floor condition, fallen objects, wrong sign boards or a wet floor. Your smartphone works the best.
3. Call the guard for help and prepare a report
The next step is informing the party who owns or handles the parking lot. The parking can be shared or private, and hence, different parties can be involved ranging from malls, offices, schools, and hospitals to universities. When you contact them, they might ask you to furnish them with specific details by filling out their grievance form. If not, you might have to create your own report. This report documents the timeline of the accident and acts as the basis for further claim process.
4. Collect the information from the witnesses, if any.
Witness testimony is one of the most useful pieces of evidence in any slip and fall lawsuit. Since parking lots are not always full of people, you might not have witnesses at the accident site. However, if there are witnesses, try to gather their names and contact information. Ask them if they saw anything relevant and record their statements in writing or using an audio recorder on the phone. It is important to have their contact information so that your lawyer can contact them when required.
5. Keep your clothes even if dirty, wet or torn .
Your clothing can be essential evidence. The state of your clothing can reveal a lot about what exactly happened. Your lawyer might use this to recreate the accident. Hence, preserving your clothes in a plastic bag is important. Take pictures of your clothes, if necessary.
6. Do not speak too much and give any info. Avoid apologizing or admitting your fault.
You should not make any statements regarding the accident. Your statements on the matter are admissible in court. You might behave responsibly and try to apologize, even when you aren’t wrong. However, the insurers are best at framing your words against you and proving that it was your fault. It is best to let the attorney contact the insurance company.
7. Research online and study about your case
You are allowed to seek worthy compensation from the opposite at-fault party. It is important to do your research, look for similar cases and take help from a lawyer to know what exactly you can ask for. You should also know about the considerable damages you can claim.
8. Save the records
Whether it’s the Medical documents and bills, prescriptions, case history, verification of lost work, receipts from medical aides, fees of the therapist, and other forms of records, you should keep all of them in one place. Save your records and organize them properly in a folder/app, so that you can easily access the information when required.
9. Mark the important dates in a calendar
After a slip and fall in a parking lot, just like any other accident, you only have a certain period to file a legal claim. The other party may attempt to divert your attention. All they want is for you to miss the deadline. Since you might not know the deadlines properly, an accident attorney plays an important role here.
Which parking lot risks are we talking about?
Property owners must plan ahead of time and check on the parking area regularly for repairs and services of-
- Potholes and Icy pathways
- Weak signage boards
- Discharge caused by poor drainage
- Low illumination.
- Insufficient handrails.
Who can be held liable for poor management of the parking area?
Typically there are 3 parties involved in such cases-
- The parking area operator, manager or Property owner
- Construction Company
- Subcontractors — They might be responsible for the maintenance of a parking lot.
Ultimately, it is the liable party’s insurer who is responsible to reimburse the money. Contacting the lawyers in Florida costs you nothing. Lawyers do not charge any consultancy fees. At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, you can get free consultations and legal representation. The best part is that you only pay for their services if and when they win money on your behalf.