Maximizing Your Recovery: 5 Crucial Steps to Take After an Unsafe Property Accident
Updated: Mar 3
The Oakes Firm can help you at any point after you’ve been injured in a Premises Liability (Unsafe Property) accident. But there are certain steps you can take to help us build the strongest case possible. By following these steps, we can work together to maximize your recovery:
Step 1 – Make Sure You are Safe
After any accident, your first priority should be to make sure you (and your family) are safe. If it is dangerous to remain in the area where you were injured, remove yourself from the immediate zone of danger (if you can). If you are not at risk to more injury, don’t move – you could worsen your injuries.
Step 2 – Report the Accident
Have someone report the accident to the property owner or store manager. They will call an ambulance so you can get medical treatment.
It is possible that you will be asked to fill out an accident report. This will absolutely be used as evidence in any potential lawsuit. Please understand that you are not required to fill anything out, but this may be useful to document what happened and your injuries. If you do decide to fill out an accident report, ask for a copy.
Step 3 – Collect as Much Information as Possible
Collecting information at the scene of the accident is crucial.
You (or another if you are too injured) should write down the following:
Time, Date, and Location of the Accident
The Dangerous Condition or Aspect of the Property That Caused Your Injury (e.g. - ice, spilled liquid, poor lighting condition, broken/uneven sidewalk, fallen object, etc.)
Names of Store Employees You Spoke with or Came to Your Assistance
Contact Information of All Bystanders That Witnessed the Accident or Events Leading Up to the Accident
We also recommend that you (or someone on your behalf) take as many photographs and videos as possible (and send them to a secured email address) of:
The Accident Scene from a Distance and From Multiple Angles
The Dangerous Condition or Aspect of the Property That Caused Your Injury
Bystanders and Store Employees
Step 4 – Get Medical Treatment As Soon As Possible
Proper documented medical care is critical following a motor vehicle accident for both your wellbeing and a potential lawsuit. You should seek medical treatment immediately – defense attorneys and insurance carriers will argue that a delay in treatment means you deserve less money.
Make sure to carefully explain all of Your symptoms of pain and discomfort to Your doctor so they can properly diagnose you and prescribe proper treatment. If you are prescribed physical therapy or imaging studies, be sure to follow these instructions closely – again, insurance companies and defense attorneys will know if you did not listen to Your doctor and use it to pay You less. You should also know that pain symptoms do not always present themselves right away, so follow up with your doctor if you are experiencing new pain in the days following your motor vehicle accident.
Otherwise, be sure to note every place where you treated in connection with your injuries and what doctors you saw. If you pursue legal claims, this will make it much easier for your attorney to locate and secure all of your medical records.
Step 5 – Contact The Oakes Firm
You should contact The Oakes Firm as early as possible, but especially before speaking with any insurance company – even your own. We can help you navigate the legal process and make sure you get the proper medical treatment for your injuries. Also, we can take steps to preserve critical evidence in a potential lawsuit such as surveillance video of the accident and potential witnesses – these may be gone forever after only a few days delay.
Again, never speak with an insurance company - even your own - until you talk to a lawyer. All insurance company calls are recorded, and insurance company agents are trained to elicit information that may limit your ability to collect money. Remember, insurance companies make more money by paying you less.
No matter how large or small your premises liability accident is, we encourage you to contact The Oakes Firm as soon as possible so we can maximize monetary recovery in a settlement or lawsuit. We can walk you through your legal options, preserve all relevant evidence, and assist you in getting the proper medical treatment.