How to Protect Yourself if You are Injured:

Personal Injuries are an unfortunate, yet common occurrence in our daily lives. However you can actively take steps to better ensure a favorable outcome after your injury.

Part 2 of JoplinLawyers.com Personal Injury Checklist is dedicated to Slip and Fall Accidents. These common personal and workplace accidents can result in severe injury. In order to maximize your chance of recovery, you should immediately contact a professional personal injury attorney and work together to gather important evidence and information to support your case.

In resolving personal injuries in Missouri, those claims in which this critical evidence has been preserved are almost invariably easier to settle and to settle at full value. If the claim proceeds to trial, this evidence becomes even more critical for it is the basis of proof of liability and damages.

Once an experienced attorney at JoplinLawyers.com takes on a personal injury claim, the attorney will promptly collect all evidence that may be relevant to the claim. The earlier these steps are taken, the better the chances of a desirable outcome. And if you, the injured person, or a loved one has already begun to put this information together, you will have an even earlier jump on the process.

Since the nature of many pieces of evidence may not be immediately obvious to the non-attorney (and since even an experienced attorney will use checklists to avoid forgetting important items), the attorneys at JoplinLawyers.com have assembled checklists to help you protect yourself from having crucial evidence lost or destroyed. Since every case is unique, these lists can’t include every type of evidence possible.

Rather, these are intended to describe the most common pieces of evidence needed for successful resolution of your personal injury claim. By collecting as much of this evidence early on, both you and your attorney at JoplinLawyers.com may retain a significant head start on resolving your claim promptly and at full value. Below are the tools you need to jump ahead of your claim:

Once the shock and trauma of falling down is over, leaving the scene as quickly as possible may not serve you very well. If you are fortunate enough not to need ambulance transportation from the scene, many people simply believe that filling out an accident report is enough. Often, however, reliance upon this type of limited information allows crucial evidence to become lost forever. Here are some tips that you can use to ensure that you have maximized your potential for recovery through evidence preservation.

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Take pictures of the location where you fell, especially the floor surface, as soon as possible to capture the condition at the time of your fall.
  • If possible, take photographs of the condition of your clothing and shoes immediately following the accident.
  • Take photographs of any mats, rugs, or slip prevention fabrics at the location, if the location of the accident had any of the aboveIf the location of the accident fails to have any of these fabrics or any other type, take photographs illustrating the potential lack of the safety items.
  • Take photographs of any warning signs that might be in the area of the location of the accident.
  • If you sustained a visible injury: i.e, bruise, cut, scrape or stitches, take photograph(s) of the injury to preserve the state of the injury at the time of the injury.
  • Feel free to take as many photographs of what you think may, no matter how trivial, be important to the accident. Your attorney will decide what is and what is not important.

STATEMENTS OF WITNESS(ES)

  • Take the name, address and telephone number of any potential witnessand save this information someplace where it will not be lost.
  • Return to the accident scene, visit any nearby homes or business, if applicable, for any potential witness(es) to the accident.
  • Revisit the scene of the accident several times at the same time at which the accident took place. Some people may have a habit of stopping or driving by the location of the accident as part of their normal day. You may able to find a witness.

If you have obtained witness information, do not contact or speak to the witness(es) again or attempt to get any written statements from them. Let your attorney contact any possible witness(es).

PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

  • Most importantly, save the shoes that you were wearing at the time you slipped and fell. Place them inside a plastic garbage bag and tape it shut so that any materials stuck to the shoes will remain.
  • Store all of the articles of clothing that you were wearing at the time of the accident in a plastic bag in a safe place where they will not be lost. Do not wash them.
  • If possible, do not leave the scene of the accident without obtaining a copy of the accident report that the manager, owner, employee or other person has filled out while in your presence.
  • If the item that you slipped on is non-perishable, save a sample in safe place where it will not be lost.
  • If the item is perishable:i.e. vegetable, or fruit, try to preserve the item in a liquid chemical preservative or in a freezer.

Once you have collected your evidence using the checklist, or if you feel that you have missed your opportunity to collect evidence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at JoplinLawyers.com to maximize your chances of recovery.

Be sure to return for the other checklists regarding other types of personal injury claims to ensure that you know how to properly handle any personal injury situation that might arise.

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