You need evidence after a slip and fall to prove the property owner should pay. Use this checklist for gathering key injury claim evidence.
Whether you handle your own claim or hire an attorney, you need evidence to prove the property owner’s fault and to link your damages to the slip and fall incident. Use this printable checklist to make sure you’ve collected as much evidence as possible to support your slip and fall injury claim.
Click on the image below to download the PDF checklist:
Why You Need Strong Evidence
You can never have too much evidence in a slip and fall accident claim. You’ll need solid evidence to prove the property owner is to blame for causing your slip and fall and for proving the extent of your injuries.
Make it easy on yourself by using our Slip and Fall Evidence Checklist and User Guide to gather every available scrap of evidence to support your injury claim.
Slip and fall accidents often happen in big-name stores and businesses that have heavy-hitting insurance companies ready to fight injury claims. Even homeowners insurance companies have their own legal departments, so you need to be ready with solid, well-organized evidence.
No matter where you fell, the burden of proof is on you to show that the property owner was negligent in causing the hazard, or failing to correct the hazard, that led to your injuries.
After you’ve successfully proven the property owner’s liability, then you need evidence linking your injuries to the fall and showing how the injuries have impacted your work and home life.
Insurance payouts are calculated based on measurable damages, like medical bills and lost wages, with an added amount for pain and suffering. You can maximize your compensation with compelling evidence showing the extent of your injuries and the impact of those injuries on your ability to work and perform daily activities.
Immediately After the Slip and Fall
One minute you’re walking along, and the next minute you’re on the floor in pain. The worst thing you can do is dust yourself off and limp away. You must report the fall and tell the property owner or manager that you want to file a slip and fall incident report.
Never make excuses or apologize for your fall. Comments like, “Only my pride was injured” or “These darn shoes!” can be used against you by the insurance company.
If paramedics are called, let them take care of you. Refusing or delaying medical care can sink your claim. The insurance adjuster won’t hesitate to deny your claim by arguing that your injuries didn’t happen on their insured’s property.
It’s vital to connect your injuries to the slip and fall. Tell your medical providers when and how you were injured.
Unless you are taken directly to a hospital, seek immediate medical attention after a slip and fall. If you can’t get a same-day appointment with your regular doctor, go to an urgent care center or hospital emergency room.
Don’t make your injuries worse, but if you are able, take as many photos and videos as you can. Get close-up pictures of the hazard that caused your fall. Try to take pictures from different angles, to show wet spots, damaged flooring, ice, etc.
When a slip and fall occurs at a store or other commercial location, the business likely has surveillance cameras in operation. Even if you don’t see a camera lens, assume there is video of your slip and fall. The store won’t hand it over without a subpoena, but you can include language in your injury claim notice letter that requires them to preserve the evidence.
Get the names and contact information of witnesses to your fall and its aftermath. Good witnesses can be bystanders who saw the incident and Good Samaritans who came to your aid. If an employee saw your fall, get their names, too.
Start taking notes as soon as possible after your injury. Write down everything that happened before, during, and after your fall.
What did you see and hear afterward? For example, did you hear a sales associate tell the manager they meant to clean up the spill, but got busy with something else? Did someone come running with wet floor signs after your fall? Your careful notes can help establish the property owner’s liability.
Evidence to Prove Your Injuries
Get copies of all medical records, therapy records, and test reports. The medical records, especially your doctor’s narratives, will link your injuries to the slip and fall event and justify the cost of your treatments.
Your medical records, along with a “work note” from your doctor will validate the lost wages part of your injury claim. Adjusters are trained to question the amount of time a claimant is out of work. Your medical bills and lost wages are your “hard costs.”
It’s harder to account for your pain and suffering (also called general damages) because there are no bills or receipts to assign a monetary value. Insurance adjusters don’t like to payout non-economic damages, especially for soft tissue injuries. However, one way to prove your pain and suffering is to keep an injury diary detailing your pain, emotions, and limitations caused by your injuries.
Family or friends can also help by providing statements about your pain, distress, and need for assistance during your recovery.
Evidence to Prove Your Damages
Slip and fall compensation calculations are largely based on the total amount of your hard costs like medical bills, lost wages, transportation costs, and replacement services expenses, with an amount added to account for your pain and suffering.
Get itemized bills for every medical visit or therapy visit. Medical bills and receipts should reflect the full cost of treatment before any adjustments for Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance.
Get receipts for the full cost of medications, bandages, crutches and other assistive devices, not just your copay.
If you had imaging studies, like X-rays, CT scans, or an MRI, there will be a bill from the facility and a separate bill from the radiologist who interpreted the images. You’ll need to get both bills, and a copy of the radiologist’s report.
Keep in mind that insurance companies are only required to pay reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Insurance adjusters know how to spot “accident doctors” who run up big medical bills with extra tests and questionable “treatments” for relatively minor injuries. The adjuster can reject the excessive costs, and you will be stuck with the bills.
Replacement services include hiring help with child care, yard care, and other activities you can’t do while recovering from your injuries. Get receipts for all hired help, even someone hired to walk your dog.
Again, your medical records should corroborate the physical limitations that keep you from doing your usual tasks. It’s a good idea to discuss your need for help with your doctor.
You are still entitled to injury damages even if you are elderly or have a preexisting condition that made your injury worse than it might have been for someone else. Continue to collect evidence to support your slip and fall claim, and include evidence and witness testimony to show you would have been enjoying the activities of daily living but for the negligence of the property owner.
Transportation costs include parking fees and mileage or carfare to and from medical appointments. You can include transportation costs even if a friend or neighbor drives you to appointments.
You can claim the replacement or repair costs of damaged personal property like glasses, clothing, your cell phone, watch, and more. The original purchase receipts are helpful, but you can also gather evidence of replacement costs for like items, or use receipts for repairs.
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