Winter is here so be safe. But if you happen to fall in Federal Way, we’ve put together this short list of what to do after a slip and fall accident.

Gather information

When we advise clients on what to do after a slip and fall accident, the first thing we suggest is to gather documentation of their injuries and medical treatment. Make copies of all medical records, bills, and documents related to the accident and any care you’ve received. 

Having organized records of your doctor visits, diagnoses, and treatment costs will help your attorney assess the value of your case. It’s also wise to photograph any ongoing injuries, such as bruises or wounds, that show the impact of the accident on your physical well-being. Collecting records upfront saves time later and ensures all relevant health information is readily available.

In addition to medical documents, compiling details about the accident itself is very helpful. Take note of the specific location and circumstances that led to your fall. Include information such as whether the area was wet, had debris, or other hazards. Any photos you have of the location and potential risks can support your claim. 

It’s also prudent to provide your attorney with the names and contact information of any witnesses. Witness statements can corroborate your account of what caused the fall. Gathering contemporaneous accident details while memories are fresh strengthens our understanding of your case.

Finally, keep documentation of any lost wages or out-of-pocket expenses due to your injuries. Receipts for prescription medications, medical equipment or home health services show financial impacts. Records of missed work days, including pay stubs, can substantiate wage losses.

We know gathering documentation about your accident and its aftermath is not the most enjoyable of tasks, but we advise our clients that it truly is the most important step in what to do after a slip and fall accident. The effort you put forth in this first step will truly pay off down the line.

Research possible representation

When researching attorneys as a potential new client after a slip and fall accident, one of the most important things we advise is to check credentials and experience. Look for lawyers who are certified in your state and have a proven track record specifically handling personal injury and premises liability cases. Experience negotiating large settlements or winning trials against well-funded defendants shows an attorney’s competence. 

You may also want to consider years of practice, bar affiliations, and awards or recognition. Thorough credentials ensure your case is in experienced hands.

In addition to qualifications, we suggest checking reviews and recommendations. Many law firms have testimonials on their websites but also search independently online to see ratings and client feedback. Speak to people you know who have used a personal injury attorney for an honest opinion. Those opinions are important in determining whether a lawyer knows what to after a slip and fall accident. You can also contact your local bar association for referrals from other lawyers. Speaking directly to former clients about their experience, results, and impression of the lawyer helps get a well-rounded perspective.

Meet or speak directly with potential attorneys. Make sure you feel comfortable discussing sensitive details and confident they listen to your priorities and goals. Discuss how they communicate updates and respond to questions. 

Understand your potential compensation

When meeting with potential personal injury attorneys after a slip and fall accident, it is important to come prepared with questions about compensation. 

Ask each lawyer to explain how they evaluate the value of different types of damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Inquire about the factors they consider, such as the strength of the slip-and-fall case, evidence of long-term effects, and your jurisdiction’s settlement averages. Understanding attorney methodology prepares you for discussions down the road.

You’ll also want to discuss the attorney’s settlement process and negotiation strategy. Find out if they prefer early demands or waiting for more information. Ask how they determine a reasonable settlement range. Knowing an attorney’s approach to valuation and negotiations empowers you to make informed choices and collaborate effectively. 

Be sure also to inquire about potential out-of-pocket costs, litigation financing options if a long trial is possible, and the process for obtaining reimbursement of expenses if your claim is successful. Compensation discussions with attorneys should address all financial factors and expectations. Thorough conversations from the start are one of your most important assets when determining what to do after a slip and fall accident and establish the transparency necessary for a strong attorney-client relationship.

Understand likely attorney fees

A contingency fee is a payment arrangement commonly used by personal injury lawyers, including those handling slip and fall cases. In this arrangement, the lawyer’s fee is contingent upon the successful resolution of the case. This means that the client does not pay the attorney upfront for their services, and the attorney only receives compensation if they secure a favorable outcome for the client, typically through a settlement or court judgment.

For slip and fall cases, a contingency fee structure allows individuals who have suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence to access legal representation without worrying about upfront costs. Instead of paying hourly rates or a retainer fee, clients agree to a predetermined percentage of the final settlement or court award as the attorney’s fee. If the lawyer does not succeed in obtaining compensation for the client, they do not receive a fee, and the client is not obligated to pay for the legal services.

This fee arrangement aligns the interests of the attorney and the client: the lawyer is motivated to secure the best possible outcome for the client, as their compensation is directly tied to the success of the case. It also makes legal representation more accessible to individuals who might otherwise be unable to afford legal services, particularly in cases where they have suffered injuries and financial hardships and are concerned about what to do after a slip and fall accident.

Potential clients should also explore any additional fees or costs that may arise during their case. While contingency fees cover the attorney’s services, there may be other expenses, such as court filing fees or expert witness costs. Clarifying these potential charges upfront helps prevent surprises and ensures a comprehensive understanding of the financial aspects of the legal representation. 

We clearly explain our fees before you hire us. There are no surprises. We included this item about understanding our fees in our list of what to do after a slip and fall accident because we’ve learned that our clients appreciate the value we bring to their case. Part of that value is a full discussion of both compensation and cost.

Hire an attorney to represent you

You’ve collected all pertinent information, done your research, interviewed attorneys, spoken with friends or relatives, and you understand your potential compensation and the likely fees upon winning your case. It’s time to hire an attorney to represent you in your slip-and-fall case.  Ultimately, this final step is the most critical part of determining what to do after a slip and fall accident. So, how to you go about hiring an attorney?

Here are the four easy steps to hire us as your lawyer:

  • Call or email us to tell us you’d like to hire us.
  • Set up a time either over the phone or in person to review with us the details of an agreement. This includes the scope of the services we’ll provide, what we’ll ask you to provide, our fees, and other details pertinent to your case. Make sure you review our list above of what to do after a slip and fall accident.
  • Ask any and all questions you may have. Don’t be embarrassed. And don’t think that you’re bothering us. This is your case, above all. You have a right to know everything about it and a right to feel comfortable with our representation of your interests.
  • Carefully review and (when all is good) sign the retainer agreement. It will contain all the information above you’ve discussed with us. You can either sign it in person, or we can send it to you to sign electronically.
  • Congratulate yourself for successfully navigating what to do after a slip and fall accident.

We hope you chose us and we look forward to speaking with you. Contact us today.

Finally, what to do after a slip and fall accident

The most important thing to remember when you’re wondering what to do after a Federal Way slip-and-fall accident is to remember that you’re not alone. The lawyers and support staff at Park Chenaur have years of combined experience helping folks just like you make sense of the details and procedures required to bring a successful case. Never hesitate to contact us about your case or to ask a question when you’re unclear about something. Rely on us.

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