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What to do after a resort slip and fall accident

Slip and fall accidents account for over one million visits to the emergency room each year. The National Floor Safety Institute reports that about 5 percent of people who fall experience a fracture, which is generally the most serious consequence of a fall. Slip and fall accidents are quite common in resorts and hotels each year.

Your actions following a slip and fall accident can impact the success of an insurance claim or lawsuit. Make sure you get medical treatment first. As soon as possible after the accident, you should collect evidence, such as:

  • Take pictures where the accident occurred.
  • Save your clothes and shoes you were wearing.
  • Take down the names and contact information of witnesses.
  • Note the names of the resort employees who helped you.
  • Keep all documentation from the medical staff who treated you.
  • Take notes about the weather conditions and warning signs where you fell.
  • Make some notes about what was going on at the resort.

You may think you will remember these details, but it is surprising how much information is forgotten in just a few days.

The resort may have an official form you need to fill out to put them on notice that the accident happened. Stick to factual information when you are writing down what occurred. Avoid statements such as, "I should have seen that the floor was wet." Provide just the basic information.

Is the resort responsible?

When it comes to determining fault for a slip and fall accident, it comes down to whether the resort was negligent. First, the resort staff would have to know about the hazardous condition and had time to correct it before your injury occurred. If you fell down because the floor was slick, you would have to take into account whether the resort knew about the wet spot and how long ago it occurred.

Second, the resort would have to have had control over the situation. If you fell because you slipped on a puddle of suntan oil left by another guest, the resort might not be responsible because the guest is not under the control of the resort. However, if the employee spilled suntan lotion, that could change the situation, since the resort is responsible for its employees.

Whether a resort is liable for your injuries is a complex set of questions. For serious injuries at a resort, you may want to talk to an attorney who understands premises liability and can assess your situation.

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