After suffering an injury from falling down stairs, you have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, convincing an insurance company to pay could be tricky. It is important to start working on your claim as soon as possible. If you suffered a stair injury, here is what you need to know.
Did You Report the Injury?
Ideally, after you suffered the injury, you reported the incident immediately to the property owners. If you have not, you need to notify the property owner as soon as possible of your accident. You do not have to provide the property owner with details of the fall right now. Even if the owner pressures you to do so, you can decline to answer questions.
By failing to report the accident, you can make it more difficult to prove your case. The insurance company could argue that there is no way to prove that the injury was from the fall because too much time had elapsed between the accident and your report.
What Caused the Fall?
Simply stating that you fell down the stairs might not be enough to win your case against the insurance company. Stair accidents fall under personal injury law, which means you have to prove there was some negligence on the part of the owner.
In a stair accident, the negligence could be related to loose carpeting, design defects, broken steps, and faulty handrails. Even inadequate lighting could be blamed for the fall. Once you are able to identify the reason for your fall, you can start to connect it to the owner and determine whether or not he or she was negligent.
Was the Owner Aware of the Risk?
Part of proving negligence is determining whether or not the owner was aware of the problem that caused you to fall. For instance, if the step was broken, did the owner know that it was broken? Did he or she have time to repair the issue?
Even if the owner denies being aware of the problem that caused you to fall, there are ways to prove your case. For instance, if there are other people who suffered injuries from falling on the stairs, you can use their testimony to prove the owner was aware of the situation. If there were surveillance cameras in the area, your attorney can review the videos to determine the condition of the stairs over a period of time.
Rely on your premises liability attorney to help you with forming your case and negotiating with the insurance company.