If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, preserving the physical evidence of the event can be essential to the success of your claim. Here are some easy steps you can take, in conjunction with your Albuquerque premises liability lawyer, to help ensure that key evidence in your case is not lost or destroyed:
Keep Your Shoes
Sometimes the shoes you wore can be critical in determining whether a slipping hazard existed. The property owner or occupier (hereinafter “owner”) has a duty to provide a reasonably safe floor for individuals wearing commonly encountered shoe materials. Breach of this duty may be proven easily if some hazard existed on the floor surface, such as liquid or some obstruction. However, when the proof of a hazard on the floor surface is only marginal, the composition of your shoes becomes critical, requiring analysis or evaluation to resolve the causation issue. Such evidence could be lost if you continue wearing the same shoes or you discard them. The best practice is to place the shoes you were wearing at the time of the fall in a plastic bag, and store them in a safe place or turn them over to your Albuquerque premises liability lawyer.
Take photographs of the area where you slipped and fell, specifically the floor surface. Most likely, the owner will take steps to immediately remove or remedy the hazardous condition. Photographs will assist in preserving the evidence that there was something on the surface of the floor that caused you to slip. This is especially true for perishable items (e.g. lettuce, grapes or other food items), liquids, or other removable obstructions (e.g., floor mats).
Notify the Owner
As soon as possible, notify the owner of the premises that you slipped and fell. If the incident occurred in a supermarket or other business establishment, immediately notify an employee, who may fill out an incident report. Request a copy of the incident report, which will state the date, time and a description of the incident.
Request Preservation of Evidence
The premises may have security cameras that could have captured the incident. However, security tapes may be retained only for a month or taped over in a 24-hour cycle. Swift action may be required to preserve this evidence. Ask the owner to provide you with a copy of any security tape. Your Albuquerque premises liability lawyer also will demand, in writing, that the owner preserve any video footage from the day of the incident.
If your incident involved a large floor mat, ask the owner to retain the mat. Take photographs of it, if possible. These mats are often bulky, dirty, and difficult to store; consequently, they are usually discarded by the owner’s employees. This denies you the opportunity to later examine, test and evaluate this essential piece of evidence.
Call an Albuquerque Premises Liability Lawyer
If you were involved in a slip and fall incident, contact an experienced Albuquerque premises liability lawyer at Khayoumi Law Firm. Don’t delay. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get to work on your behalf and ensure that critical evidence is preserved. Call (505) 333-8613 or use the contact form on this page to schedule your free consultation.