When you've fallen and you can't get up, it's time to take off your shoes.
You may be thinking "that's strange, why would anyone take off their shoes after a fall? Aren't there bigger priorities at the moment?" Surprisingly, this should be your top priority if you slip and fall in a commercial or residential building that is not your own.
Opposition lawyers will blame your shoes
Slip-and-fall accidents are physically and emotionally painful, and you may want to seek damages from the facility. If you go about this route, it is imperative your shoes are preserved in the exact condition they were in when you fell. Taking off your shoes after you fall and putting them in a bag will help this. Treat your shoes as if they were a piece of evidence on a primetime cop drama - bag and tag it.
This may seem like a paranoid practice, but when going up against the legal team for a store owner or an insurance company, it is the best way you can protect yourself. The lawyer will ask what shoes the plaintiff was wearing, and if they aren't preserved the defense may claim the shoes were broken or factored otherwise in the fall. Whether you are wearing skinny stilettos or worker's boots, their lawyers will find a way to blame them if the shoes aren't preserved.
The burden of proof
In a slip-and-fall accident, liability must be proven. A premises liability is based on factual evidence such as:
- Security camera footage
- Condition of the premises
- How long the problem existed
- Whether the property owner knew and when
- Medical evidence of injury
And yes, your shoes are a piece of factual evidence in the case.
Evidence in a slip-and-fall case - footwear or otherwise - is time sensitive; talking to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible can help gather all the proof you need and argue your case against the defense. Just remember to bring your shoes in a bag.