Collecting Evidence In Slip and Fall Cases in Virginia

If you have suffered an injury as the result of slip and fall accident it is likely in your best interest to consult with a Virginia slip and fall lawyer, as you may be eligible to receive compensation. Below an injury attorney discusses how evidence is collected in slip and fall case. Call today to learn more.

How To Go About Collecting Evidence

How you collect evidence really depends on the case. It might be something where you’re able to send a letter to corporate management at Target, for example, and ask them to preserve evidence, and to let you inspect the property. It depends on the posture of the case as well because in litigation there are certain discovery tools we have at our disposal that would allow us to go into and inspect land, but if it’s before suit, then we could only inspect property with permission of the defendant (in most cases).

Obtaining a Letter of Representation

The first step is going to be in the letter of representation. If there’s a government entity that might be at fault, there might be a statutory notice requirement as well that requires that the client needs to provide notice to the government entity of a potential claim, but one of the first things that an attorney’s office is going to do is to send a letter of representation. That letter puts the defendant on notice of the claim, lets them know that all communication needs to go through the attorney’s office, that they cannot contact the plaintiff directly, and it can include other things as well.

Along with that letter, an attorney will often put in a request to inspect the premises and request to preserve evidence, among other things. A lot of the time, an injury lawyer will be able to work it out by agreement to come by and inspect premises where a slip and fall occurred. If it’s something that’s exposed to public, we can have an investigator go take pictures of areas of properties that are exposed to the public. Otherwise, we can ask the defendant’s insurer for incident reports, floor plans, or other things that they might be willing to share short of having to jump straight into litigation. Most, if not all, of the documents needed to prove a case can be obtained through litigation, through the discovery process, but a lot of the time, an insurer might be willing to share some information before having to go forward.

Other Types of Evidence

Interviewing witnesses, looking at what industry standards are, looking at other similar situations, consulting with an expert in the field, these can all help as well. If someone is injured because of a defective gate, for instance, it might help to look for other cases involving the same situation, the same gate manufacturer, or the same type of injury. It really does vary case by case, but a thorough investigation will typically involve multiple different types of inquiries and different ways to gather information.