The First Thing to Do When You Get a Slip and Fall Legal Notice

One Fine Summer Day

So, you’re sitting at your desk on a fine summer day enjoying your coffee when you get a package delivered to you. You open the package and inside is a complaint letter from the Law Offices of “We’ve Got You Now”. The letter states that due to the negligence of the property owner, property manager and the snow removal contractor, their client slipped and fell on a sidewalk last November. As a result of the fall, their client has medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering in the amount of $150,000. The attorney demands that their client be compensated….Your heart sinks and you could just scream… This happened 9 months ago (or maybe even a year and 9 months ago), why am I hearing about it now? Does anyone remember that storm, do we have good records and if so can we even find the records?

The Property Owner’s Reaction

If you’re the property owner you’re definitely not happy. You hired the property manager to keep you out of trouble and make sure the contractor is doing his job. 

The Property Manager’s Reaction

If you’re the property manager, you’re not happy having to explain to the owner why this is an issue. You’ve done your job, you hired a good contractor and defined the scope of work well and the contractor should know how to do his job to keep this from happening. 

The Contractor’s Reaction

If you’re the contractor you’re totally bummed out. You’re sure that your crew performed the job correctly but now everyone is unhappy with your work and it’s up to you to prove that you did your job right. How are you going to prove that?

Where’s The Proof

The common question everyone asks themselves in this situation is “how can I prove that I did my job right”. The answer for everyone involved comes down to the records of the snow removal service. The common phrase in the snow removal business is “If you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen.” That is, if there are no service records, you cannot count on any judge or jury believing that you actually did the work. Furthermore, if the only record you have is an invoice from the contractor with his hours and description of service, do you really think you can convince a judge or jury that the snow removal service was done according to the local laws and contractual scope of work? I don’t think so. 

Here’s The Proof

But what if you have records that show the weather conditions at the time of service, the time the contractor was there, the services performed, the amount of ice melt used on sidewalks and parking lot. Better yet, what if you had photos of how the site looked before the contractor started work and photos of what the site looked like after the contractor was finished? Photos that showed the lot plowed and the sidewalks shoveled with ice melt on them. Do you think that would help? 

Perhaps a report like this would help…

Sample FieldVision Report.jpg

 

A report like this definitely shows the completed work. It shows the site conditions, the date and time the contractor serviced the property. It has before and after photos showing the service was necessary and was completed. Best of all it will be at your fingertips, now or years from now, at a moment’s notice. This is a report from FieldVision. 

Introducing FieldVision by DTSI

FieldVision improves your snow removal documentation and minimizes your company’s risk from slip and fall lawsuits. With FieldVision, your snow removal crews can easily document all aspects of your snow removal operations.  FieldVision is the easiest and most affordable mobile application system available for property owners, managers and snow removal contractors.

If you’re a property owner, insist that your property managers use FieldVision. If you’re a property manager you should setup FieldVision for your firm and require all of your contractors to use it. It will protect you and your clients from slip and fall lawsuits. If you are a contractor you should be using FieldVision to protect yourself and your clients.

On That Fine Summer Day

So, on that fine summer day when that legal notice comes in, the first thing you need to do is open FieldVision and send the snow removal service record to everyone involved so that everyone knows that you’ve got this covered.

FieldVision is available for free on the App Store FieldVision by DTSI for iPhone or Google Play FieldVision by DTSI for Android