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Slip-and-fall ring busted in Georgia

Three men involved in slip-and-fall accident fraud have been arrested in Georgia. Police are still looking for a fourth man, the group's ringleader.

The men are accused of running a scam on various businesses in three different counties: Coquitt, Brooks and Thomas. Now, they all three face felony charges instead of the big paydays they were counting on from their scheme.

Slip-and-fall scams are a big problem for both insurance companies and legitimate claimants. Insurance companies abhor the practice because it drives up their costs -- especially when businesses capitulate and agree to settle quickly rather than risk a big lawsuit.

Those who are legitimately injured in a fall, however, stand to lose the most from these kinds of scammers. Since these types of schemes are unfortunately common, insurance companies and business owners are obliged to view every claim that arises from a fall with a skeptical eye. This can end up causing legitimate victims to have their injury claims denied.

If you ever experience a bad fall and end up injured due to someone else's negligence, protect yourself from accusations of fraud by doing the following things:

1. Ask for emergency assistance

Stay where you land until medical assistance arrives. Do not attempt to get up and take yourself to the hospital. When the paramedics arrive, they can take note of your condition and the reason for your fall.

2. Get photographs

Take photos of anything that might show how the accident occurred and the extent of your injury. For example, take photos of the puddle of fluid on the floor or the loose floorboard that caused your fall. In the coming days and weeks, take photos of your injuries as they bruise and heal.

3. Get witness information

Ask for the names and contact information of any witnesses to your fall. If friends or family members were there, ask them to write down their statements about what happened while their memories are fresh.

4. Report the fall immediately

Make sure that someone in management at the business knows about the fall right after it happens. Ask to file a formal report.

Finally, keep in mind the fact that insurance companies are often suspicious of slip-and-fall injuries. It's far wiser to let your attorney do the talking to the insurance company for you.

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