The question is so simple, and yet so difficult to answer. The next time you are walking, pay attention to where your eyes are focused. I’ll bet they’re focused straight ahead. That’s normal, right? But to an insurance company claims rep, you may be doing it all wrong.

A client recently hired me for injuries he suffered in a fall. Like a lot of people, before he called me he trusted the oh-so-friendly insurance company claims rep who told him she just wanted to settle his case fairly. The client agreed to give a recorded statement to the claims rep. The client said he was looking straight ahead while he was walking. The client then admitted that if he had been looking down while he was walking he would have seen the hazard. Before he knew it, he was agreeing with the claim rep that the whole thing was his fault!

The problem with this is that it’s not normal to look down while you walk. The next time you’re on a busy sidewalk, or in a shopping mall, you’ll notice that no one looks down while they walk. Sure, if there is a dog sitting in your path you will see it in your peripheral vision even while looking straight ahead. But if the hazard is less visible, you may not see it.

Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall incidents are challenging cases. Don’t make yours even more difficult by trying to go it alone without consulting an injury attorney.