If you were injured in a slip and fall in a store, the steps you take immediately following your fall can greatly impact the outcome if you decide to file a legal claim. By remembering to take certain precautions after your fall, you can better protect your chances of getting possible compensation for your injuries. Slip and fall accidents are exceptionally dangerous and they can be very costly. According to the CDC, non-fatal slip and fall accidents contribute to around $50 billion in medical expenses.
It Is Important to Take Action After a Slip and Fall in a Store
If you are concerned about what to do after a slip and fall in a store, the shock and confusion you may feel can impact your immediate reaction to the fall and the actions you take before leaving the store.
In some cases, you may not even realize you have been severely injured until much later. That is why it is important to remain calm and not be too quick to assume you are OK.
If you decide to pursue civil litigation, remembering to follow these steps may help with any claims you file against the store.
Notify Store Management
One of the first things you should do after a slip and fall in a store is to notify the store’s management, making them aware of what happened. If you are too injured to do so, ask someone to notify them for you, and also ask for medical assistance.
Ask Witnesses for Their Contact Information
Obtain the names and contact information of people who may have witnessed the incident. If your injuries prevent you from collecting the information, ask for help. Witnesses can help verify what happened if you decide to pursue a claim against the store.
Get a Copy of the Incident Report
It is common for management to complete an incident report after something happens in one of their stores. Securing a copy of this report is important for your future civil claim.
In many instances, a store is considered private property, and local law enforcement most likely will not be called to document your slip and fall injury. The absence of a police report makes a copy of the incident report that much more valuable for future litigation.
Two Important Steps You Should Not Overlook in The Event of a Fall
When it comes to a slip and fall in a store, there are two important steps you should not overlook: seeking medical attention and taking photos of the scene.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
After you fall, you may think you are OK. But the shock of the fall may initially cover up a serious injury, like a concussion or internal bleeding. Always seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only does it serve as documentation of your injuries, but it can also save your life.
Document the Scene with Photos
Taking pictures of what caused your fall is important for documenting the what, why, and how of your accident. There are several common causes of slips and falls in stores, including:
- Wet floors
- Cords across floors
- Stairs with no handrails
- Poor lighting
- Torn carpet or flooring
It is important that you take the photos immediately after your fall. Do not wait to take the pictures days or weeks later. Taking photos immediately after your slip and fall prevents any changes management may make to rectify the problem from impacting your case.
What Management Does After a Slip and Fall in a Store
A slip and fall in a store that results in injury involves premises liability. When a property owner invites you onto their property, they must keep you safe from harm.
When a customer suffers a slip and fall injury in a store, management or the property owner will contact their insurance company about the incident. An insurance company representative may contact you to offer you a settlement.
If you accept an initial settlement offer, you may forfeit your right to pursue civil litigation in the future if your condition worsens.
Trying to negotiate with insurance companies on your own can be complicated, and you may agree to a settlement before knowing your legal rights, or even if the settlement that the insurance company offers covers everything to which you may be entitled.
A lawyer can help you understand your rights and guide you through the options you have to reach a settlement, or, if necessary, take your case to court.
Let Montero Law Center Help You With Your Slip and Fall Claim
If you need to know what to do after a slip and fall in a store, we can help. Depending upon the severity of your fall, you may face a long road to recovery, permanent damage, and financial stress.
While each case is different, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The legal team at Montero Law Center will work to help you recover any compensation to which you may be entitled. If we are unable to settle your case out of court, we are willing to go to trial.
The sooner we review your case, the sooner we can advise you as to your legal options. Call Montero Law Center today at (954) 767-6500.