You risk sustaining injuries when you slip and fall at a store. Consequently, it is advisable to take several measures following such an accident. These steps include seeking medical help and justice in the form of compensation. Here is a comprehensive guide on what you do following a slip-and-fall accident.
The Dangers of Slipping and Falling
Besides being embarrassing, slipping and falling can also result in life-changing injuries. Injuries are so common that slip-and-fall injuries account for nine million annual visits to the emergency room. Surprisingly (and frighteningly), slip-and-fall accidents are the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths in the U.S.
Some of the common injuries sustained from slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Hip fractures
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Sprains and fractures
- Shoulder injuries
Some of these injuries can leave devastating symptoms. For example, traumatic brain injuries sustained from head injuries can compromise your motor skills, making it difficult to go about your everyday life. Additionally, severe cases of spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis, limiting your overall quality of life.
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Seek Medical Attention
As such, it is advisable to call check and feel your body for injuries as soon as you come to your senses. Don’t leave anything to chance – call an ambulance immediately if you are seriously injured, otherwise get someone to rush you to the ER.
Some injuries sustained from falling can be unnoticeable at first, but they get worse over time. As such, ensure that a medical professional examines you.
File an Incident Report
It is also important to file an incident report if you intend to seek compensation, as will be discussed later. The report is necessary to prove that you fell, and the report’s details may help build your case.
You should file the incident report with the store’s owner or manager. Ensure that the manager documents everything that happened before, during, and after the fall. Pay particular attention to the accident’s causes.
Filing an incident report can be a contentious issue, especially if the manager is trying to avoid a suit. Nevertheless, be respectful and don’t let the other party incite you into becoming unruly, as that may compromise your case when suing for compensation.
Don’t give any statements to the store’s manager or their insurance provider until your personal injury attorney advises you otherwise. You can also get your attorney to do it for you. You shouldn’t also hesitate to call the police if the store’s manager refuses to file the report or threatens to hurt you.
You will need proof that the store is to blame for your fall if you decide to sue for compensation. Consequently, it is important to document everything related to the incident, including:
Images will strengthen your case because they are difficult to dispute. As such, take images of the exact location where you fell immediately after the incident. Do not edit or alter the photographs in any way and ensure that they are time-stamped.
Personal and Witness Reports
Make a brief report of what you were doing at the store before the incident. Additionally, get reports from as many potential eyewitnesses as possible and collect their contact information. Ensure that all reports are detailed and truthful.
Sustaining an injury from the slip-and-fall accidents justifies a suit against the store. As such, collect and duplicate all medical records related to the accident. It is also advisable to put any bloodied clothes in safe storage as evidence. It is also advisable to get your doctor’s opinion of your injuries’ long-term symptoms.
Severe injuries sustained from slip-and-fall accidents can affect your productivity at work, consequently diminishing your ability to make money. These financial losses should be documents in the form of receipts for medical services and other expenses. Don’t hesitate to consult your accountant if necessary, especially if the injuries will cause long-term losses in the form of ongoing medical treatments or wasted/lost productivity.
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Proving Negligence in Slip-and-Fall Accidents
It is the store owner’s responsibility to ensure that you are safe while in their store. Consequently, you are legally justified to sue to store if they are to blame for the slip-and-fall accident. This all comes down to negligence and personal injury law.
Negligence occurs when the store owner contributes to the accident’s cause. Unfortunately, negligence contributes to many common causes of these falls, including:
- Freshly waxed or mopped floors
- Loose mats and floorboards
- Worn out carpets
- Potholes in sidewalks and parking lots
- Obstacles (cluttering) on the floor
- Uneven leveling in staircases
- Water and moisture on the floor
Negligence may be difficult to provide in a slip-and-fall accident. This is why it is important to collect and document as much evidence as possible, as discussed earlier. More importantly, you need a personal injury attorney to make your case in court.
Fighting for Justice Via Compensation
You deserve compensation if the slip-and-fall accident is a result of the store owner’s negligence, and you can get it by filing a lawsuit. However, compensation is not always guaranteed – you need to prove that the store is to blame for the accident and then justify why you should get whatever amount you are claiming. This is why it is advisable to hire a competent attorney specializing in personal injury law.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney
A personal injury attorney’s main task is to represent you in court. Their knowledge of the law will help you navigate the complex legal system and maximize your chances of winning. Contact us to learn more about how you can get justice and compensation for your injuries.