“It only takes one fall to completely alter the life of a victim.” That was definitely a thought provoking statement I read by The National Floor Safety Institute, especially as an attorney who represents injured victims. No one knows better than I do how one moment can impact your life forever. So, what should you do if you slip-and-fall in a store? The answer is not cut and dry, but there are several things you can do to ensure that you protect not only yourself, but your legal rights as well.
What you should do if you slip & fall in a store
Seek Medical Attention
After you fall, your health should be your first priority. If you experience severe pain or have difficulty moving, stay on the floor and immediately call or have someone call 911. Even if you don’t feel pain immediately after you fall, it’s important to still follow up with your doctor. Often times during these type of incidents, our body is filled with adrenaline and we don’t feel the pain or see the bruising until several days after.
Report Your Fall
Immediately report your fall to the store owner or manager. Make sure to get the store owner or manager’s name, phone number and insurance information, if possible. And, make sure that they fill out an incident report with your contact information on there as well.
Obtain Information From Witnesses
Write down their contact information before you leave the store. Include customers, store employees, managers, etc. who witnessed your fall. This is especially important because people tend to move, change jobs or are no longer accessible and so two years after your fall when “Joe” is no longer working at “XYZ” at least you have a phone number for him and can attempt to get in touch with him.
Gather Evidence to Prove Your Injuries
If you have a camera on your cell phone, snap pictures of the place you fell and the surrounding area. Write down the date, time, store location, and what circumstances and/or conditions caused you to slip and fall. While you think you may never forget these details, sometimes, it can be months or years later that you will need this information and your memory may not serve you as well as you had hoped. If you can, save your clothing and shoes as evidence as these items can help further confirm your slip and fall – especially if they were damaged or got dirty as a result of your fall.
It’s hard to believe, but the total costs of slip-and-fall accidents are now approaching 80 billion dollars each year, with that number expected to double in the next decade. Have questions about your slip-and-fall? Give me a call today for a free case evaluation.