The perfect recipe for a slip and fall: It starts with a rumpled floor mat in front of the fruits and veggies at the grocery store, add the hourly automatic produce sprayer that sprays the floor more than the produce, throw in an understaffed and overworked or inadequately trained shift of workers and there you have it- a dangerous slip n’ slide ready to take some unsuspecting shopper down.
We’ve seen our share of cases like these. Businesses open to the public have a duty to provide well-maintained and reasonably safe premises free of known or reasonably known dangers. We all have to allow for the unexpected mishaps of everyday life, but if a problem exists on a property and no effort was made to correct it or give warning of it, then someone has been negligent. So when businesses are negligent and leave puddles of standing water in the middle of busy isles after a storm without mopping them up in a timely manner or leave clutter and debris from shelve stocking in the normal path of shoppers without providing them access to what they need or providing an alternative route- injuries happen. Slip and falls in the supermarket often cause serious injuries to the body part was used to brace the fall. Our clients have suffered broken hips, serious back injuries, broken legs, ankles, wrists and forearms.
Due to enormously high rates of claims reported in the last 10 years, slip and fall claims have become much harder to pursue. Insurance companies have fought back by making it tough on injured slip and fall victims to prove their claim against businesses. If you have been injured, they may go to great lengths to discredit you by hiring special investigators, sometimes relying on inaccurate accounts from employees of what happened and they may have their aggressive insurance adjusters use interrogation-like tactics to blame you for what happened and make you feel responsible for your own damages or push you into a settlement that is just pennies on the dollar of what your claim is really worth.
Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has a plan to help victims fight back starting from the scene of the incident. One of the most important pieces of evidence you can have when trying to prove that a company was negligent and that it was that negligence which caused you to become injured, is to take pictures or video at the scene. If you are unable to take pictures at the scene because of the seriousness of your injuries, have a loved one or even a bystander take pictures or video for you. Do not assume that the nice staff or management who helped you up from your fall will or that they will take your side when the insurance company gets involved. You need solid proof of what you slipped on, pictures of the area where you slipped on it, pictures of the path you walked to prove that you were put in harm’s way by the presence of the object, puddle or debris at question. Often times, the area you fell will be extensively cleaned or altered within minutes of your fall so time is of the essence.
Next, if you injured-don’t wait. Seek emergency medical treatment. The shock and all the excitement going on around you after the fall can sometimes distract your body from feeling the full extent of pain from your injuries. It’s a good idea to get checked out if you are hurting, if not at the ER than at the very least by your primary care doctor. When you are at the doctor’s office be sure to tell them every part of your body that you are feeling pain since the incident as well as the details of how it happened. This will ensure that your injuries, the probable cause of your injuries as well as a prognosis of future treatment are thoroughly documented.
Don’t agree to sign anything. Don’t talk to the insurance company about settling your claim until you talk to an attorney that is experienced in the area of slip and fall injuries. It’s in the insurance company’s best interest to settle your claim before you get an attorney involved. They are hoping to write you and your injuries off for as little as possible without considering your future medical treatment, pain and suffering and the effect of your injuries on your relationship with your spouse and your family. The experienced attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm see the big picture. They know the true long-term cost of your injuries and what you truly deserve under the law for the toll your serious fall has taken on your life. Let us fight to get the maximum that you are entitled to. Don’t settle for less.