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What Should I Do If I Slip and Get Injured at a Store?

What Should I Do If I Slip and Get Injured at a Store?

What Should I Do If I Slip and Get Injured at a Store?

Going to a store is one of those things that nearly everyone does on a regular basis, whether that is to get food for the next week, procure some home improvement tools or buy some warm clothes for the cooler weather. However, we do not usually anticipate slipping and getting injured while at one.

Unfortunately, you should be prepared for that possibility and know what to do if you slip and fall in a store or on its adjacent property. If you have already suffered this fate, then you will be playing catch-up as best as you can. In that case, you should follow as many of these steps as you can to the best of your ability.

The main reason for doing these things is because you want to ensure that your right to compensation, if there is an at-fault party, is preserved and that you are fairly compensated.

Seek Medical Attention

When a slip and fall happens, your health should be of the utmost priority, particularly if you have been badly injured and are struggling to get up. In the latter case, do not move. Call out for assistance if you are able and it appears that nobody saw you fall and is willing to help. If it is necessary, request an ambulance.

Keep all related documents. That includes the diagnosis and treatment that you received – i.e. your medical records – as well as invoices and receipts related to treatment, therapy, rehabilitation and anything else that is relevant. Examples in both cases can include MRIs, x-rays and CT scans. Retain records of any wheelchairs, crutches, neck collars or casts that have been provided to you as well.

It is also helpful to take notes of any verbal conversations that you have related to your injuries.

If in doubt of if something is important, keep a record of it. It is always better to err on the side of caution and have more than you need as opposed to not having something that you should have kept. And note that a medical ailment that may not have seemed serious at the time or perhaps was not even realized by you at all then could end up resulting in extensive hospitalization, surgery, treatment and rehabilitation.

Common injuries for those who slipped and fell in a store can be related to the sufferer’s head, neck, back, hip, wrists, muscles and joints. Lacerations are possible as well.

Keep Records of Related Impacts

If injuries that you suffered during a slip and fall have affected other areas of your life, you may be eligible for compensation to account for that. Examples include being unable to drive to work or even do your job at all or take care of necessary cooking and cleaning at home. Lost income and paying someone else to do things that you should have been able to do may be eligible to be covered.

As a result, keep any records connected with these situations. As far as your employment goes, that includes pre-injury paychecks to show what you are no longer earning as a result of your injuries.

What Happened? Record It

If you are of sound mind at the time, pay close attention to your surroundings and note, as best as you can, what immediately led to your slip and fall. Was there food on the floor? What kind? Was an unexpected obstacle or hole in your path? Is the floor unnaturally uneven where you fell? Was the lighting poor in that part of the store or an accompanying area that is on the same property, such as a parking lot?

Take notes, pictures and videos if you are able. This is usually the time when what happened is the freshest in your mind, so taking notes, if you can, is essential, whether that is through written or electronic means. Meanwhile, photographs and videos can be especially helpful for a case, so those are important as well, particularly ones showing where you fell and the surrounding area.

Record any injuries that you suffered, including elements of them that are visible and notes about how you feel, both physically and mentally, all of which will help you receive prompt treatment as well as assist with any possible legal situation that could develop. You may need help with doing this, not only if you are incapacitated but also if you are visibly hurt in a part of your body that you cannot see, such as your back.

In addition, reach out to anybody who witnessed your fall, not only people who accompanied you to the store but also individuals who you do not know.

Report Your Slip and Fall

Report your accident to the person who is responsible for that property. Generally, do so to the highest one in the leadership structure who is there, which could be a staff supervisor, property manager, landlord or owner.

Have this individual complete an accident report that has as many details about what occurred as possible and take that with you as you leave if it is possible to wait for it to be completed.

However, do be careful about what you say at this time, prior to receiving legal assistance, particularly to anyone directly connected to where it happened, such as someone employed by the store or an insurance company representing it. Also be wary of posting information about your slip and fall on social media. Even if your account is private, what you say there could harm your case.

Contact an Attorney

Those who own and operate a store are obligated to keep it safe for everyone who enters the property. Doing so includes handling unsafe conditions as quickly and efficiently as possible as well as providing adequate signage indicating a danger if it cannot be remedied at this time or fixing it is in progress.

If you were injured as a result of negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, and it is important to consult an attorney to ensure that you receive that. Also consider that a first offer from an insurance company is usually not representative of what you should be receiving.

Procuring an attorney will provide you with numerous benefits, which can include having someone manage your case, serve as your legal representative in interactions with an at-fault party or an insurance company or other entity representing it, file lawsuits and negotiate for a fair settlement.

Make sure to take this step now as the statute of limitations for these types of cases tends to be limited. You may reach Haney Paschal & Romoser, P.C. at (936) 285-3712 or through the contact form on our website.