It can happen to anyone. You’re walking through the store one day, just getting some groceries, when you slip and fall. Now, what do you do?
A slip and fall injury is scary, and usually, it’s not your fault. In that case, it’s important to take the proper steps to prove you’re not to blame.
If you slipped and fell on business premises, there are five specific steps you need to take. Keep reading to find out what they are.
1. Get Medical Help
Whether you feel like you sustained an injury or not, the first step is to get medical help.
That could mean having an ambulance rushed to the scene, or immediately visiting a doctor. The severity of your injury will depend on that. If nobody has done so already, call 9-1-1 and tell them what happened.
Having your injury documented by a health professional is extremely important. If your slip and fall incident ends up in court, these documents will help you win your case. Without them, too much is left up to witnesses and he-said-she-said.
You may even want to request a copy of the medical reports. The doctor will keep this in their files, though, so it’ll be there when you need it.
You may not feel injured, but shock and adrenaline can mask your symptoms. It is always important to put your health first in these situations.
2. Report the Accident to the Store Manager
Once your injuries are taken care of, you have to report the slip and fall to a store manager.
A witness or other employee may report the accident for you after it happens. Again, it’s of vital importance that you formally report the accident. That way you can file an accident report, creating a paper trail of proof in your favor.
Get a copy of the accident report and file it somewhere safe.
No matter where you fall, be it inside or outside the store, you need to file a report. If you can’t get a hold of the manager, report your fall to the landlord. The more people related to the store you report it to, the better off you’ll be.
Make sure you report your accident as soon as possible. This is why it’s probably best to call an ambulance for your medical needs. That way you might not have to leave the store.
3. Collect Evidence, Document
You want to document everything you can relating to the incident.
This includes taking pictures of the accident area and any injuries you’ve sustained. Get the names, addresses, and numbers of any witnesses on the scene. You may even want to write out exactly how the accident happened so you don’t forget any crucial parts.
Some important things to take note of include:
- The exact location of the fall
- The time of the fall
- How much pain you felt after the fall
- How the employees/manager reacted to your injury
The more proof you have, the better off you’ll be in court. You never want to leave anything up to memory, even your own.
You also want to make sure not to document anything that didn’t happen. A slip and fall injury can leave things hazy, and you could remember it as worse than it was. Take accurate reports and notes to come off as genuine as possible.
4. Don’t Give Any Statements, Remain Calm
You want to report your accident, but you don’t want to give too much away to the manager or employees.
A manager or employee may try to calm you down and minimize the seriousness of the accident. They might try to offer you less money than you would make in a lawsuit to let the whole thing blow over. You may also remember things incorrectly and say something detrimental to your case.
It’s important to keep as much information about the incident to yourself as possible until you contact an attorney. Don’t post on social media about it. It’s also important not to over-exaggerate or lie about anything to witnesses, employees, or anyone else.
Above all else, it’s important to remain calm during the whole process. Blowing up and causing a scene might make things worse. It’ll make you come off as hysterical, which some people may see as an attempt to fish for a lawsuit.
That means you have to keep your temper under lock and key right from step one. Don’t blow at the scene of the fall, or in the manager’s office. Try doing some breathing exercises to keep yourself calm.
It may be hard to resist, but it’s very important.
5. Contact a Lawyer
The final step is to contact a trustworthy and professional personal injury lawyer.
No matter how bad your injury, an attorney will be able to point you in the right direction. They’ll help you through the next steps, and help you get a case together. They’ll be able to make the most sense of your evidence and fight to get the best outcome for you.
Without an attorney, your case is very up in the air. It only takes one missed piece of evidence or forgotten detail to flop your case. Even if you think you have the most solid case, you need to contact an attorney as soon as you can.
I Slipped and Fell: Now What?
If you slipped and fell on business premises don’t let it go. More likely than not, you’re owed compensation for your injuries. Considering this, hiring a good lawyer is the only way to get the justice you deserve.
Follow the five steps above and you’ll be much better off in a slip and fall incident.
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