Maybe you slipped in a puddle right inside the front door at your local grocery store, or perhaps you tripped over an exposed electrical cord powering a display at a bookstore. Falling when you are at a business can be a very embarrassing experience. You probably think that everyone nearby has seen what happened.
Many people react to a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall in a public place by fleeing the scene of the fall. Although moving on without looking back limit your initial embarrassment, it will do very little to protect you if it turns out that you have serious injuries.
How should you handle a slip-and-fall at a store?
Report the matter to management
Whether you have a hairline fracture in your upper arm that will only cause pain when you try to lift something heavy or you have a traumatic brain injury, you may not notice the warning signs of an injury as soon as you pick yourself up off the floor.
You might assume that falling on the same level doesn’t come with much real risk. However, safety statistics tell a different story. Over a million people every year need emergency room medical care after slip-and-falls. Some of them will have broken bones, while others need treatment for soft tissue injuries and brain injuries. You protect your right to make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit later when you notify management about the fall before you leave.
Take a moment to record the scene
Unless you smashed your phone when you fell, it might be a good decision before you talk to a supervisor to take some photographs or videos of exactly where you fell. Especially when there is a spill or a tripping hazard visible in the immediate area where you fell, gathering your own records of the circumstances will help you prove that negligent maintenance on the part of the business was the main contributing factor to your injury.
See a medical professional when symptoms develop
If you lost consciousness when you fell or have any other immediate symptoms, you might go to see a doctor right after you fall. Even if you don’t have immediate symptoms, you will likely need to watch yourself carefully for warning signs of a traumatic brain injury or pain symptoms related to soft tissue injuries and fractures after slipping in a public space.
A doctor can diagnose you with a medical condition related to the slip-and-fall and help bolster your claim for compensation from the business. Not only can you ask for coverage for medical care, but also for any property damage that happens because of the fall and lost wages you have to recover because of your injury.
Taking the right steps after a slip and fall incident will strengthen your chances of a successful premises liability claim and getting the personal injury compensation you deserve.