People don’t expect to slip and fall when they visit their chiropractor’s office or stop at the pet store for dog food. However, bad weather, poor cleaning practices and numerous other factors might create a situation in which someone slips and falls in a public location.
A slip-and-fall incident could lead to significant injuries ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries. People may miss weeks of work and may incur thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Pursuing a premises liability lawsuit or a slip-and-fault claim after getting hurt at a business may be the most effective way for someone to cover their costs. Ultimately, there are certain steps that someone who falls in a business will need to take to protect their right to seek compensation in the future.
Document what caused the fall
One of the biggest mistakes that people make after a slip-and-fall is that they move on too quickly. It will only take a few minutes for the store to switch out rugs or clean up a spill, effectively erasing any proof of what caused someone’s injury. A mobile phone is a very powerful tool for recording evidence of poor facility maintenance and other forms of negligence that may have caused someone to fall.
Report the incident before leaving
Businesses generally need to create internal records for any incident that could cost the company money, such as a customer slip-and-fall. To ensure that there are internal records affirming that someone got hurt and to prevent the business from recording over or deleting security camera footage, someone who has a slip-and-fall will typically need to notify the business owner or manager on duty about the incident before leaving the premises.
Seek a medical evaluation
Perhaps someone assumes that they will just have a minor headache after hitting their head when they fell at the store. Maybe they believe there aren’t any viable treatment options for a soft tissue injury. Failing to see a doctor could be a mistake for both medical and financial reasons.
Without proper medical documentation, people may have a hard time proving what physical consequences they suffered because of a slip-and-fall and might therefore have a more difficult time pursuing a claim for compensation. Those who see a doctor shortly after a slip-and-fall will have documentation that aligns with the report they made at the business. That medical documentation may play an important role in the insurance claim or lawsuit that follows.
Knowing what steps to take after a slip-and-fall incident can help people protect their right to compensation if they get hurt on someone else’s property. Seeking legal guidance can help to clarify things in this regard as well.