Use this guide to assist you if you are injured during a slip and fall in a public place.
1. Prioritize your health:
Your health should be your first priority following a fall. If you have any physical complaints after the fall, you should seek medical attention right away. Call for an ambulance at the scene of the fall, if necessary. An emergency room can provide an immediate evaluation and diagnostic testing, such as x-rays. Any delay in seeking medical care may negatively impact your case. The medical records will be important pieces of evidence should you decide to seek compensation for your injuries.
2. Report the Fall immediately:
No matter where the slip and fall occurs (in a store, a mall, etc.), make sure you report it to a manager, supervisor, or landlord. Remember to have the details of the incident put in writing, and ask the manager, supervisor, or landlord to make a written report, and request a copy before you leave.
3. Document Everything:
It's important to obtain the contact information of all witnesses. Simply have them write down their information, give you a business card, or save their contact in your phone. Also, remember to take cell phone pictures of the exact location where you fell, and photograph any defects, water, or other conditions that contributed to your fall. Staff members often clean hazards, such as tracked-in water or spilled food, before first responders arrive. This means your images could be the only documentation that there was a hazard. Also: Place the shoes and/or clothing you were wearing during the fall in a safe storage place. They may be relevant pieces of evidence later.
4. Stay calm and determine why you fell:
In many cases, the cause of the fall is evident. Spilled food or drink, tracked in rainwater, loose carpeting, and broken stairs/handrails are all common causes. Also, do not rush to get up from the fall, even if you are embarrassed. There is no reason to worsen the injury (or to minimize it), simply because it occurred in a public place. Do not post any details related to your fall on social media.
5. Call an Attorney
Since many slip and fall cases are complex and difficult to prove, you are best served by the resources of an experienced attorney. Decline to give a statement to an insurance company until you've spoken to an attorney.
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