Slipping and falling in a public place is no laughing matter. Often, the media and public like to suggest that lawsuits against public places like stores, shops, and restaurants are simply a money grab. Yet, in many cases, the victim’s injuries are real and serious. Along with the injuries being real, so are the medical bills that pile up and the lost wages that the victim must live without.
So, what should you do if you slip and fall in a store or another public place?
Immediately After a Slip and Fall
Immediately after a slip and fall, you should seek medical attention. The actions you take following the accident can influence any lawsuit you may bring against the establishment, so be sure to think things through before acting. A fall can cause you to become disoriented, and the embarrassment that ensues can make you want the ordeal to be over. However, by not seeking medical attention, you put yourself at a disadvantage if you need compensation later.
One of the most important things you can do after a slip and fall is to find potential witnesses. Be sure to get their information – name, phone number, and address – so that they can be contacted about the accident. A lawsuit against a major company can hinge on witness statements.
Fill out Paperwork
If the accident occurred in a store, restaurant or another shop, you should fill out a slip and fall accident report. You must notify the store’s manager and take any notes of the person or people you spoke with. Some managers will try to tell you that you should have been aware of the dangers before the accident happened.
A recent case in Michigan showed that not all slip and fall cases are straightforward, and a court could side against a plaintiff if the person should have known the risks ahead of time.
The great thing about modern technology is that many people carry a camera with them at all times, on their cell phone. Be sure to get photos of the area in which the accident occurred right away. Once you snap those images, get any pictures of injuries you incurred, as well. You should also take photos of any injuries over time as they change.
Some stores, especially big chains, will settle out of court with victims of a slip and fall if the evidence is damning. However, some will not, if they believe the money a victim wants for compensation is exorbitant.
In February, national food chain Kroger paid $700,000 in damages after an elderly man slipped on a puddle of water in the store. Kroger had initially refused to settle out of court for $400,000, but due to the surgery, concussion injuries, and effects to the 75-year-old victim’s wife, the jury awarded him nearly double. The case took around three years to complete, so do not expect all slip and fall cases to be quick.
Flahavan Law Offices: Slip and Fall Lawyers in Ventura County & Los Angeles County
If you or a loved one has experienced a slip and fall accident and the medical expenses that come with it, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on obtaining the compensation you deserve. Visit our dedicated page on slip and falls or contact us directly. Flahavan Law Offices is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.