Slip-and-fall accidents in stores are common, so it is important to know exactly how you can protect yourself if you are injured in such an event. The burden of proof is usually on the injured person who must show that the store owner knew about the dangerous condition that caused their fall - be it a slippery floor or a foreign object such as banana peel - but did not try to rectify it.
Your first steps in the aftermath of a fall are crucial to building a successful claim or lawsuit. Here is a look at what to do right after a slip-and-fall accident in a store.
Inspect the scene of the accident
The first step is to try and identify why you fell. Look around for clues of the dangerous condition, be it a wet floor, uneven concrete, loose carpets or spilled drinks that caused your accident. Without knowing what you slipped on, it would be almost impossible to build a strong claim and get compensation for your injuries.
It is also important to notify the store management of your accident immediately and fill out a detailed accident report describing what conditions led to the accident, including the state of the floor and lighting, foreign objects, and any other contributing factors.
Take photos and identify witnesses
Anyone in the vicinity who saw you fall can be a great asset in a lawsuit if the owner of the business disputes your claim, so be sure to jot down their names, contact information and account of what they witnessed. In addition, try to document as much as you can, including whether there were any warning signs of a slippery floor, wet paint or other dangerous conditions.
It is also importance to take photos of the accident scene before the store owner has any chance to clean up and get rid of the evidence. Pictures and witness statements will be vital to any claim you make, as they provide indisputable proof of the cause of the accident, and they can also help your personal injury lawyer determine how to handle any potential claim or lawsuit.
Make an appointment to see a doctor
Seek medical attention as soon as you get out of the store, as you may have sustained injuries such as cuts and bruises, a twisted ankle, head trauma, or broken bones. Seeing a medical professional also enables you to obtain a written, professional diagnosis of your injuries that can be used as solid evidence in your claim.
For more information about how to proceed with a personal injury case, contact a firm such as Dunnigan & Messier P.C.
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