What Do You Do if You Slip and Fall in a Store?
If you have slipped and fallen in a store, the chances are good that you are not to blame. Busy grocery stores and other businesses have a variety of dangerous hazards including spilled food or bunched carpeting. If you have fallen in a store through no fault of your own, you might be entitled to compensation. A Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer could help you pursue your claim.
Recovering a monetary award for your fall injuries requires the strongest claim possible. To maximize your chances of success, consider the following steps to take after a slip and fall accident in a store.
Seek medical attention
Regardless of what is going on around you, the most important step to take after a fall is to assess your injuries. If you are hurt, it is in your best interest to seek medical care right away. In cases where your injuries are potentially severe, it is best to call an ambulance as soon as possible.
Even if your injuries seem minor, it is worthwhile to seek out medical care right away. Minor injuries have a way of worsening, particularly after the adrenaline from your fall wears off. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you could be on the path to recovery.
Pursuing medical care right away could also strengthen your legal claim. When you see the doctor, a medical record is created. These records can show the insurance companies that you sought treatment for your injuries right away and prevented them from worsening unnecessarily.
Identify the cause of your fall
In some cases, the cause of your fall might be plain to see. Examples include wet floors, spilled food, or loose electrical cords. In other cases, it might not be immediately obvious what caused your fall to occur. Review your surroundings to determine what factors led to your fall. This evidence is vital if you are to recover compensation for your injuries from the store or its owner.
File an incident report
Most stores—especially those owned by national or regional chains—have an incident report form. If that is the case, ensure that they make a report of your accident. Some stores will require you to fill out the report yourself, while others will do so for you. If there is no incident report, the store could dispute that the fall ever happened. A report could also help your slip & fall attorneys identify any witnesses to your accident.
Once you leave the scene of the fall, you will lose out on your opportunity to investigate it again. If you are physically able, it is in your best interest to document the scene as best you can. Take photos of the area and of the hazard that caused your fall. Identify any independent witnesses that saw your accident occur. These witnesses could provide useful testimony if your case ever goes to trial.
Once you return home, preserve your clothes and any damaged property. This is especially important if your fall occurred as the result of a spilled drink or other liquid. If the liquid or substance is present on your clothes, it makes for a stronger claim of negligence against the store owner.
Talk to an attorney
The final step is one of the most important—speak to an attorney. An attorney can give you an idea of the value of your claim and raise any potential challenges you might have in pursuing legal action. Your legal counsel could not only advise you on what to expect, but they could also help move your claim forward without delay.
The attorneys of Ellis Injury Law have experience holding these big stores accountable for their negligence. To discuss your claim with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, contact Ellis Injury Law today.