You stopped at the store to pick up a gallon of milk, but on your way down the dairy aisle, you slipped in a spill and ended up hitting your head. The next thing you knew, your head is throbbing, and you feel like you need to go see a doctor.
You might take for granted that you can get compensation after you fall in a public place like a store. However, to successfully receive compensation for your injuries and the losses they cause, you will have to prove that the property owner was negligent and failed to meet the legal obligation to maintain safe facilities under state law.
It can be an uphill battle to successfully bring a slip-and-fall claim against a business. What do you need to do to overcome those challenges?
Don’t leave the store without telling someone what happened
In cases of severe injury where you don’t regain consciousness until you arrive at a hospital, this won’t be an option. For most everyone else, reporting the fall to a manager before leaving the business is important. It creates an official record of the incident at the business, which could impact the success of any insurance claim or lawsuit you file.
See a doctor, even if you have to cancel plans to do so
Whether you suspect a head injury or a back injury, you need to be able to connect your symptoms to the incident at the store. The sooner you receive a medical evaluation, the easier it will be to show the correlation between what happened at the business and your diagnosis.
You should also make certain to disclose to the doctor that your injury was the result of a fall at a business. The more details about your injury there are in your medical record, the better.
Document the scene if possible
Some people will break their cellphones when they slip and fall, making it impossible for them to take photos or video right after they fall. For anyone else, using a mobile device to take multiple photos or a video of the situation that led to your fall, including any spills or damaged flooring, could provide you with important evidence later if you have to go to court to get compensation.
The worse your injuries are according to the doctor who diagnoses you, the more important it will be to get professional help when dealing with the business owner or insurance company that may have to answer to your premises liability claim. Bigger potential claims can motivate aggressive defenses from stores and insurance companies.
Taking the right steps to protect yourself can help ensure you get the support you need if you suffer a slip-and-fall in a public place.