When you’re suffering after a painful injury, you may be wondering what happens when you slip and fall at a store. In general, if you can show that a store owner or property manager neglected to address a hazardous condition that led to your injuries, you could seek compensation.
If the hazard was “obvious” or in “open view,” the store might try to contest that they were liable for your injury. The defendant may adopt other strategies to challenge your claim. A lawyer can help you build a strong case when you slip and fall at a store.
What to Do If You Slip and Fall in a Store
Immediately report your fall to the store manager. Respectfully request that the manager fill out a formal report and ask them for a copy. If you need immediate medical attention, have a friend or family member go to the store to take care of as many of the following steps as possible.
Ask for a Report
If the store doesn’t have an accident report form, ask for the store manager’s email to send your own report via email. This will formally document the fall and subsequent injury since the email will show the date and time it was sent. In the report, be sure to describe your injury in detail. In addition, if anybody witnessed your fall, ask them for their contact information.
Take Pictures at the Scene
While still in the store, take pictures of the hazardous area responsible for your slip-and-fall. These photos will be invaluable when filing your injury claim. Whether it was a puddle of water, someone spilled a soft drink, or it was a carpet you caught your toe on, be sure to take photos of the hazard from multiple angles.
If there was damage to your clothing due to the fall (i.e., ripped, stained, or torn clothing), take shots of these too. Collect all your evidence and keep it well organized. Be sure to save the clothing and shoes you were wearing when the slip-and-fall happened.
When you get home, if you have any bruising or swelling, take pictures of that as well.
Get Medical Care
If you were injured as a result of a slip-and-fall, it’s important you see a doctor so that any injury you suffered is properly treated. Additionally, it’s crucial to have your injuries on record, as this will serve as crucial evidence when pursuing compensation.
Document Your Experience
Purchase a journal and write down all medical appointments, treatment of your injuries, and pain resulting from your fall. Describe what happened as accurately as possible before your memory fades. Make sure to date every entry.
If you missed days at work because of your injury, note the dates when you were off work in your journal. If you have recurring pain, such as headaches since the injury, record them in your journal and the date and time of day.
The more detailed you are about recording everything that’s happened since your fall, the more evidence your lawyer has to build a solid case on your behalf.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
An attorney can help you seek the compensation you need after a slip-and-fall. When you hire a lawyer, they can use their experience with premises liability law and gather evidence to show that you deserve a recovery.
A lawyer can:
- Determine who is liable for your slip-and-fall
- Investigate your case to determine how the injury happened
- Show how the liable party’s negligence caused your injury
- Demonstrate the fair settlement or award amount you deserve
- Negotiate your settlement
- Take your case to trial, if necessary
- Tell you what happens after a slip-and-fall at a store
A slip-and-fall case can be complicated, but you don’t have to handle it on your own. An attorney will deal with all the challenges you may face.
How a Store May Defend a Case Against a Slip-and-Fall
We’ve all seen the bright yellow warning signs set up in a store aisle. Their yellow warning signs caution shoppers that the floor is wet, just as a yellow traffic light is designed to slow automobile traffic down and warn motorists to be careful. One of the major reasons the store has this policy in place is to protect customers, but also, they are there to protect the store from a lawsuit.
When a store or property manager tries to defend itself against a liability claim, it may argue that:
- Wet floor signs were visible and in use (when in fact they were not).
- You were partially responsible for your own injuries, either due to your shoewear or other choices.
- Your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim.
- Your medical care needs aren’t as extensive as you say.
An attorney can help you navigate these challenges and others that may arise.
Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for Help With Your Case
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, you will receive a free consultation regarding your case. You can share any documentation you collected regarding your case, and we’ll review it and give you a clear assessment of your options. Our law firm has over 40 years of experience fighting for our clients’ rights and has resolved more than 50,000 injury cases.
If you or your loved one was the victim of a slip-and-fall accident that caused an injury, call us at (843) 779-1777 to learn how we can help.