When you are injured in a supermarket or a restaurant, a movie theater, or any other business, you may have the right to seek compensation for the damages and losses you’ve sustained. Slip-and-fall lawsuits have encouraged businesses to improve safety on their premises. However, injuries that occur as a result of negligence at these locations continue to occur. These types of incidents can result in serious injuries such as head injuries, trauma to the back and neck and broken bones, to mention a few.
If you are injured in a store, you may find that you need to take a few steps to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Here are seven steps you would be well advised to take in the aftermath of a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident at a store or business.
- Report the incident right away to the store’s manager or owner. This report should state the date, place and time of the injury and contain a detailed narrative of what occurred. For example, if you slipped and fell on spilled soda, then, the report should specifically mention the aisle number, the location where the spill occurred, etc. Make sure that you obtain a copy of this report for your own records.
- Get medical treatment for your injuries right away. If you do not see a doctor right after the accident, you need to see one as soon as possible so he or she can assess any injuries you may have suffered and develop and treatment plan for you. It’s important to remember that sometimes, injuries don’t become obvious immediately. If you start feeling pain, even days after the injury, you need to see your doctor and get a medical evaluation. It is reasonable and not entirely unusual for pain or lack of mobility to develop in the days after an injury. The sooner you get treatment, the easier it is to identify a slip-and- fall injury as the cause of your problem. Also, the longer you wait to get medical care, the less it will appear that your injury is severe. The sooner you get medical care, the better shot you have at a speedy and full recovery. Also, make sure you follow through with your medical treatment and obey the doctor’s orders when it comes to taking your medication, therapy and other treatment. Failing to do so may cause your injuries to worsen.
- Do not talk to the other side’s insurance company or lawyers. Big corporations that operate retail stores have high-powered legal defense teams working for them. They often try to intimidate or cajole victims into taking a quick and easy settlement because they want the case to go away. They will very likely attempt to lowball you and try to make sure that you accept a lower settlement that may not be enough to cover the cost of your treatment, lost income and other damages. It is best to refer all questions to your injury lawyer who will help safeguard your rights and work toward your best interests. Never give insurance adjusters a recorded statement or an official statement. Anything you say can, and most likely, will be used against you.
- Preserve as much evidence from the scene as possible. Physical evidence is critical in a personal injury claim. Keep the clothes you were wearing at the time. If you took photographs of the slippery floor or dangerous condition, be sure to preserve those. If there was any surveillance video, talk to the store manager about preserving it. If they refuse to give you the video, have your attorney pursue the matter so crucial evidence is preserved in a timely manner.
- Don’t post about the incident or your injuries on social media or online. Any comments you post or photographs you post online can also be used against you. Deactivate your social media accounts until your claim is resolved. Your attorney will be able to give you more specific guidance regarding your social media and online use.
Contact an experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer who will remain on your side throughout the process and help you seek and obtain maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Call KaplunMarx at 610-660-7780 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.