The pratfall has long been used for comedic relief on stage and in cinema, but there’s really nothing very funny about a slip-and-fall accident.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five falls ends with a victim suffering a serious injury — whether that’s a broken hip or a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Many falls take place inside grocery stores, restaurants and convenience stores when people slip on ice or liquids that spilled and pooled. Spills are commonly found under drink machines and leaks are prevalent near the frozen food sections. If you slip and fall in such an accident or a loved one is injured similarly, you need to take immediate steps to protect your interests.
Do these things to protect your rights after a slip-and-fall injury
A successful insurance claim or a win in court may depend on what happens right after a victim falls. Here are some tips:
- Immediately get medical attention. When a victim of a fall picks themselves up and convinces themselves that they are fine, that opens the door to a denied claim once they realize later that they’re injured.
- Make the management of the store aware. Alerting store employees and the manager or owner about the fall is essential. That way, they can’t deny they were aware of an incident on the premises.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses. People will often volunteer their contact information if they witness a serious fall. If at all possible, make sure you get that information.
- Put the victim’s clothes and shoes in paper bags. That’s the best way to preserve evidence of what might have been on the floor when the victim fell, especially if it was something like spilled soda.
- Try to get photos of the scene. If you’re the victim, this would be hard — but if you’re the victim’s friend or relative, snap as many photos as you can of the scene. They could be important later.
Advocating for yourself when you’re injured or when a loved one is seriously hurt can be challenging. Working with a personal injury attorney who has experience in serious slip-and-fall accidents is probably the best thing you can do for your future.