Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, even during a normal day-to-day activity like shopping. These incidents are usually caused by the negligence of store owners or their employees. If you have been seriously injured due to a slip and fall in a store, you may be entitled to financial compensation. However, it’s important to take the necessary steps after the accident.
Why Do Slips and Falls Happen in Stores?
Slips and falls can occur anywhere in a store: aisles, restrooms, checkout areas, entrances, exits, and in parking lots. The most common causes are:
- Wet and slippery floors
- Cords laying across floors
- Poor lighting
- Torn carpet or flooring
- Stairs without handrails
- Uneven floor surfaces
- Cluttered walkways
The most common injuries from slipping and falling at stores are:
- Fractured bones (wrist, arms, legs, or hips)
- Bumps and bruises
- Scratches and cuts
- Head/brain injury
- Back and spinal cord injury
Slips and falls in a store can be serious, especially for more vulnerable people: 3 million people 65 years and older are treated in emergency departments because of a fall injury. Store owners must take certain precautions to ensure the safety of their customers on the premises, including maintaining the property is in a safe condition. When the store owner is aware of a hazard, they have the duty to fix the problem and make the premise safe for others. If there is a hazard that cannot be resolved immediately, the store owner has the responsibility to warn guests of any unsafe conditions.
Here’s What to Do Next If You are Hurt in a Slip and Fall in a Store
1. Seek Medical Care Right Away
Even if you feel fine after falling, you should still get a medical evaluation. There is a possibility that you have sustained a serious injury that you’re not aware of.
2. Identify What Caused the Fall
Try to identify what caused you to fall: for example, was it a spilled beverage on the floor, torn carpet, or cords across the floors?
3. File a Report with the Store
By filing a report, you can create a record of the accident. Get ahold of the manager or the store owner, and make sure they are aware of the situation. Also, when filing a report, take notes of the date, time, and exact location of where your slip and fall occurred.
4. Take Pictures
It is crucial to take photos of the scene and document everything. Take photos of the unsafe condition that caused the fall. Documented photos can be used as evidence.
5. Get Names and Contact Information of Any Witnesses
For deposition and testimony purposes, it’s important to get the names and contact information of anyone who was around the incident, either during or after. Even if they didn’t see the fall, they still can provide information about what happened after.
6. Keep Everything
Make sure to keep everything, including medical bills and emails from insurance companies.
7. Contact an Attorney
As an invitee, you have the right to shop in a store that should be safe from dangerous conditions. If you have suffered from a slip and fall injury, you also have the right to contact an attorney for appropriate compensation.
Consult with Foley & Small Today
Premises liability laws enforce a duty of care upon stores, obligating them to make their premises safe for their customers. However, this doesn’t always happen. That’s why it is important to follow these steps to ensure you get financial compensation.
If you have been injured from a slip and fall in a store, you can contact an experienced attorney at Foley & Small. Our attorneys will handle your slip and fall claims and secure the best outcome for you.