Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injuries in the U.S. Falls, in general, account for about eight million hospital visits each year, while slip and falls alone account for one million. You could slip and fall when you least expect it – such as while grocery or clothes shopping. If you do suffer an injury in a slip and fall accident, take the right steps toward financial recovery.
Report Your Fall
As soon as you fall in a store, tell somebody about the accident. Ask the first staff member you see to get a manager or supervisor to the scene. Request an official accident report. If you feel too injured to move, ask someone to call 911 and request paramedics. Tell the manager what happened in detail: where you were, what you think caused you to slip, and the time and date of the accident. Getting all the facts down on paper while they are still fresh in your mind can help you build a slip and fall case against the store later. Keep a copy of the accident report.
While still at the scene of the slip and fall, take photographs. Use your cellphone or a camera to take pictures of the aisle or location where you fell, the slippery condition, any surrounding property damages or warning signs, and your personal injuries. Photographs can serve as indisputable evidence during a slip and fall accident claim, such as that the floors were wet or covered in food debris. If you cannot take pictures, ask an employee of the store (or a friend or family member) to do so for you and to send them to you, if possible.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone saw the slip and fall accident happen, get that person’s full name and contact information. You may also ask if the eyewitness is willing to give a statement. You can record the statement right there, on your cellphone, or explain that someone will call the witness later for an official statement. Eyewitness accounts may support your version of events, such as that the dangerous condition was present for half an hour or more before your fall. If you do not wish to talk to witnesses directly, simply get their information and give it to an attorney to handle the rest. Do not harass or pester witnesses, as they may become unwilling to cooperate.
Go to the Hospital
Go directly to a hospital or health care center for a physical evaluation. A doctor can diagnose an injury you suspected you had based on your symptoms. A doctor could also find an injury you were unaware you had, such as a slipped spinal cord disk you did not feel because adrenaline from the fall was masking the pain. Prompt medical care is an important step for your insurance claim. An insurance company could allege that you exacerbated your injuries by delaying medical care if you wait too long to see a doctor. Keep copies of all medical records, treatment plans, and hospital bills.
Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney
It can be difficult to obtain fair compensation for a slip and fall accident in a store in Texas. A storeowner may refute liability by saying you should have noticed and avoided the dangerous condition, or by alleging that its employees upheld a reasonable standard of care by cleaning the floors regularly. Furthermore, if you suffered soft tissue injuries, such as a pulled muscle, it may be more difficult to prove than an injury that shows up on x-rays, such as a broken bone. Regardless of the specifics, contact a Dallas slip and fall attorney for assistance with your injury claim. A lawyer will help you take the next steps toward recovering fair compensation.