Did you slip and fall in a grocery store? Learn what to do when you slip, trip, or fall in any kind of store from Mullen & Mullen’s lawyers in Dallas, TX.
You hear all the time about people slipping and falling at grocery stores. It’s a relatively common occurrence. You may have even seen videos on TV or YouTube or heard about the results of a case but you never really hear about what to do if you experience a slip and fall at a grocery store.
What do you do if this happens?
Always Focus on Your Health First
Slip-and-falls can cause a number of troubling injuries. Sometimes the injuries are readily apparent out of the gate – such as a fractured or broken bone. Many times slip-and-falls can lead to tears such as a torn rotator cuff or torn meniscus. It is also common for people to have their head strike the ground leading to a concussion or more troubling traumatic brain injury. Other times you may think you’ve only suffered a sprain or bruising and that you’ll be fine in a few days.
…But that doesn’t always happen.
The truth is you don’t always know exactly what injuries you sustained in the moments following a slip-and-fall. Your first inclination will likely be to feel ashamed and embarrassed. You may want to get up, brush it off, and pretend you’re just fine because you’re embarrassed. Don’t feel rushed to get to your feet as doing so can often lead to further injuries. Don’t minimize the trauma the fall caused you.
Stay down and as still as possible until you get your wits about you. If you think you broke a bone or tore a muscle you shouldn’t move until medical personnel arrives on-site or you might make your injuries worse.
Attempt to move only as soon as you’re confident you can safely do so. If your injuries seem severe, simply hold still and let others help you. Tell them not to move you and to call emergency help if you think your injuries are serious.
Make Your Report to the Store Manager
You want the on-duty manager to observe the scene of your accident as soon as possible. Ask an employee or nearby customer to help you contact one.
Grocery stores require managers to document the accident. They’ll write their version of what happened. They may ask that you provide a written statement of what transpired.
Try to get a copy from the manager. If you can’t get one, don’t worry. Your personal injury attorney can secure a copy at a later time if necessary.
Document Your Accident
Smartphones come in amazingly handy for slip-and-fall claims. You should gather thorough evidence if possible for you to safely do so. To win your legal claim it is likely you will eventually need to demonstrate that the store had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition.
This means you should take lots of pictures of the accident scene. Shoot a video if you’re able. Get the name, address, and phone number of witnesses. Try to get them to make a brief statement of anything they noticed. Also, try and write down the names of all store employees and managers you encounter.
Especially helpful evidence includes anything that shows the store had knowledge of the condition that led to your slip-and-fall, yet they failed to do anything about it. For example, another customer almost slipped and fell earlier. Or another employee saw the spill and walked past it.
Don’t hold back at all. You really can’t overdo it when collecting evidence. The worst that happens is you don’t use it in court.
Finally, Contact a Personal Injury Attorney to Begin the Legal Process
Personal injury attorneys don’t charge a fee for the initial consultation. So at worst, you’ll simply learn you don’t have a claim. However, you may learn you can recover financial damages for your injuries from the grocery store. You only pay a personal injury attorney when your claim wins, so you have nothing to risk.
The legal process takes anywhere from months to years to complete. Most claims, about 90%, settle out of court.
But some personal injury firms have additional services they use to help you through. They have relationships with medical professionals who delay billing until after you complete your claim, for example.
That’s why contacting a personal injury attorney, as soon as you’re able, just makes good sense.