Picture this scenario: You are walking down the aisle of the grocery store and you are looking for a frozen pizza to purchase to cook for later. All of a sudden, you are up in the air. Your feet go out from under you and you land on your back in a puddle of water. You are in shock and you don’t know what to do. Well, here are a couple of basic but important things to keep in mind when you are involved in an accident such as this, or really any accident where you feel you may have been injured:
1) Identify what you fell on – It’s one thing to fall if you are simply unsteady on your feet. It is another thing to fall if you stepped in water, ice, fruit, a slippery floor, a cracked floor or some other tripping hazard on the ground and it caused you to fall. Obviously your first concern is your health and well being. But, after the shock of falling has passed, take a look at the area in which you fell and determine if it was wet or icy or if you tripped on something. If this is the case, take a picture of it. You may have a claim for personal injury.
2) Pictures pictures pictures!! – Even your own grandmother has a smartphone in this day in age. And all of these smartphones have cameras. Use them! If you fell on ice, take a picture of the ice. If you fell on water or a piece of fruit in a store, take a picture of it! Take a picture of the aisle you were in. Documentation is extremely helpful if it turns out that you were hurt as a result of your fall.
3) Report it to a manager and get a copy of the report – If you fell in a supermarket, tell the manager. If you fell on the sidewalk outside of an apartment complex, tell the office manager. Also be sure to file a written report if you can. Get the manager’s full name and number and, if the report is not immediately available, ask when it will be available so that you can get a copy. Make sure to identify what you fell on in the report, as well as the location in the store or on the sidewalk where you fell.
4) Did anyone say anything? – Sometimes, a member of the supermarket will rush to come help you or respond to the area where you fell. Did they say anything about the condition of the floor? They could say things like, “Oh, we meant to clean that up,” or “Oh, that shouldn’t have been there.” Do your best to get that employee’s name or have some way to identify that employee for later.
5) Warning signs? Did you notice if there was a “wet floor” sign or a caution sign up? If yes, take a picture. If no, take a picture as well.
6) There are cameras! Surveillance cameras are in use more and more these days. You would be surprised at all the different places they are located. There may even be cameras outside of buildings, in hallways, in supermarket aisles and other places you can’t even think of. So, if you fall, consult with an attorney right away. An attorney can immediately send a letter to the store or residential complex demanding that the videotape be preserved. Often times videotape is erased not long after it is recorded, so time is of the essence!
Also, since you are being videotaped, if you are really hurt, you would most likely not do cartwheels in the aisles and continue shopping after the accident. Assume that you are being videotaped. Be wary of your activity after you fall because it could be used against you in a later claim if you seem to be fine on camera after the accident.
7) Hospital or medical treatment immediately – If you are injured you should always consider either going to the hospital or going to see a doctor as soon as possible. Documenting potential injuries early on is critical in showing that the fall was the cause of your injuries
8) Witnesses – If there are any witnesses who saw your fall, get their names and numbers.
Keeping in mind these quick and easy tips can prove helpful in the future if you have a claim for personal injury.
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If you have any questions about anything in this post, or any other personal injury questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting my office at 856-282-0777. Consultations are always FREE.
-David Hasner, Esq. – Hasner and Hasner, PA
*Disclaimer* Content posted in this blog is made for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. If you have any questions about the information in this blog, contact David Hasner, Esq. or an attorney with knowledge in this area of law for a consultation. Viewing this blog does not create and attorney/client relationship with Hasner and Hasner, PA. and/or David Hasner, Esq.