Slip and Fall: How to Handle Accidents While Shopping
What should you do if you are injured in a slip and fall while you are in a store? Naturally no one plans on having an accident while they are out shopping for eggs or shampoo, but unfortunately slip and falls happen every day across the country. Commercial buildings usually have tile or linoleum flooring that becomes extremely slick when wet. What appears to be a normal, dry surface may actually be covered in water that has leaked from a refrigeration unit or a broken can of vegetables.
If you are like most shoppers, you are occupied on pushing the shopping cart while at the same time examining products and prices. More than once, I myself have put a box of cereal in my cart, only to remove it 90 seconds later when I found a similar product that was 30 cents cheaper. Naturally I then find a bigger box that is almost the same price, then I start trying to do some basic math in my head, while at the same time I'm wondering if I really NEED a five-pound feed-sack of Chocolate Covered Corn Flakes. It's just human nature.
The point is, we tend to focus on all the brightly packaged food, not the floor. A small amount of liquid will cause a big slip and fall hazard for any shopper. Without any warning, your feet come out from under you and you find yourself on your back staring at the ceiling. Pain is shooting thru your ankle. It is immediately apparent that getting up and walking is not an option. What should you do in that situation?
What to Do After a Slip and Fall
First, if you have a friend or family member with you, have them contact a store employee and ask to speak to a manager. If an employee is not readily available, have the person go to customer service and ask for a manager. If you are alone, obviously you have the option of yelling out for help or using your cell phone to reach the store and report the slip and fall before getting up.
Once you are in contact with a store employee, ask them to fill out an incident report. This will provide a written record of the slip and fall and establish the time and location of the accident. If you need emergency services, call 911. Otherwise, remove yourself from the premises. Do not sign any documents. Do not expect store employees to be overly sympathetic. Based on countless stories and accounts from my clients, store personal will often act aggravated by having to help someone who has just been injured in an accident. This is not a rule of course, but it seems to be the case more often than not.
Slip and fall laws, as they are commonly referred to in legal circles, vary from state to state. Generally, stores have a duty to maintain their premises and keep it safe for customers. Most businesses carry a commercial insurance policy that covers them for accidents that happen on the premises. It is important to have an incident report filled out when the accident happens. The report evidences the fact that you were at the store on the given date, and that you were involved in an accident on site. Without the report, it can be difficult to prove that the accident actually transpired in the store.
Take Action After a Slip and Fall
Hiring the appropriate attorney is particularly important in this area of the law. Quite simply, some offices work a large number of slip and fall cases, while others do not. The Law offices of Blake R. Maislin handle numerous slip and fall cases every year. Our office has the experience and resources necessary to successfully resolve slip and fall cases. We aggressively represent every type of injury. From sprained ankles to broken backs, our office works to ensure our client's rights are fully protected. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may call our office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you will be put in contact immediately and directly with one of our attorneys. There is no charge for consultations and it does not cost you anything to hire our office. If you have any questions regarding an accident or injury, please call our office at 513-444-4444.