In most slip and fall cases, the primary problem is failing to take the appropriate steps following the incident. Failing to acquire the necessary information can reduce the compensation the injured will receive.
To ensure you receive all compensation rightfully due, it is important to do your due diligence. Scan the scene for any witnesses. If there are any witnesses in sight, ask that they stand by until the authorities arrive or you can fill out an incident report. Make sure they actually saw the accident and that their view was not obstructed. If they cannot wait, ask for their cards or information to follow up with them at a later time. Do not wait too long to contact the witnesses, because their memory of the incident is important.
Scan the area. Pay special attention to the conditions surrounding the area you fell in. Look for what may have caused you to fall. For example, was the flooring raised, wet, or blocked? Were there any signs indicating danger?
Make an official report to document the incident. You must report the incident to the store staff immediately so they will have a record of the event. If your witnesses are still around, and willing, have them fill out the witness section of the report. Be clear and concise. Indicate what you feel was the cause of the injury, and that you will be seeking medical attention.
You are not obligated to take ice or anything else the store staff may give you to help your injury. But do inform them that you will consult with your doctor about what the appropriate course of action to take is. However, note that it is common knowledge and common sense that ice reduces swelling and helps injuries when applied immediately. Consider this general knowledge before turning down this type of assistance.
It is also wise to ask the manager what the store’s policy is for handling these type of situations. Make sure you have the store’s contact information and preferably the manager’s card or direct information.
Go see your doctor to see the extent of your injuries and seek treatment from them. With this understanding, contact a lawyer experienced in handling personal injuries. The lawyer will follow up with the appropriate parties, help you avoid taking settlements you should not take, help you avoid saying things that will hinder your case, and ensure you receive your just compensation.