Slips Trips and Falls – What to Do
Most people who have ever fallen down, particularly at a public location, can attest to the fact that after ending up on the ground, getting out of the limelight and out the door is the immediate instinctual response. But if you slip, trip, or fall on someone else’s property, fleeing the scene can mean missing valuable opportunities to find what you need for a potential personal injury claim later. What should you do if you slip, trip, or fall? Consider these steps:
Emergency Medical Attention
It should go without saying that if you slip, trip, or fall and need emergency medical attention, acquiring it should be your first priority. To be sure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the serious dangers of falls, especially for older adults. Alert staff of the location and emergency medical services as quickly as possible, particularly if you believe you have injured your head, back, or neck.
Take a Note
If you don’t need emergency medical attention immediately, resist the urge to slip out quietly. Take a look around and note the circumstances of your fall. What did you slip or trip on? Is there liquid on the floor, and if so, what is it and from where did it come? Is there a structural hazard (like a broken stair, etc.) that caused you to fall, and if so, is it evident how it came to be there? Are there nearby signs or indications that an area is slippery or hazardous? How visible is the hazard? Take photos of the area if you can.
Alert and Document
Alert the individual responsible for maintaining or clearing the area – the owner of the supermarket, proprietor of the restaurant, or manager of the store. Insist that the individual file an incident report and be sure to check it for accuracy and keep a copy for yourself. Documenting the slip, trip, or fall as quickly as possible after the incident can protect your personal injury claim later, when a hazardous condition may be fixed or altered.
If you did not need immediate emergency medical attention and have instead been able to follow the previous two steps, now would be the time to acquire medical attention. Even if you believe your injury is not very severe, see a medical professional to document your symptoms (even just pain, soreness, or swelling) and assess you for lasting damage. This is especially important in cases of head injury, internal injury, or injuries otherwise not visible to the naked eye (as it may be difficult to document these injuries without the assistance of a medical professional).
After taking these steps, you may be uncertain about whether you would like to file a personal injury claim or whether your case would have merit. Alternatively, you may feel sure you would like to file your claim. The next step to take is to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer. Contact Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, Lawyers and Counselors at Law in Florida. Call toll-free at 1 (800) 227-2275 for a consultation today.