No one wants to confront the situation of being injured in retail property, such as a store, but looking for answers to the question "what to do if I get injured in a store?" indicates that you have recently suffered in an accident. If you can show that the accident was a result of a store owner or manager's negligence, you may be able to hold them accountable by filing a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit.
If you are hurt in a store, it is very important to understand your rights and to get medical attention as soon as possible as this might be your only opportunity to recover compensation. You need to know what to look for and how to proceed with a case by retaining an experienced slip and fall injury lawyer.
Unfortunately, slip and falls are some of the most common accidents that happen in stores. Whether it's a cracked tile, loose floorboards, or a slippery surface, these situations can cause people to slip and suffer serious injuries. It is likely that the store will respond quickly if you are injured on their property, but this does not always mean they are looking out for your best interests. You need to be prepared to retain a knowledgeable slip and fall injury lawyer to help protect you if you have a legal claim against the store.
If you’re curious and searching “what to do when injured in a store,” there’s a good chance you’ve already been hurt on store property. It’s vital to make sure you recognize that you have a limited period of time in which to file a lawsuit to hold the store owner or manager accountable.
Basics of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere but especially in a department store, where there are numerous obstacles or issues that might cause slip and fall incidents. Products that fall into the walkways, defective stairs, poorly lit hallways, or even potholes or cracks in the sidewalk can all cause serious injuries. Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents can happen when a victim least expects it, which makes it all the more important to retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The store is probably looking out for their opportunity to minimize their liability, and this means you might not get all of the necessary evidence and other materials to support your legal claim if you don't move quickly after the accident has occurred.
Getting Medical Attention
It might not occur to you that you have sustained a serious injury in the immediate aftermath of the accident. You might not experience any symptoms right away, especially because you may still be recovering from the shock of the accident. Some injuries, especially those impacting your tendons and internal organs, might not manifest for hours after the accident, but suddenly you may experience excruciating pain and realize that something is amiss. Your health and safety should always be your first priority when you have been hurt in a store accident, making it a top reason to get medical attention immediately.
Since you may not understand the full scope of the injuries you have sustained, you need a medical professional’s evaluation to determine if further tests and treatment are needed.
Do not attempt to stand up or move until help has arrived at the scene, particularly if you have fallen on your back. Far too many victims who have slip and fall accidents in stores and in other places make the mistake of thinking that they do not need medical attention because of minor injuries. Every slip and fall victim, however, should get medical assistance, regardless of the severity of their injuries, because their symptoms might not develop until hours after the accident.
You might not even realize that you have multiple medical conditions or problems at once, either. These problems can worsen as time passes, and by failing to get medical attention, you can also make it easier for insurance adjusters to argue that you were not that seriously injured because you didn’t seek medical help.
It may not occur to you in the immediate aftermath to gather evidence at the scene. If you are able to, however, try to gather evidence at the scene of the accident so that you can at least identify the hazard that caused you to fall. This will often become the basis of your entire slip and fall injury claim. Take pictures of the area to show that there were no warning signs in place, for example. You might also make note of any surveillance cameras that can help to show how the accident happened.
Even if you cannot get access to these pieces of evidence immediately after the accident has occurred, you will want to have them noted down so that you can return to the scene of the accident in the future. At the same time, if any other people saw you slip and fall, you will want to get their contact information. If you fall in a retail or a department store, there is a strong chance that at least one other person saw the incident. Ask for their contact information so that you can ask questions later on. It can be very frustrating in the future to discover that a property owner is arguing that you are lying about how the accident happened, so having a real person who witnessed it can go a long way in protecting your legal rights.
Their testimony could be very helpful to provide further information about the context in which you fell, especially if there was poor lighting or another hazard nearby.
Let the Store Know About the Accident
If no one who works for the company saw you fall, it is very important to notify a person right away. Company policies often exist in stores which require employees to create an official accident report when someone is hurt on store property. Let any employee know what happened, and even if someone does not know the store policy or specific procedures, they should contact another employee who does. Give as many details as possible to the person creating the incident report and make sure you make note of their name for future reference.
If the store tries to get you to sign anything, especially if it looks like a waiver, hold off. You might accidentally sign away some of your rights, and this is best to avoid for now. You might instead call a lawyer and ask, “What should I do if I’m injured in a store?” This way you can get more personalized responses based on your situation.
Get a Lawyer
Anyone who has been seriously hurt in a slip and fall accident in a store should communicate with a personal injury lawyer immediately. This is because you have a limited period of time in which to file a legal claim, but you also want to avoid making any mistakes that could compromise the integrity of your slip and fall legal claim. Proving liability is often one of the most complex aspects of slip and fall cases, which is why you need a dedicated lawyer who has helped others with this kind of case before. Your personal injury attorney with experience in slip and falls can launch an investigation right away to determine how long the hazard was present at the property, what happened in your accident, and if the property owner was aware or should have been aware that the hazard existed.
Without an attorney's help, it can be very difficult to recover compensation in a slip and fall accident case. You can make this situation much easier for yourself by retaining a lawyer who has been in this position before and is committed to fighting for full and fair compensation for you.
It can be devastating to realize that your slip and fall injuries will continue to impact you for many years, especially if you've sustained serious or disabling injuries. Make sure that you consult with a lawyer who has a background in this area of the law to get full comprehensive support for your next steps. Identifying a dedicated attorney will get you one step closer towards accomplishing a settlement outcome or a trial outcome in which you are reimbursed for your serious injuries.
No one should have to go through this situation on your own and the sooner that you can communicate with a lawyer, the better you will be equipped to present your claim. If you think that you already suffered serious injuries in a store and that the store should be held accountable, don’t be afraid of protecting your legal rights. Contact our talented slip and fall accident attorneys now to get the right support for your claim.