People rarely think about just how serious a slip-and-fall injury can be — until it happens to them. One moment, they’re walking through a store looking at what’s on sale, and the next moment they’re lying on the ground, injured.
The victim of a serious slip-and-fall accident probably isn’t going to be in any condition to act on their own behalf, but you can help protect your loved one’s future if you happen to be there when they fall. Below are some suggestions.
Make sure your loved one gets the appropriate medical care
Embarrassment and adrenaline can cause even someone who is seriously injured to try to pick themselves up off the floor and hobble home — and your loved one may be tempted to try if they have anything less than a broken bone. However, falls can also cause serious back and head injuries — and the victim may not realize how badly they’re hurt. Call an ambulance.
Alert management to the problem right away
The store’s management may not be anywhere in sight when the fall happens, but they need to be alerted to the problem right away. They have a duty to preserve evidence (like surveillance footage from security cameras) that might be useful in a lawsuit later — and you don’t want to give them any excuse not to do so.
Get photographic evidence of the accident area
Whether your loved one slipped on pieces of rotten fruit that were dropped on the floor in a grocery store or a slick spot from spilled soda in a gas station shop, the evidence of the problem could be fleeting. Take photos of the accident scene and area — before anybody from the store has a chance to clean things up.
Retain clothing, shoes and other pieces of evidence
Your loved one’s clothing, shoes, broken glasses and cracked phone may all be evidence later in their claim against the property owner for negligence — so make sure those are all carefully collected and put away for the time being.
Finally, the best thing you can do for your loved one is to encourage them to speak with an attorney about their situation. It isn’t easy to negotiate with the insurance companies for a fair settlement after a slip-and-fall injury. An attorney can make sure your interests are protected.