SLIPPED OR FALLEN IN A STORE ?
1. CONTACT THE MANAGER OF THE STORE:
We seem to be programmed after we fall in a public place, to feel embarrassed and walk away hoping no one saw us. The problem with this behavior is that the store isn't notified of the incident, how it happened, whose fault it is and if you are injured. If you are hurt and it is because of a problem they caused or allowed to exist, they should be made aware of it right after it happened so that they can see that it was their fault, if that is the case. Inform the manager that you want an incident report completed.
2. THE INCIDENT REPORT:
Inform the manager of the details of how you slipped or tripped, and of any specific symptoms you are experiencing. Point out the dangerous condition so that they could witness it themselves, and so that they can fix it before anyone else gets hurt.
Also, it is important to obtain a copy of the incident report. Before you sign anything, make sure that they will agree to give you a copy of whatever you sign, before you sign it. If they refuse to promise you a copy, then don't sign it – things could be added to the form after you gave it to them, and if you don’t have a copy you can’t prove they altered your statement. (People do drastic things at times if they feel they may lose their job or affect their standing with the company).
If anyone saw how or why you slipped or tripped, obtain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of eyewitnesses, and make sure you obtain this information yourself. This is extremely important when there are different stories as to how the accident happened, for example, when the business claims to have inspected or cleaned the area just prior to the incident, or when they claim that they their surveillance cameras weren’t working or weren’t on at the time of the incident, etc.
If you don't obtain witness information at the scene, it is probably lost forever.
4. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE:
If you were caused to slip on a wet substance, and got on your clothes or shoes, then please do not wash them and do not throw them away, but save them in this condition. Similarly, if your clothes were torn, or got blood on them, preserve them in this condition. Save your receipt to prove the date and time you were at their business. If the injury involves snow or ice, you must take pictures as soon as possible before it melts, so you are able to prove the condition that caused your fall -- if you don’t do this immediately, you have lost the opportunity to photograph the dangerous condition.
If you were bruised or have other obvious signs of injury, you should also have someone take pictures of any bruises on your body – black and blue marks, bruises, cuts, anything that proves that there were forces to your body from the incident. This evidence proves that your body experienced a forceful blow, and the photos will help contradict the defendant’s insurance company’s doctor who will certainly have a great resume, and who will say that you are not injured at all, or not as seriously as your own doctor testifies.