Thousands of consumers in New York and other states suffer injuries every year while they are out shopping. Many of these injuries result from slip\-and\-fall accidents. Victims may realize that they may pursue claims for compensation for damages suffered in such an incident, but they may be unsure of the important procedures to follow immediately after the accident.
Although the severity of the injuries generally dictate some of the actions taken at the scene, some information will be vital for the successful pursuit of a lawsuit. The most important thing to do is to wait for paramedics to arrive if the injuries are serious. If emergency services are not called, it is important to report the incident to the property owner or store manager as soon as possible. Seek medical attention — even if it is only a Band-Aid or a glass of sugar water for the shock.
Talking to any individuals who witnessed the fall, and recording their contact information is imperative. With mobile phone technology, it is also possible to photograph anything that can be used as evidence. If it was a wet spot on the floor or a box standing in the aisle, it would only be evident at that moment because it will likely be cleared promptly. For that reason, even if a bystander is asked to take photos, it may be the only opportunity to document the conditions that caused the fall.
Slip-and-fall accidents can cause neck or back injuries that may need long-term treatment. A proper medical evaluation soon after the incident can provide details of the injuries and the future treatment that might be necessary for determining financial losses. The next step would be to consult with an experienced New York personal injury attorney. A lawyer can assess the circumstances that led to the incident and evaluate the evidence before explaining the legal steps to file a premises liability lawsuit. He or she can then help with determining the value of the claim and provide support and guidance throughout the proceedings that will follow.
Source: FindLaw, “First Steps If Injured While Shopping“, George Khoury, Nov. 21, 2016