When you go shopping, it is likely that you reasonably believe that you will be out of harm’s way during your visit to the store. It’s a fair assumption and one you have come to expect.
But what happens when things don’t go according to plan?
Slip and fall lawyers in Los Angeles have seen their fair share of injuries that have occurred in public spaces and residential locations. They are usually caused by unsafe structures, debris in main walkways, and the inability to maintain stable footing on the property that could have and should have been addressed.
In this article, we are going to take a look at 5 essential steps to take if you find yourself in this situation.
1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health is the number-one priority following an accident. If you have been injured, it is essential to see a doctor so that your injuries can be appropriately documented. Those medical records will become key pieces of evidence for a potential slip and fall accident claim.
These types of injuries are predominantly minor. Broken bones, concussions, or internal injuries are not uncommon.
It is necessary that a medical professional treat you as soon as possible after a fall. The reason is twofold:
a. to prevent further damage; and,
b. to obtain a medical diagnosis of any injuries
There are some conditions that take longer to manifest, but if you have a broken arm, deep cuts, bruises, or some other type of injury that was triggered by the slip and fall.
2. Notify the People Responsible for the Property or Behavior
No matter where the accident occurs– in a store, on a sidewalk, or at a friend’s home– make sure you report it to a supervisor, owner or property manager. Remember to obtain the information of the incident in writing– ask the supervisor, owner or property owner to make a written report, and demand a copy prior to you leave.
3. Document the Incident as soon as Possible
If a person falls in any business that routinely invites customers in– and can show proven and sustained injuries from the event, he or she can likely anticipate receiving some amount of damages for losses stemming from the accident
There are exceptions, such as when the accident appears to have been staged or could have been reasonably prevented.
The real concern lies in whether the property owner should have repaired a potentially unsafe condition or whether the customer should have seen and avoided the condition. This is generally the epicenter of damages negotiations and will be a crucial factor in the potential award given.
4. Official Statements Are on A Need-to-Know Basis
There are a variety of emotions that people experience during a situation like this. Remain calm and limit your communication with the property owner or supervisor to the facts and zero speculation. Do not post any information associated with your accident on social media. Decline to provide a declaration to an insurer until you’ve spoken with your lawyer.
Remember: Do not place blame or admit fault.
5. Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
When considering legal action, the best individual to have on your side is an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles.
There are statutes of limitations placed on filing a case in the state of California. In many cases, you will have 2 years to file a complaint. Particular cases, such as those against a federal government entity, can have a statute of restrictions as short as 6 months.
Waiting to file your claim can lead to forfeiting your case altogether. If you want to hold the owner responsible, then you should call an attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible.
Your Slip and Fall Injury May Not Be Your Fault
Like all businesses that are open to the general public, managers are legally bound to maintain reasonably safe properties for the protection of their customers. Whether the accident occurs at a shopping mall, supermarket, or even a small “mom-and-pop shop”, the owner may be held accountable if it can be proven that the accident occurred due to hazardous conditions.