When you're out shopping and looking for new clothes or accessories, the last thing you'd expect to happen is an injury.
Unfortunately, you can easily get hurt if a business is negligent and fails to maintain their property. Anything from uneven flooring to excessive clutter and wet floors can cause you to slip and fall.
Getting injured on someone else's property is a frustrating experience and you may want reparations for your suffering. Before you can be made whole, you'll need to understand what steps to take following a premises liability injury.
This is not obvious and it often isn't clear exactly who is to blame for your injury. To help you navigate the uncertainty of a retail shopping injury, we'll explain what will put you in the best position to receive proper compensation.
You should begin by gathering all evidence at the scene of the accident.
In the weeks following an incident, you may forget details or misremember how things happened. Either way, your word alone is not enough to convince an insurance company or judge about what happened and why.
Your solution for this is to collect as much evidence at the scene as you possibly can. If you're heavily injured this may not be possible, but if you can walk around then try to take note of the environment.
You should take photos of where you fell, look for witnesses, and ask if the business has video footage. Keep an eye out for anything hazardous in the area that might have caused you to sustain your injuries.
Anything that can substantiate your claims will be invaluable toward receiving the compensation you rightly deserve. This is why you should take your time after an accident and avoid rushing off before collecting evidence.
If your injuries are significant, then you'll need to seek medical treatment and create documentation of it.
Just like with a car accident claim, you must have a medical professional evaluate your condition. This is to verify that you sustain injuries and that they are as severe as you claim.
Anytime you receive treatment or spend time in a hospital or clinic, you should receive physical documentation of when you were there, what you were there for, and how much it cost.
Over time, this will amount to a total expense that you incur as a result of the accident. This figure will be used to calculate how much you're offered in a settlement.
Something to keep in mind is that you should see a doctor immediately after an accident. If you wait, then it's possible that your injuries can be attributed to something else and your delay can communicate that you weren't suffering much.
For peace of mind and an easier time processing a claim or lawsuit, see a medical professional as soon as possible and save the paper trail.
One of the most important actions you can take is to evaluate the circumstances leading up to your injury.
This is difficult to do because it requires deductive reasoning and the answer isn't always clear. For any accident that happens, there are often several factors at play that contributed to causing it.
For example, you may slip in a grocery store because the floor is wet. Alternatively, you can fall if you've had too much to drink and struggle to maintain your balance.
These differences are significant because they can show you if anything you did led to the accident. This is important to know because your actions can prevent you from making a case in some situations.
On the other hand, if you realize that you didn't do anything wrong, then someone else is likely the cause of your injuries. You'll need to figure out who and this starts with why you got hurt.
To do this, you should look at the evidence you've collected and consider the nature of your injury. This should point to a likely cause, which is usually an avoidable hazard.
Whether it's a wet floor, a broken section of stairs, a falling object, or loose debris that causes your fall, something did. Figure out what it is because you'll need it to prove fault and negligence for a premises liability case.
Using the circumstances of the accident, you should determine exactly who is responsible for your injury.
This does apply to whether you share any responsibility in causing your injuries as mentioned above, but the focus here is on specifically which other party should be compensating you.
When you're injured on someone else's property, there are typically two people that may be held responsible. This is either the landlord/property owner or the business owner.
Either the property owner or a business owner is responsible for your injury, but who it is depends on how the accident occurred.
For the property owner to be at fault, a structural flaw should be at play. These are things like broken stairs or a leaky pipe that causes a fall.
Should the business owner do something that causes the fall, then they are responsible. This would include actions like mopping the floor and not leaving a wet floor sign or leaving a bunch of boxes in a walkway.
Evaluate who caused the circumstances of your accident because this is who you should pursue for compensation.
Finally, you should contact a legal professional if you think a lawsuit is appropriate or want an educated opinion on your situation.
Even if a business offers you a settlement for an injury their negligence causes you, there's no guarantee that you get a fair deal. You might not even get an offer at all.
Getting an attorney means that you will be taken seriously and you'll have legal help that will direct you to exactly what you need. A smart attorney can use your evidence and accident's circumstances to explicitly point out how you fell and who will be repaying you for it.
Any time someone else causes you an injury, a consultation with an attorney is always a smart idea so you can at least understand your options. Use their knowledge to your advantage to ensure you get what you deserve and nothing less.
If you're injured on someone else's property or business, this is known as a premises liability injury if their actions caused it. This would also make them responsible for the accident and obligated to compensate you for it.
Before this can happen, you must take quick action after a shopping injury. A few steps to take include gathering evidence at the scene, seeking prompt medical treatment, evaluating the circumstances at the scene, figuring out who is responsible, and seeking an attorney.
You should never have to worry about getting hurt while shopping, but the possibility is always there. Use the advice mentioned above to navigate the aftermath and give you the greatest odds of coming out on top!
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