Steps to be Taken after a Fall on Someone Else’s Property
At any time during an average day, a number of people are visiting many places owned by friends, acquaintances, and businesses. There can be serious consequences when someone suffers a fall in one of these places.
The most appropriate steps to be taken once someone falls depends on how bad their injuries are. If you suffer a fall, here is what you should do to protect yourself from any further injury, according to The National Institute of Health:
- Take several deep breaths and try to relax
- Remain still to help you orient yourself to the situation and your surroundings
- Decide if you feel that you can get up
When you feel you can get up, you should do so slowly. You don’t want a second fall to cause more problems. The NIH recommends that you lay on your side and then get up on your hands and knees and try to get to a chair. Then, slowly rise to your feet or sit in the chair.
Here are the next steps you should take if you happen to suffer a slip and fall injury, particularly if that fall happens someone else’s property.
Seek Medical Attention
Too many times those involved in a slip and fall accident, especially in a public place, want to get away from the attention and just leave straight for home without consulting a doctor. That is wrong on many levels. There may be consequences from bumps and bruises that are later found to be something potentially much more serious, like a concussion. If the accident could have been avoided, perhaps by the owner maintaining the property more thoroughly to eliminate potential hazards, the medical exam following the fall may be crucial if litigation is warranted.
Inspect the Place Where You Fell
The fall may have been due to a wet floor, uneven carpet, poor tile work, or any number of other conditions that should have been attended to before anyone entered the property. In today’s world of cell phone cameras, photographs can play an important part in these types of situations. If possible, the person who fell or someone who has accompanied them should take some photos while still at the scene of the accident.
Fill Out an Incident Report
Falls at work always require an incident report be filled out, and many retailers and other business owners are trained to request that reports be filled out in the case of a slip and fall. It is a good idea to try and remember what exactly happened, as making sure that there is a report on file informing the owner or occupier of the store that an incident has occurred. It could be very hard to prove weeks later that an incident occurred if there is no incident report on file. Care should be taken in what is said as the person filling the form out may still be woozy if they had hit their head or still shook up from the incident.
Follow Up Visit to the Doctor
Visiting the doctor is the priority in these circumstances – especially if there was any head trauma, no matter how slight. Some people have had concussions without losing consciousness and certain injuries to the spine and other joints may show themselves after a day or two, so more than one visit should always be considered.
If you had the misfortune of falling on someone else’s property, you could be due compensation for pain and suffering if negligence can be proven. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is the best way to determine if you have a potential case. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a slip and fall accident, contact Leifer & Ramirez today to find out how our skilled attorneys can help you.