For all of us, cost savings is good….but not so good when businesses cut spending on inspection, maintenance and repair of premises defects. Oftentimes, these defects can result in very serious injuries involving lengthy medical care.
When people fall in public places, embarrassment usually comes first and as such, people are distracted from getting the helpful information they need.
But there are any number of ways that clients can focus and help themselves, if they do take a fall. Here are a few:
- Bystanders want to help and will come to your aid. So, consider getting the name and contact information of anyone who witnessed your fall or who may have also seen the defect. Witnesses give credibility to the type of defect, your actual fall and oftentimes, your injury.
- Take a photo of the area where the defect is or if you are unable, ask the witness to take the photo as a courtesy. Even though many large box stores have a policy of taking pictures of the area after a fall, these photos, even if taken, are oftentimes not readily available in a later legal claim.
- Most stores have video surveillance and here, clients should ask for confirmation of the fall by the store’s videotape. Most of these systems are digital and videotape is stored for some time. You can ask that the videotape be preserved.
- Stores managers will ask patrons to give information and sign claim forms after falling. Remember to ask for copies of any document you sign. If the store refuses, don’t sign at all. Many stores like to downplay or minimize their mistakes by grading their own homework papers. We see this quite often.
- Finally, if a client is later contacted by a store or insurance claims agent, there is no requirement that any oral or written statement be given.
Obtainment of investigation information is a good first start hopefully to a successful outcome. So, see your attorney early to get correct advice.