Exploring Social Security Cases and Outcomes

Hurt While Visiting A Business? Take Action And Be Paid

by Marie Caldwell

Business owners owe visitors a responsibility to make and keep things safe. When something goes wrong, customers may take legal action against the business. Victims could be eligible for medical treatment, lost wages, ruined personal possessions, and pain and suffering. This type of legal matter is known as premises liability and reading below will get you started on the path to compensation for your losses.

Understanding Premises Liability

This term just means that business owners could be held liable (at fault) when someone gets hurt on their property. Businesses are charged with taking multiple actions to ensure customer safety each moment the business is open. That means having rules in place and remaining constantly vigilant to hazards that could pop up. For example, it's not enough to have a sign warning customers of a wet floor when it's raining, the store must also periodically remove water from entrances and place hazard cones in wet areas.

Taking Action After an Injury

It's important for hurt customers to do everything possible after an accident. The victim (or friends and family) should take the following actions to ensure everything about the accident is documented and mitigated.

  1. Let store management know – The manager on duty should take immediate action as prescribed by business safety procedures. That usually involves filling out an accident report. Be accurate with dates, times, and details and don't leave blanks on the form.
  2. Get medical care – The longer you wait, the more likely it is that you will be accused of failure to mitigate. That means not only that your injuries were not severe enough for medical treatment, but that your delay could have made things worse. Keep all medical-related paperwork.
  3. Don't chat about your accident with store employees – There is always a chance of saying something that could ruin your chances for compensation. When you are stressed, and slipping down in a store is stressful, you can chatter unconsciously. Stick to the facts and save your stories for your family and your personal injury lawyer. Another person to avoid talking to is the insurance adjuster for the store – your lawyer will handle that task.
  4. If you (or others) can safely do so, snap photos of the scene. Take photos of both the hazard and your injuries. If you go back later, things probably won't be the same. Most stores will take immediate action to remove the hazards and correct any problems. In addition, get the contact info for any eye-witnesses to what happened.

Without speaking to a personal injury attorney, you might be tempted to accept the first offer from the business. Don't sell yourself short – get legal advice and be paid what you deserve.