Fall type accidents are very common and the injuries from these accidents can be very severe. Typically, a fall accident causes embarrassment, especially in a public place, as falling down in front of other people can cause all kinds of reactions from fright to concern to laughter.
May fall type accidents are caused by the negligence of businesses that invite the general public into their facility to conduct business. These can be governmental buildings, large retail stores, sports arenas or just about anyplace open to the public.
Most of these places have management that are trained to obtain a statement from you, in many cases before you even know why you fell and if you are injured or not. Part of the training of management in addressing a fall in the particular facility or establishment is to isolate you from any potential witnesses and keep your attention by taking you to a different area of the facility to help you.
Meanwhile, a store employee cleans the area or places warning devices that were not there. As with any case where the individual may be claiming negligence against a large company or establishment, the establishment has trained employees that know how to do damage control quickly.
Remember the following:
- In most states it is the burden of the victim to be able to prove why they fell and how the establishment was negligent. If you cannot say why you fell, and/or what you fell on or describe the hazard, you will have a very hard time proving negligence on the part of the establishment.
- Even though you are embarrassed, look around carefully if you can and try and get pictures and/or video with your cell phone or have someone do it for you.
- If a bystander offers you help, get their name and telephone number. The establishment will usually fail to record this information and will not be willing to reveal it if they do take it down in the first place.
- Contact an attorney at the earliest possible opportunity. In many cases, the establishment will have video surveillance of your fall, but they will not keep it or will take steps to conceal it. An attorney can contact the establishment immediately and take steps to ensure video evidence does not disappear.
- As always, seek immediate medical attention for any injuries or potential injuries. If it turns out you aren’t seriously injured, you can always drop a claim notice. However, if you do not seek medical attention and weeks later discover that you are injured, it is very difficult to recreate the hazard that caused the fall weeks after the fall.