When you slip and fall in a supermarket, you might initially feel embarrassed. However, as you go to get back to your feet, you might also realize that you've sustained an injury—and you might already be thinking about pursuing legal action if you believe the store's ownership was responsible for your fall and injury. While you'll want to contact a personal injury lawyer in your city as soon as possible, there are a few things that you should do first. Taking care of these steps right away can strengthen your eventual case and, whether you reach a settlement or go to trial, can often help you get more money if the supermarket is found to be negligent. Here are some crucial steps to take.
Document The Scene With Photos
An initial priority is to grab your smartphone and take many pictures of the scene and your injury. For example, if you slipped on a wet area that wasn't marked, take some close-up shots to show the wet floor and some wide-angle shots to show that there's no sign warning shoppers about the floor condition. It's important to take these shots right away because management will likely place a sign in the area upon realizing that someone has been injured. You can also take photos of any visual injuries you have.
Recruit Some Witnesses
In most cases, there will be at least some fellow shoppers who saw you fall—and some might rush to your aid to help you get back to your feet. In addition to thanking them, ask for their contact information. Having witnesses is integral to many personal injury cases. If you have some witnesses who also saw what happened, your attorney will be able to develop a stronger case on your behalf.
File A Report
You should also ask to speak to the manager on duty and file a report. This creates an official record of your fall and your injury at the specific location and time. A case in which you claim to have injured yourself but there's no record to support this claim can be challenging for your attorney to advocate for you. When you contact a manager and ask to have a report made, the store's health and safety representative will be summoned and will take notes about the situation. At a later day, your attorney can obtain this record, which will further strengthen the case.