Whether you fall in the foyer of your apartment building or in the middle of the ice cream aisle at the grocery store, a slip-and-fall incident can mean major injuries. You might break a bone, suffer a brain injury or cause spinal cord damage if you pinched a nerve.
Even if you don’t notice the signs of a serious injury at first, you could develop symptoms after a few hours or several days. There are certain steps you should take to protect yourself after you slip and fall.
Report the incident to the manager or owner
Someone responsible for maintaining the facility needs to know about your injury. Whether you need to report the issue to the manager on duty at the hardware store or leave a message for the property manager at your apartment complex, the sooner you report the incident, the better.
Internal records about your report can corroborate your claim that you fell and suffered injuries if you do need compensation. Businesses will usually have insurance that protects them from liability in these cases. They may have a premises liability policy or a general business liability policy.
See a doctor if you notice any worrying symptoms
If you hit your head or obviously suffered an injury in the fall, one of the first things you should do after making a report is to go straight to either a hospital or a doctor’s office. The severity of your injuries and the time when you fall will dictate what facilities are accessible.
A doctor can help treat the injury, manage your pain and create a medical record showing that you suffered an injury as the result of the slip-and-fall incident.
Keep watching for signs of an injury
Especially if you have a soft tissue injury or brain injury, the symptoms may not be obvious right away. It could take days of bruising on your brain before you start noticing headaches or other symptoms that make it clear something’s wrong.
You will need to monitor yourself for any signs of an injury for at least a week after you fall, if not longer. If you notice any warning signs that you could have an injury, it is usually best to err on the side of caution. You can see a physician to rule out internal bleeding or other serious issues.
If you do need insurance benefits to pay for your health care or cover lost wages, these steps will help make it easier to file a claim. They can also protect you if there isn’t insurance and you have to file a personal injury lawsuit.