Taking a spill in a department store can be embarrassing and humiliating for many. Unfortunately, some victims of the store's negligent actions allow those emotions to keep them from taking action and getting paid compensation. When you slip and fall in a public place, is it really clumsiness or something else? Read on to find out more.
A Duty of Care
Did you know that instead of you owing a store money, they actually owe you something? Every time a business opens its doors to the public, they owe them a debt known as the duty of care. Stores and other businesses owe their patrons, clients, and members a duty to keep the premises safe and to warn them about hazards before they end up getting hurt. Stores not only have to pass safety inspections by government officials, but they also have to constantly stay vigilant to hazards that might pop up. For example, stores must take care not to place barriers in front of exits in case the building has to be evacuated. Also, though, if a customer spills some cooking oil in aisle 13, they must take quick action to address it by placing warning cones in the area to warn customers about slippery floors – then the store has to clean it up.
When You Slip and Fall
Most victims automatically blame themselves for not paying enough attention to their surroundings when they have a store accident. That brings up the need for people to become aware of hazards and avoid them. You, as a customer, also have a duty of care to do what you can to stay safe in a store. In a contest between who is to blame for an injury in a store, the judge takes into consideration both sides of the equation. In most cases, the store bears a greater share of the responsibility to keep customers safe.
Protect Your Right to Seek Compensation
Taking action after a spill in a store is important, but only if you were physically harmed. If you need to seek medical treatment, then you deserve to be paid for the medical expenses and more. If you've been hurt in a store fall, do the following:
- Let the manager know about the fall as soon as possible. An accident report should be filled out.
- Seek medical treatment and begin keeping up with your expenses in regard to the fall.
- If you are able (or a friend is able) to take photos of the hazard that caused you to fall, do so before it can be rectified by the store.
- If your injuries and losses are considerable, speak with a personal injury attorney.
- In some cases, you might be offered a settlement using the insurance coverage of the store.
Get over your embarrassment and do something that prevents others from suffering the same fate as you – take action. To learn more, contact a law office like Lerner, Piermont & Riverol, P.A.