You’ve Been Injured In Public. What Now?

Have you been injured in public?  Have you been injured on someone else’s property as a result of the property owner’s negligence?  Then you may be looking at a viable premise liability type of personal injury case. This article will address what you should do after being injured on someone else’s property.

1.  Assess the situation

First, you should determine if you are okay.  Did you fall?  Make sure that you did not suffer any serious injuries, such as broken bones, or cuts or lacerations.  Before you get up, make sure that it is safe to get up.  Did you fall due to a foreign substance on the floor, such as a liquid?  Make sure that you can get up safely before you get up.  If not, you should call out for help.  If you suffered serious injures, such as a fracture or dislocation, you should immediately call 9-1-1 on your cell phone and explain the situation.

2.  Find an employee or property owner to make a report

If you are injured on the property of a business, then you should immediately call out for the assistance of an employee or manager.  Tell them what happened and ask that they prepare an incident report.  Most larger stores will already have a procedure in place for making and maintaining reports in regards to these types of incidents.  Smaller businesses may not have any procedures or forms to fill out, so it is not uncommon for a person to request something in writing from an employee at least acknowledging that the customer is alleging an injury or fall on the premise.

3.  Gather relevant evidence

Immediately after the fall or incident, you should gather any evidence to support a cause of action against the property owner.  Only do this if you are physically able to do so.  If you are severely injured, you should just call an ambulance and wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.  You should take photos of the dangerous condition that caused you to fall or otherwise suffer injury.  Luckily, most cell phones have an adequate camera for this purpose.

4.  Seek medical treatment

You should immediately seek medical treatment, even if you do not feel acute pain immediately after the incident.  Pain from falls and other types of premise liability incidents may not develop until hours or even days later.  It is not uncommon for someone to suffer a fall, feel embarrassed, leave the property, and then be in excruciating pain a day later.

5.  Contact an attorney

This is an extremely important step in premise liability incidents.  Once you retain an attorney, the attorney should immediately send a letter of representation and preservation to the owner of the property.  This letter should contain express language that requests the property owner to preserve any evidence in regards to the incident, which includes any surveillance footage and incident reports.  If this letter is sent in a timely fashion, then the property owner has an affirmative duty to save any evidence in reference to the incident.  If they do not preserve the information after receiving that letter, then they may be on the hook for liability because a judge may instruct the jury to make an adverse inference that they destroyed or otherwise disposed of the evidence for an improper purpose, i.e. that the evidence supported the Plaintiff’s case.

6.  Follow up with your healthcare providers

You should always follow the recommended treatment and therapy of your healthcare providers.   It is extremely important to substantiate a bodily injury claim to follow the recommendations of the physicians as you have a duty to mitigate your damages by attempting to feel better through medical treatment.
If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of a property owner.  If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident or need a personal injury attorney, please contact the Injury Firm. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience in helping the residents of Las Vegas, Nevada and we look forward to helping you!
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