Slip and fall accidents occur unexpectedly and can have devastating consequences. A quick trip to the local grocery may result in a visit to the emergency room if a property owner fails to maintain the store in a reasonably safe condition. Since slip and falls occur quickly and unexpectedly it is not always possible to immediately report the accident to the property owner. In some instances, it is not even possible to report an accident to the property owner because they are not on the property. While a slip and fall accident should always be reported as soon as possible, failing to immediately report a slip and fall does not preclude the injured party from bringing a civil lawsuit at a later date to be compensated for their injuries. Generally, however, it is best to report a slip and fall accident that resulted in an injury as soon as possible for several reasons.
Slip and fall accidents are frequently caused by a foreign transitory substance in an area where visitors travel. For example, a puddle of water in the middle of a grocery store aisle or oil in the waiting room of an automobile repair store. Reporting a slip and fall as soon as possible may prevent additional visitors to the property from injuring themselves as well. Also, reporting a slip and fall accident as soon as possible starts a paper trail that may be important to a future civil lawsuit for damages. The precise time of a fall is often a point of contention in slip and fall lawsuits. A negligent property owner may attempt to claim the area where the injured person fell had been inspected shortly before the fall in attempt to avoid liability. The length of time a dangerous condition was on the floor, and whether or not the property owner knew, or should’ve known, the dangerous condition was on the floor is an important aspect of every slip and fall case. Therefore, an individual who has suffered a slip and fall injury while on another person’s property should always attempt to make a written statement. A copy of the statement should also be requested to verify its accuracy and to ensure it is available if needed at a later date.
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