Every year, millions of people slip, trip, and fall due to a wide range of reasons. Sometimes these incidents are minor and can be laughed off (usually by your friends and family), while other times they can cause painful, serious, and expensive injuries. In fact, injuries that result from falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, responsible for nearly nine million per year according to the National Safety Council.
However, although the injury risk is substantial, many of these slip and fall incidents are not investigated because reports aren’t properly filed. If a report isn’t filed at the time of injury, victims can’t prove liability and are forced to pay for expensive treatment costs on their own, instead of the persons responsible being held accountable for injury care.
How can you prevent this from happening to you?
Simple: Demand an incident report and fill it out completely.
Properly Completing an Incident Report
Businesses should have proper incident reports readily available for accidents; after all, they are liable not only for customers who fall, but employees as well. However, some owners and managers will try to lessen the importance of your accident by claiming that you needn’t bother filling out a report. Another tactic they may use is telling you that they’ll “investigate” the issue and the only info they need is your name and phone number.
Don’t be fooled! Incident reports need to be filed in order to provide documented proof and accounts of the accident. In addition to helping you if you decide to pursue a claim, this documentation can also be used by OSHA, the Health Department, and store safety inspectors. Therefore, when a manager tells you that you don’t need to complete an incident report or tries to convince you that the only info he needs is your personal information, make sure you insist on filling out a proper report.
Incident reports should always include the following information:
- Date and time of the accident
- Personal information (name, age, address, phone, etc.)
- Location of the incident
- Description of the incident
- Weather conditions, if outdoors
- Walking surface conditions (wet, muddy, cracked sidewalk, etc.)
- Description of condition at scene
- Lighting conditions
- Were photographs taken?
- Were there caution signs posted?
- Type and condition of shoes or footwear
- Witness statements
- Description of injury
- Treatment given, if any
The Report Is Filed…Now What?
It is extremely important to realize that even if you don’t exhibit immediate signs of injury, sore muscles, bruises, and complications can arise from a slip and fall that can cause serious long-term problems. In addition, if a sprained ankle due to a fall causes you to fall again and seriously hurt yourself, the person liable for the initial incident could be considered responsible for later injuries. However, if you didn’t fill out a report or document the incident, proving your case could be difficult. This is why it’s imperative to make sure you accurately and completely fill out an incident report whenever and wherever you experience a slip and fall accident.
When your report is filed with the store manager, police, or other official, make sure you obtain a copy as well for your files. Once you have been looked over by your doctor and you have received the medical treatment required for your injuries, bring your copy of the report to our slip and fall accident attorneys in Philadelphia to discuss your legal options.
You shouldn’t have to pay for medical expenses when someone else’s neglect or incompetence caused you pain. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve to get the treatment and care you need. The consultation is free, but the advice, guidance, and support we’ll give you could save you thousands. Call us at (215) 569-1455 to set up an appointment or visit our office today!