The holiday season is hectic for retail spaces, with busy shoppers running in and out searching of gifts. Add melting snow dripping off everyone's footwear and into the aisles, and it can be a dangerous place.
If you slip and fall while buying presents for loved ones, it can result in a serious injury. What should you do if this happens?
1. Call for medical assistance
It is important to seek immediate care for your injuries. Call 911 for emergency care, or follow up with a medical professional soon after.
2. Take photos of the accident location
Either take photos of the scene of the accident or ask someone to do so for you. If you need to prove negligence later, it can be helpful to provide evidence from the location of your fall.
If you pursue a lawsuit to recover damages for your injury, a store owner may claim that you played a role in the accident. In Pennsylvania, there is a statute for "comparative negligence" that says plaintiffs who are guilty of contributing to the negligence can still sue, but the damages are diminished in proportion to the negligence attributed to the plaintiff.
3. Record witnesses' names and contact information
If anyone witnesses your slip and fall, take down their name and contact information in case you need someone to verify your account of the incident.
4. Follow all medical recommendations
If a medical professional prescribes treatment for your injuries, follow their advice and take care of your health. Do not worry about the cost of medical bills or missing a few days of work.
5. Determine your ability to recover damages
If you are injured in a slip and fall, you may be able to recover damages if a store owner's negligence caused the accident. If their common practice is to clean the floors during a snowy season and they fail to do so, resulting in your injury, this could mean they breached the standard of care expected for customers, which would be grounds for a lawsuit.
When you are out shopping during the holidays, be careful while navigating packed stores that may not be maintained properly during the hustle and bustle, and know how you can protect yourself if you do become injured.