Slip and fall accidents at grocery stores are common in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. There are many causes of falls at a grocery store, such as wet floors, boxes and debris left in aisles, damaged flooring, poor lighting, and icy parking lots and store entrances.
You might be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you were hurt in a slip and fall accident at a grocery store. Here are four steps you should take to protect your rights and build a winning case.
#1: File an Accident Report
You should file an accident report right after your slip and fall accident. This puts the grocery store and insurance company on notice of your fall and claim. It can also avoid disputes with the insurance company about whether you really fell at the grocery store. Get a copy of the accident report and the grocery store’s contact information.
#2: Obtain Prompt Medical Care
A doctor should examine you within 72 hours of your fall, even if you do not believe you were hurt. You may have suffered a serious injury, such as a back or spinal injury or a traumatic brain injury, and not yet be experiencing any symptoms. In addition, if you do not see a physician right away, the insurance company could argue that your injuries were caused by another incident or are not as severe as you claim.
#3: Preserve Evidence
You need evidence to prove that the grocery store’s negligence caused your slip and fall accident. Helpful evidence you should collect immediately includes the following:
- Witnesses. Get the contact information for any witnesses who saw your accident so that you can get their written statements.
- Photos. Take photos of the area where you fell, the dangerous condition that caused your fall, and your injuries with your cellphone camera. If any eyewitnesses took pictures or video, obtain copies from them too.
- Your clothes and shoes. Preserve your clothes and shoes in the same condition they were in when you fell. They may be important evidence if the grocery store’s insurance company claims that your negligence caused your fall.
- Request security footage. Look for surveillance cameras in the grocery store. Tell the store manager to save any security footage. The cameras may have taped your slip and fall accident or could show that the hazardous condition existed long before you were injured.
#4: Don’t Accept a Quick Settlement
If you suffered severe injuries, the value of your claim would be worth more. The insurance company may offer you a quick settlement of your case for far less than you are entitled to in hopes that you are desperate enough to accept it. Resist the urge to settle your claim until you have consulted with a knowledgeable premises liability attorney.
#5: Retain a Lawyer
You should hire a knowledgeable premises liability attorney immediately. They will file your claim, collect the evidence you need to win your case, and negotiate your settlement with the insurance company.
If you were hurt in a premises liability accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, our experienced premises liability attorneys can fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To learn more about how we can assist you and our track record of success helping other slip and fall accident victims, call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.