Recommended Actions if You Slip/Trip and Fall

Here are some recommended actions you should take should you or a loved one experience a slip-and-fall/trip-and-fall accident: If you, or if someone is with you:

1. Examine the area where the accident occurred and try to determine the nature of the substance that you slipped on, i.e., water, jelly, honey;

2. Examine the area around the fall to see if there is evidence that pedestrians have been walking through the substance or there are shopping cart wheels tracks on the floor near the fall.  This is evidence that the substance has been on the floor for a sufficient time for the premises owner to be on notice of the condition;

3. If there is no slippery liquid substance on the floor, examine the area of the fall and see if there are any foreign objects on the floor such as a piece of cardboard or paper, or any other foreign object which could have caused your fall;

4. If you have sustained a serious injury you should not wash the clothes you were wearing at the time of the fall.  You should also place your shoes in a plastic bag for safe keeping and not clean the substance from the shoes, or continue wearing the shoes;

5. If possible, take photographs of the area with a cell phone if you or someone with you happens to have one;

6. Always report the incident.  Often when one slips or trips and falls they are embarrassed to report that they have fallen.  Even when there are witnesses that saw the fall, the tendency is to say I’m okay and quickly depart the area.   It is not uncommon in slip-and-fall accidents, just as in automobile accidents, not to experience pain until the next day.  It is better to report the incident to the store manager than to say nothing at all;

7. If possible, obtain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses, as the premises owner will not generally release their incident report;

8. If you believe you or a loved one has experienced serious injury, you should not only make an incident report, you should also request that any surveillance recordings be preserved.  Failure of the premises owner to preserve such evidence can be later used as evidence of liability should the premises owner not do so; and,

9. You should immediately seek medical attention for your injuries, and document that the injuries are related to an accident.

About The Author

Laura Hack

Laura Hack

Laura Hack is a paralegal with Terrell • Hogan. She has been with the firm since 1996 and has worked primarily for Wayne Hogan. She is an experienced Paralegal with 30+ years of working in the law practice industry. Skilled in Appeals, Civil Trial Litigation Support, Torts, Trial Practice, and Pleadings.