You need a big bag of pet food or a fresh container of milk. You run into a retail establishment hoping to make a quick purchase. Unfortunately, there’s a power cord across the aisle or a puddle of spilled dried lentils that makes you slip.
You fall in the middle of the store, possibly hitting your head or twisting your shoulder painfully on the way down. You might just want to get home and be done with the day, or perhaps you think that all you need is some over-the-counter painkiller for your injuries.
The idea of finding an employee and making an official report about your fall may seem silly and unnecessary, but it is an important step to take when you get hurt in a public space.
If you don’t speak up, no one will know
Businesses have risks that come from allowing customers into their premises. If someone gets hurt, just like you did, the business could have financial liability for whatever losses that person suffers. Even small, family-operated businesses typically have at least general liability insurance, if not a specific premises liability policy.
For the insurance company to pay out on a claim made by a visitor to the store, there needs to be internal records of the incident that left the person hurt. If you notify a manager about your slip-and-fall, they should fill out incident paperwork including all the details of what happened. They can also review and retain security footage and other evidence.
If you never developed other symptoms, then you will have to endure a few minutes of awkward or embarrassing conversation. However, it turns out that you have a soft tissue injury or a traumatic brain injury, your report will help you connect with insurance benefits or even file a lawsuit against the business.
Slip-and-falls can cause big financial losses
Even if you have good health insurance, you may have to pay quite a bit out of pocket to get care for the injury you suffer when you slip and fall at a store. More importantly, your health insurance won’t reimburse you for lost wages or property damage, as you can easily smash your expensive smartphone when you fall.
Notifying employees at the store and seeking timely medical treatment when you develop concerning symptoms will help you make a successful claim if you suffer lasting losses from a slip-and-fall incident at a business.