When people get hurt in public, it can cause a scene. If you slip on a puddle of standing water or some spilled soda in the grocery store, anyone else nearby will likely come rushing over to see if you are okay.
Most people will experience intense embarrassment right after they fall if they don’t notice obvious signs of injury. They don’t want to stop and draw attention to what just happened. However, to protect yourself from potentially life-altering consequences, that is exactly what you should do.
You may not know how badly you hurt yourself until later
When you fell, did you hit your head on the wall, a fixture, your shopping cart or the floor? Did you black out for a second?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, you could be at risk for a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Unlike a broken bone, which will not bear weight at all after an injury, a TBI won’t necessarily have obvious symptoms right after you fall.
The worst symptoms are often the result of pressure caused by ongoing bleeding inside the skull. It could be several days before you realize there is something wrong with you and even longer before you get an accurate diagnosis. If you wait until you have symptoms to speak up about the fact that you fell, you may struggle to get compensation for your injuries.
Reporting your fall creates a paper trail
In theory, you may have some proof that you fell even if you don’t speak to someone at the store afterward. You may have texted a friend or family member making a joke about how clumsy you were. That, combined with a diagnosis a week later, might help you bring a premises liability claim against a property owner or business manager.
However, when you report an incident shortly after it occurs, the business will then have a formal record of the fact that you fell. That record will make it easier for you to successfully file a claim for benefits later if you develop symptoms that require medical attention.
Taking the right steps when you get hurt on someone else’s property can protect your right to pursue a premises liability claim later.