The floor is wet, or the sidewalk is icy. Suddenly, you feel the world shift around you as your feet slid out from under you. You wind up falling on your back, slamming onto your side or crashing into nearby fixtures in the store. You may need help to get up, or you may even black out for a few seconds. If you don't notice a horrific injury, like a broken arm, right away, you may feel tempted to quickly move on and hope no one saw. Doing that could prove to be a major mistake.
While you may feel embarrassed about your slip-and-fall incident, you should take the time to report what happened to the owner or manager of the business. If you fell on the sidewalk outside a business or home, you should let the property owner know, if that person is present. Doing so could end up being important for your future.
You may not notice certain injuries right away
One of the most important reasons to report a slip-and-fall is that you may not realize the extent of your injuries right away. Many people receive a rush of adrenaline during an accident. That can mask your feelings of pain for some time. You may have strained, sprained or overextended something without realizing it yet.
Some serious injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, can take hours, days or more before they show symptoms. Unfortunately, head injuries are relatively common in slip-and-fall incidents. You may end up tumbling in a fashion that shakes the brain in the skull, causing swelling and bruising. You might strike your head on the floor, a wall, furniture or fixtures as you fall. Whatever the cause, if you strike your head or lose consciousness, you should absolutely take the time to report the accident.
Reporting the fall creates a legal record of the event
Property owners should maintain safe facilities. Failing to do so could result in injury to people like you and expensive premises liability claims or lawsuits. When you report an accident, like a slip-and-fall injury, that helps connect your losses or injuries to the premises where you got hurt. Most businesses maintain special records of any such event to aid in insurance inquiries in the future.
If you suspect a head injury, you should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. That way, even if the business or property owner doesn't report the accident, you'll have documentation that ties your symptoms and medical costs to the accident. That can help you in the future if you file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your lost wages, medical costs and other damages that resulted from the fall.