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Always report a slip-and-fall accident when it happens

One moment, you're walking through the lobby of a business or through the aisles of a store. Suddenly, your feet lose their grip and you find yourself flat on your back. You may experience a moment of panic, when you can't breathe because the impact has forced the air from your lungs. You could see stars or even lose consciousness for a few seconds.

You realize people are staring at you, maybe trying to help you up. Your instinct may be to feel embarrassed and quickly keep moving. However, doing so could prove to be a serious mistake, even if you don't notice injuries right away.

You should speak with an employee and file a report with the business, whether you need to talk with a manager or the owner. There should be a written record of what happened. This is particularly important if you struck your head when you fell or lost consciousness, even for a second. Traumatic head injuries and brain injuries can take days or even weeks to fully develop symptoms. Ensuring that the company has a record of your fall protects your future ability to file a claim for insurance coverage if injuries later show up.

Making a report protects your claim to medical coverage

Most businesses track all accidents, however minor, to ensure they minimize potential liability. If a certain kind of accident keeps happening, the business could take steps to reduce that kind of accident. Keeping accurate internal records also helps to ensure that victims of major accidents receive coverage from a business' insurance policy in the case of major injuries.

If the business or facility where you experienced a slip-and-fall accident doesn't have a record of what happened to you, you may find yourself struggling to prove that your injuries are a result of an accident there.

While you may just want to get on with your day if you don't have immediately obvious injuries, doing so could end up costing you a lot. If the business has a record of your injury, they will probably retain any security footage that shows your slip-and-fall incident. They could also take statements from other witnesses. All of that can help make your claim for medical coverage more credible if you later develop symptoms consistent with a head or brain injury, including:

-consistent headaches

-dizziness or loss of balance

-nausea or vomiting

-confusion or other cognitive symptoms

-blurred vision

-slurred speech

-sensitivity to light

If you begin exhibiting any of these symptoms after a slip-and-fall accident, especially if you lost consciousness when you fell, you should seek immediate medical attention. It can take a while for these symptoms to manifest, but that doesn't mean your head injury shouldn't be covered by liability insurance for the businesses where it happened.

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Terry Garmey & Associates
482 Congress Street
Suite 402
Portland, ME 04101

Phone: 207-331-3111
Fax: 207-541-9242
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