According to the CDC, approximately ten million individuals visited emergency centers in the hospitals to receive medical treatments for falls between 2009 and 2010. Slips and falls have been reported to be the leading cause of accidents in the workplaces. A slip and fall incident can be extremely serious since a business may be sued for allowing the hazardous condition to exist. To be well-prepared for these kinds of cases, here is a step-by-step guide to follow if an individual falls over in your business premises.
1. Medical Assistance
If an individual falls and is injured in your business premises, your first step should be calling for medical assistance. Try to keep the victim in a comfortable situation and do not move them around to avoid aggravating their injuries. You should also try to control bleeding if any, and check their airways to ensure there are no obstructions in their breathing.
2. Inspect the Fall Section
Once first aid has been given and the victim attended to by the medical professionals, inspect the site of the fall to determine whether dangerous conditions still exist. The carpeting or flooring should be checked to ascertain if they are in their right condition so as to avoid similar incidents of slip and fall from occurring. You also need to remember that not all hazardous conditions can be attributed to the premises owner being held liable for a fall. For example, on a snowy or rainy day, building floors usually get wet and are usually slippery. In such cases, falls can be perceived to be beyond the business’s control.
3. Create an Incident Report
As the owner of the business, you also need to create an incident report that would detail the victim’s name, the site of fall, conditions that necessitated the fall, injuries sustained, hospital visited, and names of witnesses. This is a crucial report as it details what transpired. You can also attach other supporting documents such as photos of the site can be crucial as these can help you during the claim if no obvious hazard existed at the time of the fall.
4. Legal Assistance
Make sure you are careful with what you say after the incident. In fact, it is best not to say anything which may sound like you are admitting liability. Refrain from making statements in the absence of a premises liability attorney. Your lawyer should be in a position to provide guidance on how you are going to deal with the legal process in a way that would protect your interests.
There are no precise means of determining when the owner of a business is legally responsible for the injuries sustained by other people within his or her premises. Every case depends on how the business owner acted during a slip and fall incident and whether the plaintiff or victim acted carelessly on his or her part to warrant the injuries sustained. As a business owner, following the pointers highlighted above will help to avoid liability when a victim claims you were negligent and failed to take necessary precautions to prevent slips and falls.