Going shopping in North Carolina sounds like a perfectly safe afternoon activity. You walk to the store so that you don’t have to worry — as much, anyway — about car accidents. You gather the handful of items that you need and put them in your cart. Then, on the way to the front of the store to pay, you slip and fall.
In the moment, it all happens so fast. Maybe they put too much wax on the floor the night before. Maybe something spilled and no one cleaned it up. Maybe a pipe leaked and the employees ignored it. You don’t know what happened; you just know that you’re falling.
Your head hits the ground, and there’s a bright flash. Then you wake up with a small crowd of people gathered around you. Clearly, slipping and falling is no minor incident. You think you may have a concussion — a traumatic brain injury. They rush you to the hospital.
Proving who is at fault
Unfortunately, accidents like this happen frequently. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what you need to do:
First, make sure you understand what you’re trying to prove if you want to seek compensation for your medical bills and all of the other significant costs that you’re facing. You need to show that a dangerous condition in the store existed and that:
- The owner allowed the condition to exist or created it;
- The owner understood that it existed and did not correct it, acting negligently, or;
- The owner should have known it existed since it was there for so long before the accident
For instance, maybe someone just spilled something on the floor 10 seconds before you slipped. When you fell, they were still walking to the front to report it. No one at the store knew about the issue or had a chance to correct it. That’s clearly far different than a situation where an employee identified a pipe leak the night before and told the store owner, but the owner shrugged it off, did nothing and said they’d get to it eventually.
Next, information about the incident will need to be gathered. When did it happen? What do you remember? Who saw you fall? Can you get statements from witnesses? What about the store employees? Is there any video footage of the fall, seeing as how most stores have security cameras? The more information that you can get, the better.
Lastly, don’t feel like you have to deal with the aftermath of the accident on your own. There is a lot to prove if you are going to obtain financial compensation for your losses. You will need to show that the store owner was negligent, that the negligence caused your fall and the fall led directly to your injuries and losses