If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at a Trader Joe’s in Long Island, you could be entitled to recover compensation. In Long Island and New York at large, residential and commercial property owners must ensure that their property is safe for visitors. If a Trader Joe’s or other grocery store fails to eliminate hazardous conditions that could pose a threat to customers, they can be held liable.
Contact the Long Island slip and fall accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. to get started on your accident claim if you were injured in an accident through no fault of your own at a Trader Joe’s. We offer a free initial consultation so that you can understand your rights.
Here, we will review some of the most important steps you should take after a slip and fall in Long Island:
Report the Accident Immediately
Report the accident to store management right away. If the manager or supervisor fills out an accident report, be sure to request a copy of the report for your records. You should also request a copy of the surveillance footage if a camera captured the incident. The store may be reluctant to hand over footage that implicates them, so you might need to get an attorney involved to obtain the video.
Watch What You Say
It is human nature to apologize after an accident, even if it clearly wasn’t your fault. Be wary of apologizing or saying “I’m sorry” after a slip and fall accident, as these statements could later be used against you by the property owner or their insurance company.
Secure as much information at the scene as possible if you’re physically able to. Take photos of the accident scene, including the hazard that caused you to slip and fall, as well as any visible injuries you suffered. Information gathered at the scene can be some of the most powerful evidence in your case, and you won’t have another chance to get an up-close, visual record of what occurred.
Get the Contact Information for Any Eyewitnesses
If any nearby bystanders witnessed the slip and fall accident, you should speak to them and request their contact details, including their names and phone numbers. Your attorney may contact them to get a statement, or they could even be called upon to testify if your case goes to trial. Witness testimony can significantly strengthen your case because it is typically objective.
Get Medical Attention
Get evaluated by a medical professional within 72 hours of the accident. The sooner you get the medical treatment you need, the better. While a slip and fall accident might not seem that serious, it can cause life-threatening harm, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal injuries. Even if you believe you aren’t injured, you should be checked out just in case. Many injuries don’t show symptoms for days or weeks, but a doctor could diagnose them before complications arise.
Most insurance companies also require claimants to be seen within 72 hours after an accident. If you are not evaluated within that three-day window, the insurance company might reject your claim, arguing that a separate incident must have caused your injuries. The longer you wait to be evaluated, the less likely your claim will be successful.
Keep a Journal
It would help if you wrote down everything you remember about the accident as soon as you have a chance. Any impressions you document in the direct aftermath of the accident may be admissible in court. Include details about what you saw, how the slip and fall happened, and any statements made by management or staff.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Your physician will prescribe a course of treatment during your medical evaluation. Do your best to stick to your doctor’s orders and attend all follow-up appointments. If you fail to follow your doctor’s instructions, not only will your injuries not improve, but the insurance company might get the impression that you aren’t taking your medical treatment seriously. That could endanger your injury claim.
Don’t Post About Your Accident on Social Media
Avoid posting about the incident on social media until your claim has been resolved. Remember: the insurance can use anything you say publicly against you to reduce or deny your claim.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement Without a Lawyer
When the insurance adjuster calls you, they might ask to take a recorded statement, but you should never provide any statement unless you have first consulted with an attorney. Remember: insurance companies are for-profit entities, and their ultimate goal is to save the company money. In taking a recorded statement, their goal is to somehow trip you up, so they have an excuse to deny your claim.
Another tactic they sometimes employ, particularly if you have a strong case, is to offer a quick, low-ball settlement that seems generous but doesn’t actually cover all of your expenses. Never sign a settlement agreement, however tempting, without speaking to an attorney first.
Hire an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer
Lastly, you shouldn’t have to go through the process of seeking compensation alone. A skilled slip and fall injury attorney will have the knowledge and experience to investigate the incident thoroughly, gather additional evidence to prove your case, document your losses, get witness statements, handle all communications with the insurance company, and even negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
Contact Finz & Finz, P.C. Today
Were you injured in a slip and fall accident at Trader Joe’s? If so, contact the Long Island slip and fall attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today to review your legal options. We have extensive experience helping victims of slip and fall accidents in New York get the justice they deserve. Call us today at 855-TOP-FIRM for a free consultation.