If you are wondering what to do if you slip and fall in a Target store, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss seven steps you should take after a slip and fall accident in Target. Using this as a guide can help you feel less overwhelmed as you recover from your injuries and pursue any legal remedies you might have.
Steps to Take If You Slip and Fall at Target
Being prepared and well-equipped with knowledge can make the moments after a slip-and-fall incident less stressful. Here are seven steps to guide you after an incident.
Get Medical Attention
The very first thing you should do after a slip and fall is seek medical treatment. If you are seriously hurt, you or someone nearby should call 911 for emergency assistance.
If you can get up and have your wits about you, you should still see a doctor as soon after the incident as possible. Shock can mask many injuries, such as an internal head wound. Or, you might suffer an injury that manifests slowly and does not present for several days or weeks. The best way to properly diagnose any injury is to see a physician.
Also, seeing a doctor right away helps to definitively connect your slip and fall with your injuries. If you wait to see a doctor, the opposition will likely try to escape liability by claiming that something happened in between the incident and your evaluation—and that your injuries did not arise from the slip and fall.
Report the Accident to a Target Employee
You should always report your accident to a Target manager or supervisor to document what transpired, the location of the fall, and any other detailed information. You should also request a copy of any resultant incident report.
Document the Scene
If able, you should document the scene to gather any pertinent evidence. Recording the scene can include speaking with eyewitnesses and obtaining their contact information. It can also involve noting any surveillance cameras in the store that may have captured your fall. You should also use your cellphone to take pictures and videos. This can include:
- Photos of the hazard (e.g., spill in the isle);
- Pictures of the physical location of the accident; and
- Pictures of your injuries.
It is also a good idea to write down anything you can remember from just before you fell and what happened immediately after your accident. Jotting down this information while fresh in your memory is a great way to ensure you can accurately portray the events later.
File a Claim with Target
Once you report the injury to store personnel and see a doctor, you must file an injury claim with Target. By doing so, you put Target on notice of your injury, and they will investigate. Sometimes your slip and fall claim may resolve at this time, but Target will often deny the claim or offer a small settlement. We recommend speaking with an attorney before filing a claim with Target to ensure your best chance at recovering the full amount of your losses.
Avoid Social Media
After a slip and fall, an essential but often overlooked step is to stay off social media. Posting about your accident and injury may seem like second nature, but we strongly advise against it. Even if the post, picture, or video seems innocent, it can be damaging if you choose to pursue a lawsuit. The insurance company can and will use anything they find on your social media accounts to discredit your claim. It is best to avoid social media while your claim is pending.
Speak with a Slip and Fall Attorney
Target is one of the largest box stores in the nation, and they have deep pockets to match. While no law requires you to hire an attorney to pursue a claim against Target, it is wise to consult with an attorney. Target vigorously defends its claims and will try to limit how much they have to pay out. Their insurance adjusters and lawyers may try to intimidate you with legal jargon, extensive discovery, and lengthy litigation. Your best chance of success at holding them accountable is having a seasoned lawyer by your side.
Do Not Speak with Target’s Insurance Company
You should not speak with any insurance adjuster, Target employee, or representative without consulting your attorney. Do not provide a recorded statement or answer questions without your lawyer’s presence or guidance. Remember, Target’s insurance carrier cares about saving Target money; they do not care about you or your family.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall incidents can result in severe injuries, some of which may be permanent. In fact, the CDC reports that falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Common slip and fall injuries include the following:
- Broken bones;
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions;
- Cuts and scrapes;
- Wrist injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Hip fractures;
- Chronic pain; and
- Neck and back injuries.
These injuries can happen individually, or you might experience multiple injuries simultaneously.
Proving a Slip and Fall at Target
Generally, a civil lawsuit against Target will proceed like one against any other party. As a slip and fall victim, you have the burden of proof and must successfully prove four essential elements.
- Target owned the property: Establishing Target owned the property is typically the most straightforward element to establish.
- Target owed you a duty of care: The duty of care depends on whether you are an invitee, licensee, or trespasser—but most Target patrons are invitees because they are welcomed and expected to be on the premises. However, it is possible to be a licensee (e.g., entered the establishment to use the restroom) or a trespasser (e.g., a thief intending to steal).
- Target breached the duty of care: Once the type of visitor is determined, the plaintiff must prove that Target breached its duty of care.
- Target’s breach caused your injury: Last, the plaintiff must show that their breach caused your injury, and as a result, you suffered damages (e.g., medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering).
Our experienced Target slip and fall lawyers can help you determine if you have a valid claim.
California Slip and Fall Attorneys
You might wonder, Can I sue for a slip and fall in Target? If so, contact our personal injury lawyers. At the Frederick Law Firm, we have dedicated our practice to helping accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation.