Premises Liability

Should I Report a Slip and Fall Accident?

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A slip and fall accident should always be reported if you were hurt on another person’s property.  Not only will it document the incident, but it will also allow the issue to be corrected to prevent others from repeating what just occurred.  This is especially important when dealing with slip and falls at a retail location.  You should make the property owner or manager aware of the fall and any resulting injuries as soon after the accident as possible.

Who should you report the slip and fall to?

  • In the case of a acquaintances home or other private residence, you should notify the homeowner, renter or even landlord.
  • When it occurs at a retail location or other business, you should notify the store manager, property manager or owner.
  • If it occurs on government property, you should notify the manager on-site or an administrator for the government agency.

What should be included in the report after an accident?

In most cases you will be provided a specific form to complete.  The form itself should have been created for this specific purpose.  But at a minimum you should document any and all information you have available to you.  It is especially important to include the date, time, specific location and what actually occurred.  You will want to note what caused the fall and the specific circumstances that led up to the fall.  Note any specifics you see in the surrounding area of the fall, including any witnesses that might have seen it.

You will also want to specify what was injured.  Although you may not know the full extent, it is important to note what you feel after the fall.

Slip and Fall Accident Report – Notification

After the form is complete, make sure you ask for a copy to be made.  If one cannot be made immediately available, snap a picture of it with your phone just to ensure you have a record.  (If you have your phone, it may be smart to snap a few pictures of the area where you fell as well.)

If no one is available to take a report or a form is not available, it will be in your best interest to document in writing what you can and either provide a copy immediately to the manager/owner of the facility, or send it by mail at a later date.  Placing the facility on notice is important as a record will need to be complete for any potential insurance claims.

If you have questions about how to make a report or who to notify, feel free to give us a call.  It is important to understand that recent changes in West Virginia law will affect the outcome of any claim.  Depending on your circumstances, you may need to speak with our office just to determine who may be responsible and if you even have cause for a claim.

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Written by
Tim Miley
Tim Miley is the founder of The Miley Legal Group. After earning his undergraduate degree in finance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, Tim attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Tim is admitted to practice in all courts in West Virginia and is currently a member of the American Association for Justice, the West Virginia American Association for Justice, the West Virginia Bar Association and the Harrison County Bar Association.
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