It’s important to know what to do if you become injured at a store or other place of business. First and foremost, you should always report the incident to management. If the injury occurred outside of the building, such as in a parking lot or on a sidewalk, you should go into the business and report it. If the nature of your injury prevents you from doing that, you should call as soon as possible. Most stores have a reporting procedure in place which involves completing an incident report. You may ask for a copy of the report but you are not legally entitled to receive a copy. In fact, a copy of the completed form is usually not given to the injured customer.     

Since you probably will not get a copy of the incident report, you should gather your own information. Most importantly, take note of what exactly caused your injury. Many consumers assume that the business is legally responsible for the customer’s medical bills and other losses just because the injury occurred on their property. That is incorrect. You may be entitled to make a claim for recovering such expenses as well as a claim for pain and suffering, but only if you can prove that negligence (on the part of the business or manufacturer) caused the incident. Keep that in mind when gathering your information. If possible, take a picture, of the defect or condition that caused the injury. Question employees as to whether anyone else has complained of or was injured as a result of the condition or defect. Get the names of the employees involved and, if possible, other employees on duty. Make notes of all comments made by employees and/or management. Write everything down that you see and hear. The information may be crucial as you may be entitled to file a claim for out-of-pocket medical costs, compensation for pain or disability, and any other losses you may have suffered.