Not yet. Even if you don't believe you were injured in a slip and fall accident at a grocery store or another business, it's important to file an accident report. You'll have to do this immediately with a business manager or owner, or the property manager or owner. However, you shouldn't sign the report without first taking steps to protect your legal rights.
Why Filing a Slip and Fall Accident Report Is Important
Stores and other businesses should have accident report forms available in the event a worker or customer is injured in a slip and fall. While you might not want to make a fuss, especially if you feel in the moment that you weren't injured or only have a minor injury, it's imperative to ask for an accident report form. Keep in mind that the store or business isn't required by law to give you a copy of the report.
It's possible your medical condition could later prove to be more serious, but the symptoms might not be evident for days or longer after an accident. Having a record of the incident may help you later if you need compensation for your injuries.
Here are three ways filing an accident report can strengthen your claim:
- Document your accident. Filing an accident report immediately helps you document the fact that you fell in the store, which is especially important if there were no witnesses to your accident.
- Preserve details. An accident report often includes vital details, such as how the accident occurred, the condition of the area, and names and contact information of potential witnesses.
- Increase your credibility. When you don't report an accident right away, you may have a harder time convincing the insurance company or a jury that you really did injure yourself in a fall.
Do You Have to Sign the Accident Report?
You don't have to sign the accident report to notify the business or property owner of your fall. You shouldn't sign it or any other documents until you have an experienced slip and fall accident attorney review it. You could be waiving important legal rights without even realizing it.
If the owner is insisting you sign the report, you should politely refuse to do so. Take these steps instead:
- Complete the accident report without signing it and ask for a copy so you can take it to a lawyer to review before signing it.
- If the business refuses to provide you with a copy, take a picture of the report with your cellphone camera.
- Retain a lawyer as soon as possible for advice on your next steps and to negotiate your settlement with an insurance company.
Do you need to file a claim for compensation for your injuries in a slip and fall accident in San Diego or Southern California? Download my free book, The Ultimate California Slip and Fall Injury Legal Survival Book. Then, call my office to schedule a free consultation to learn how I can assist you.