We recently launched our new site on LexBlog entitled Connecticut Injury Resource Guide
which was developed to help injured people and their families become part of a statewide community that gives insight and commentary on all aspects of injury cases. As part of what we do, we provide interview questions to industry experts to obtain valuable insight into a person's personal injury case. We would welcome any suggestions for topics, information, or commentary from our readers.
One recent post entitled What To Do if You Are Injured in Some Type of CT Store or Retail Establishment
provides some valuable tips on things that people might overlook if they are injured in any type of establishment that sells any products or services. In fact, these tips could literally help to establish liability in your case and could defeat a great number of arguments that would be made by the insurance company insuring the store or establishment.
We are often contacted by individuals who have fallen or been struck with some object in a retail establishment. After finding out about the facts of their case, the injuries they sustained and a number of other pieces of information we will then ask the person if they took any pictures of the thing that they tripped over, slipped on, or fell on them. In many cases, the answer is no. This makes their case significantly more difficult because photographic evidence is one way that we can establish liability in these types of cases.
So if you are involved in any type of trip and fall or slip and fall or have a falling object injure them it is very important that you take pictures of what caused you to trip or slip or what fell on you from what location. Let me give you one such example that helped to establish liability when we otherwise would have had a great challenge in this regard. We represented a woman who slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk outside a Dunkin' Donuts location. After the woman's daughter checked on her, call 911, and was awaiting medical help, she took pictures of the area in which her mother fell while she was on the ground.
The insurance company representing Dunkin' Donuts indicated that they had salted the area prior to the time our client fell because someone from the store had taken pictures after the EMS personnel had arrived and was treating our client. The pictures establish the fact that there was salt on the sidewalk while the EMS personnel were taking care of our client. It would seem, from these pictures, that Dunkin' Donuts had taken the necessary precautions to salt the sidewalk so that people entering and exiting the store would be safe.
The problem with the picture that was provided by the insurance company was that as our client's daughter was taking photographs of her mother on the sidewalk before the EMS personnel arrived, and you can clearly see the arm of someone from Dunkin' Donuts throwing salt on the area while she was on the ground. In fact, in one such picture, you could see the salt exiting the cup of the Dunkin' Donuts employee as it was flying through the air before it reached the sidewalk. The first pictures taken by our client's daughter showed no salt on the sidewalk at all.
If we did not have this photograph, that was taken by our client's daughter, the argument being made by Dunkin' Donuts' insurance carrier would have been very persuasive in showing that they had taken some steps to ensure the safety of the patrons that were entering and exiting their coffee shop.
The other thing to keep in mind is that if you fill out an accident report with the store manager, which you should do and indicate why the store was at fault for your injury, the store will not provide you with a copy of that report. So, before you give the report back to the store manager, take a photograph of it with your cell phone so that you have a complete copy of the report so you can provide it to your attorney.
To the extent you are able, you should also get the names and contact numbers of all witnesses who were present who can provide information to your attorney's private investigator about what they witnessed and what caused you to become injured. These are just some of the basic things that you need to do at the accident site to help your attorney establish liability and build value into your case.
Lastly, you should insist upon being taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital if you are injured so that you can be properly assessed by the medical experts so that a plan can be developed for your future care and treatment so you can get better as quickly as possible. To the extent that you have any questions about any aspect of a slip and fall, trip and fall, or falling object injury case please contact us so we can provide you with free information and advice.