When someone suffers an injury on your business’s premises because of a slip and fall accident, you may be liable for damages if they subsequently file a personal injury lawsuit against you. Your liability in such a situation may be substantial, as damages in this type of case can include compensation for significant hospital bills, lost wages, and even non-economic “pain and suffering.”
After a slip and fall occurs, it is important to take the proper actions to ensure a winning defense or, at the very least, minimize your out-of-pocket loss. The following are five steps you need to take after someone slips and falls on your business’s premises:
Notify your insurance company – if you have a commercial liability policy, then depending on what types of claims are covered under the policy your insurance may cover a judgment against your business in a slip and fall case. However, insurance companies require that you notify them immediately after an incident that could potentially lead to a lawsuit occurs. You need to act quickly, because if you take too long then they may deny your claim if you are later sued and a judgment is
entered against you.
Get names of witnesses – See if anybody witnessed the slip and fall occur and get their names and contact information. You want to make sure that, if the plaintiff tries to twist the facts of the case at trial, you have a list of others who were present when the incident occurred and who could potentially back up your version of the events.
Write up a report of the incident – Make a report of what happened, so that if the plaintiff was acting carelessly or negligently, you’ll have a record of it made when the incident was still fresh in your mind. You should also include the names and contact info of anyone who witnessed the incident, as discussed above, as part of your report.
Fix the condition that allegedly caused the slip and fall – Once someone slips and falls on your business’s premises, you now know that that spot can cause such accidents. You should take steps to fix the issue, because if someone else subsequently slips and falls in the same spot and finds out about the original incident, they may be able to prove that you were aware of the issue (because of the first slip and fall) and should have taken steps to fix it. Evidence of subsequent remedial measures may not be used to
prove negligence under the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence, so this won’t expose you to liability in the original slip and fall case, but it may help prevent liability that would have stemmed from other cases
in the future.
Contact an attorney – If the case is serious enough, you should contact an attorney who specializes in this type of law so that you can have your case analyzed and find out what your potential liability could be and what options you may have.
If you have questions regarding a commercial insurance policy coverage issue in Pennylsvania and need to contact an attorney
I invite you to contact the legal team at Berkowitz Klein LLP. We have been representing business owners in policy coverage and commercial litigation issues in Pennsylvania for over 20 years. We have represented clients in coverage issues in nearly every county in South Eastern Pennsylvania, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, and Montgomery. Feel free to contact Gerald Berkowitz directly to discuss your issue.