Even though most companies and large enterprises have a policy of emphasizing safety first on their business premises, preventable accidents still happen. Sometimes, even the most careful workers and professionals still experience mishaps, and as a result, they lead to unsuspecting individuals suffering from injuries. Understaffing is the most common cause of this.
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common personal injury accidents in public places, including grocery and department stores, where many people wander around to shop for products and merchandise. The most common incident is when some liquid is spilled and is not cleaned up until a customer slips and falls.
With numerous stores as part of its retail chain across America, Target has received its fair share of lawsuits involving slip and fall accidents and injuries. However, there tend to be more slip and fall lawsuits against Walmart.
What To Do When You Slip And Fall at a Target
- Take photos of the liquid you slipped on and the store’s surrounding area.
- Report the fall immediately to a Target employee.
- Ask for a copy of the incident report.
- Get the medical treatment you need for your injuries.
Remember that Target isn’t automatically liable for every slip-and-fall accident within its store premises. The customer who fell and got injured has to meet certain legal requirements to hold the company accountable.
To hold Target legally liable, the customer has two main options for liability: Target (its employees) created the hidden danger, or Target should have known of the hidden danger and did not repair/clean it. If this first requirement is met, an injured plaintiff must also establish that Target’s negligence is the “direct and proximate cause” responsible for the injuries that the plaintiff suffered from the slip and fall.
Target has a defense if the danger is “open and obvious.” For example, if an employee is mopping a small area of a shopping aisle, and a customer sees the wet floor sign and the puddle of Gatorade but chooses to walk through the spill, Target will most likely be excused from any liability.
Compare this to something like the freezers holding frozen drinks or fresh goods leaking cold water onto the floor, which slowly but eventually forms into a puddle. Target is responsible for checking their floors to see if there are any puddles of water or slippery portions. If a customer unknowingly walks through the puddle and falls and injures their shoulder, Target should be liable.
Reporting An Incident To Target
The first thing that you should do after a slip and fall or other similar accident is to report the incident to the store manager. Take photos of the area where you fell. Be careful with your words when you’re dealing with the store manager or anyone else who Target tasks to handle the incident report. Being argumentative doesn’t help, either.
Remember that a lawsuit must be filed if your incident or accident injury claim can’t be settled. The injured party will be the plaintiff, and Target will be on the other side as the defendant. As much as possible, stick to the basic story and facts of what happened. Remember that Target’s store managers should be on the lookout for anything you might say they’d be able to use to reverse your statements and oppose your claim.
Dealing With Store Management
After you’ve talked to the store manager of Target or anyone else they task to handle your complaint, Target will file an Incident Report with their liability insurance provider. This incident report will most likely contain what you and the Target manager or employee discussed when you reported what happened to you. It will likely contain statements from some of their store crew who might have seen what happened to you when you slipped. At the very least, it will include what the Target employee(s) observed after the injury.
Target’s Risk Department or their accident liability insurance provider will likely reach out to you a couple of days after they receive and read the Incident Report. At this point, the adjuster may tell you that a “recorded statement” is required, but it is not.
Do not agree to a settlement until you have finished treatment with your doctor. If you settle while still hurt, Target will be off the hook for any medical bills after you sign the settlement release. Insurance companies do not “pay as you go” for liability claims. It is a one-time settlement.
Give a Lawyer a Call if You Have Any Questions
You should consider talking to a lawyer when you get home from a slip-and-fall accident at Target. You might think it’s just a minor injury or the manager who talked to you was nice. Most personal injuries offer free consultations, so even if you don’t think you have a serious injury, talking with a lawyer can help ensure you are not missing anything important with your claim.
If You’re Hurt, Get Medical Treatment
One of the most crucial elements or aspects of your slip and fall injury claim against Target is whether and how you’ll be able to prove the extent of the injuries you suffered due to the slip and fall accident.
You should see a doctor immediately if you are hurt from the slip and fall. This is important so that the medical tests done on you are as close to the accident date as possible. This helps document your claim but, more importantly, gets you the medical treatment you need.
It’s common for people to wait as long as possible to go to the doctor. In the best case, the injury heals on its own. Worst case, the slip-and-fall victim waits to finally go to the doctor because they think the injury will heal but still have serious back pain six months after the fall. If this happens, the Target defense lawyers will likely argue that the injury happened in that 6-month period. This is called a “delay in treatment” defense. The simple advice is to go to the doctor if you are hurt. Depending on the injuries and if physical therapy is needed, going to a physician early on will also speed up your physical recovery so you can get back to your normal routine and life.
If you have any legal questions, give us a call. We’re easy to talk to and can give you an overview of the legal process and whether or not you have a viable case against Target.