Posts Tagged Attorney

Nov 19 2014

A Tort in All Your Houses – 7 Things to do When an Accident Happens

So you’re a small business owner. Someone just slipped and fell in your shop. Obviously, if anyone is seriously injured, you need to call an ambulance. But other than that, what should you do?

Here are seven things you should do to make sure there’s adequate evidence for you to prevail at trial.


1. Get Photos.

Take pictures! Take a lot of pictures! Most people never think about it, but its important to preserve the evidence as much as possible. Take pictures of the potential plaintiff, the scene of the accident, take pictures of the damage, take pictures of your cleaning and maintenance logs if you have any. If you’re lucky enough to have surveillance footage, you need to keep the footage.

Take pictures with whatever you have to take pictures with. If you have a camera use a camera. If you have a cellphone use a cellphone. If your friend has a cellphone use her cellphone. Some pictures are better than no pictures.


2. Get Witnesses.

Next, its important to get witnesses. If you’re a busy business, you probably have a lot of customers looking and watching. Those people probably saw the accident. Don’t be afraid to stop them get their names and information. If you’re too afraid to do that, you should at least take down their license plate number and the make and model of their vehicle. And once again, you can do this with your cellphone camera!


3. Determine the Extent of Your Injuries.

Next you need to determine the extent of the injuries. If someone had to go to the hospital, they should have already gone, but just because they’re not bleeding out in your store doesn’t mean you’re not injured. Dizziness, pain, bruises, bumps, and scrapes are still injuries. Determine try to determine injuries, and take pictures if their injuries can be seen.


4. Exchange Information.

You need to exchange information with the victim. Its important to get their identifying information such as their drivers license information, and license plate number. You can capture their information with your camera or cellphone if you don’t have pen and paper handy.


5. Report it.

Interview your employees and make an written incident report. It’s important to make a written incident report because it will be found in discovery, and you’ll be able to call up your employees and have them recall their story from the incident report. It’s all part of preserving evidence for trial.


6. Make Time to See Your Attorney.

Lastly, you should make time to see your attorney and get some advice. Don’t wait until two or three years after the accident to do this. Like milk and vegetables, evidence is best when it’s still fresh. Get an attorney and let them advise you.


7. Call Your Insurance Carrier.

If your attorney was worth any salt, he asked you about your insurance coverage. If you had any insurance, he asked you for that information. If he didn’t ask about your insurance coverage, you should find a new attorney. At the very least, even if he doesn’t ask, you need to call your insurer to see if they’ll cover you under your circumstances. If they do, your insurance company will step in and defend and/or settle the claim.