When you hurt yourself after a fall on private property, there are many things that may happen. For example, if you're in a store or some other type of business, the manager or even the business owner may approach you to see how you're doing. Often, the person will seem very caring, but this demeanor can be a guise to keep you happy so that you don't pursue legal action. In many cases, the property owner or a designate will ask you to sign a waiver — a legal document in which you take responsibility for the fall and injury and indicate that the property owner isn't to blame. Here are some steps to take if you're in this situation.
Refuse To Sign
Most importantly, you must refuse to sign the waiver. The property owner may attempt to get you to sign the document by misleading you about its purpose, placating you with offers of free products from the store to compensate you for your "inconvenience" of falling or perhaps even coerce or threaten you. It's imperative for you to be firm about not signing the waiver, as doing so will impede your ability to take legal action. Tell the person that you will not be signing the document in clear terms.
Call An Attorney
Most people don't retain a personal injury attorney whom they can call in such a situation, but that doesn't mean that you can't get professional help right away. Take a few minutes to look for an attorney online who specializes in slip-and-fall cases, and call his or her office. Explain the situation, indicate that you'd like to hire the attorney to represent you, and then allow him or her to take care of the matter. Generally, the attorney will ask to speak to the property owner and make it clear that you will not be signing the waiver.
Leave The Property
In some serious cases, the property owner may act highly aggressive toward you in an attempt to get you to sign. Evaluate the situation and decide if you can leave. There's usually no harm in leaving the property, even if you think you'll eventually take legal action. In an injury case, you'll commonly want to seek medical treatment, so you can use this as an excuse to leave if the property owner seems adamant about keeping you there. For example, you can say that you need to visit an urgent care clinic and must depart.
Contact a lawyer like Walsh Fewkes Sterba for more information and assistance.