Has someone claimed that they slipped and fell while at your small business, yet you are certain that their claim is false? You shouldn't have to pay for damages when someone is trying to take advantage of you. In addition, it is important that your business maintains a good reputation in the community, which can be tarnished by a false accusation. Here is what to do if you find somebody trying to sue you for an accident that did not happen.
Talk To Witnesses
Was there anybody around the accident when it happened? It is worth talking to these people immediately. You will be surprised to find that people may not be willing to speak up unless you approach them about the situation. But in any situation, witnesses will help you get a different perspective about what happened from a neutral party.
Be sure to get contact information from any witnesses, even if they said that they did not see anything. You may need to have someone give an official statement later if their recollection of the accident is different than what you hear from the victim.
Check Video Surveillance
Do you have any security cameras at your business? Now is the time to go back through the footage and see what evidence you find. It is important to not only look at the footage from the time of the accident if you have it, but to go back further to get the full story.
For instance, is there any evidence of the person checking out the area days or even weeks prior to the accident? They might have been looking for a place to plan an accident in advance. You may even find evidence of the person staging the area for something to trip on, such as dumping a bottle of water on the ground.
Know Your Rights
You may discover that the person legitimately fell, but it is not your responsibility to pay for the damages. A slip and fall on your property is not automatically your fault no matter how and when it occurred, since there are circumstance that would make a business owner responsible.
The accident must have occurred because of a condition that you were responsible for creating or preventing, as well as knowing about the problem and deciding not to fix it. The condition must have also been around long enough for you to notice it and take action. You will not be found responsible if the condition was out of you own control, such as an icy sidewalk immediately after a snowfall.
Don't be afraid to seek out professional help for your case. It may even help to work with a personal injury lawyer that specializes in these types of cases, such as those at Erickson Law Office.