This is a question that comes up often in slip and fall accidents. To begin, as suggested by the title, slip and fall accidents come under the more general area premises liability law.
Premises liability claims can involve a variety of accidents beyond slip and fall accidents. For instance, a common premises liability accident involves objects falling off shelves on customers.
In any event, the discussion on medical treatment applies to premises liability claims generally, not just slip and fall accidents. The answer to the question will depend upon the owner and insurance of the business where you were injured. The same issues will often dictate not just medical treatment following the accident, but eventual recovery on your personal injury claim.
No-Fault Premise Liability Insurance Coverage
Many more reputable businesses carry premises liability insurance coverage. Many of these policies have no-fault coverage. No-fault coverage means that the insurance policy will pay for your medical expenses no matter who was at fault in the accident. Naturally, there are exceptions to this which need not be discussed here because there only a few.
No-fault coverage means that if you are injured at a business with this coverage, the business should not refuse to cover your medical expenses by saying that it was not their fault. This is the essence of no-fault coverage.
Unfortunately, despite the coverage, many business owners will make the fault argument anyway. This position is likely taken in a misguided attempt to avoid claims on its policy. I say misguided, because once the business is put on notice of a personal injury claim,which they surely will in case of serious personal injuries, the business must report the claim to their insurance company anyway triggering the dreaded potential rise in their premium.
Steps to Secure No-Fault Coverage
So what should you do in case of a slip and fall accident? First, you should insure that an incident report was filed. You should try to get a copy of the incident report if you can before leaving the premises. If the business will not provide a copy, make sure you get the name and position of each and every employee involved with the reporting of the incident. Of course, none of this advice does much good if you are reading this after the fact or are so badly injured that you are unable to make a report.
At the time of the accident, or as soon after as possible, be sure to ask the business if they have no-fault insurance. If they do, then ask them to arrange for payment of your medical expenses. This will be like pulling teeth in many cases but be persistent and document everything. It may very well be that the business will not cooperate. Your persistence and documentation of your efforts and their response will be very helpful later in your personal injury claim.
It Helps to Have an Experienced Attorney on Your Side
As with many questions on personal injury matters, the answers often raise as many questions as they answer (i.e. what to do when the business will not provide a copy of the business report or refuses to pay medical expense despite holding no-fault premises liability coverage). This is because personal injury law is quite complex. There are countless issues that come up in every case. And every case will involve its own unique issues and analysis.
There is no substitute for the guidance of an experienced personal injury law attorney who can address your individual case. Feel free to contact us if you would like us for a review of your case.