Target is one of the biggest retailers in the U.S., and they have a lot of resources to throw at slip and fall cases. But that doesn’t mean you can’t file a claim and win. If you’ve fallen and been injured at Target, here’s how to file your claim—and everything you need to know to make it a strong one.
What evidence do I need for a slip and fall claim against Target?
If you slipped and fell at Target, the best way to start documenting your claim is before you file anything—while you’re still at the scene of the injury.
The sooner you do this, the better. Big retail stores will react strongly to any claim of liability, and they will move fast to get rid of any sign of what happened. In some cases, the spill that you slipped on is already being swept up before you’ve even gotten a hold of a manager—even if they let it sit untouched for hours before you fell.
If you don’t need to rush to an emergency room, here are the steps you should take immediately:
- Immediately document what happened. with the camera on your phone. Do this before you even talk to a store employee—take photographs and video showing what happened.
- Report the injury to the store. Ask an employee to take you to a manager. Make sure the manager knows that you didn’t just fall, you also got hurt. Ask for their name and who to contact at the store about the injury.
- Don’t apologize. Statements like, “I wasn’t watching where I was going,” or “I guess I must have been clumsy” are human nature, but they will come back and bite your case later. Don’t apologize. You didn’t do anything wrong.
- Talk to other people nearby. Did anyone see you fall? Or, if you point out the hazard you slipped on, do they think it’s a hazard too? Ask them for a way to contact them in case you need proof of what happened later.
- Stay calm. No one wants to take 20 minute or more gathering evidence when they’re in pain. And there’s a good chance the store manager will be trying to blame you or minimize what happened. Calmness is your number one asset, and guarantees you don’t say anything that will hurt your case.
Obviously, it’s not always possible to do this immediately at the scene. Depending on how the injury happened, it may be worth your time to go back later (as soon as possible) or have a friend go and document what happened. For example, an unmarked step or broken sidewalk probably won’t be fixed immediately. But it could be magically fixed by the very next day!
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How do I file my slip and fall claim against Target?
The next thing you’ll want to do is speak to a lawyer. A good lawyer will have experience with slip and fall cases and focus their work exclusively on helping injury victims. Your lawyer will go through a few steps:
- Determine if you have a case. Your lawyer will consult with you to make sure you have a valid legal claim before you proceed. They can also help you estimate how much you might recover from Target.
- File a claim with Target. The initial claim will be with Target and their liability company. That means it won’t necessarily be a court case. Once your lawyer is representing you, they can handle all aspects of this claim for you—so you won’t have to speak directly to Target’s insurance representatives or attorneys.
- Request video footage. Target’s stores usually have security cameras almost everywhere, so there’s a good chance there is video proof of what happened—and an attorney can request it through the courts if need be. A good lawyer will move quickly on this, before footage gets deleted.
- Research Target’s own policies. Target has countless employee procedures and most employees don’t actually know all of them. That means Target’s own paperwork may prove that they did something wrong.
- Take the case to the courts if need be. Your lawyer will build evidence, negotiate with Target, and if need be, litigate your case in court. Most Target claims are resolved with a settlement that does not involve a trial. Your lawyer is the one who makes sure that settlement is as large as possible.
Be aware that if a claim is over $75,000, Target will usually move to have it taken to federal courts instead of state. Even small injuries can easily exceed this amount of money. That means it’s best to have an attorney who has experience with federal court from the start.
Talk to an Attorney for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we have over 20 years of experience with slip and fall cases and we routinely fight cases against big companies. We charge nothing if we don’t win you money. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your free consultation today.