I was injured in a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia, but did not get a copy of the incident report. Can I still file a claim?


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Answered by a Philadelphia fall accident lawyer

Getting an Incident Report After a Fall Accident in Philadelphia

Individuals injured in Philadelphia slip, trip and fall accidents have no obligation to obtain a copy of an incident report prior to filing a claim. In other words, there is no requirement that you obtain a copy of the incident report prior to filing a legal claim. While having a copy of the incident report would certainly be helpful, it is by no means required prior to filing a lawsuit. If an incident report was filed, you can obtain a copy after the lawsuit is filed.

However, oftentimes, an incident report is never filed after a fall accident occurs. This tends to occur in non-injury cases (where the person who fell is uninjured) or cases where a person is injured but too embarrassed to file an accident report. If you are injured in a fall accident at a public business, you should always file an incident report. Fall accident incident reports often indicate what occurred, how the accident occurred, whether any injuries were reported and whether there were any witnesses. These kinds of details often make or break a fall accident lawsuit. Therefore, fall accident incident reports should never be underestimated.

Not every slip and fall case is appropriate for a claim or lawsuit. When you become the plaintiff in a lawsuit based on personal injury, you bear the burden of proof and must prove, among other things, that the property owner committed negligence. That is not always an easy task in these kinds of cases. The strength of a slip and fall or trip and fall case in Philadelphia will depend on many factors, such as:

  • whether the defect was complained of on prior occasions,
  • whether others were previously injured,
  • whether there are any eyewitnesses, and
  • video surveillance, if available.

More: Fall Down Accidents-Slip and Fall, Trip and Fall Cases in Pennsylvania (Part One)

The Role of Insurance in Philadelphia Fall Accident Cases

The vast majority of businesses have general commercial insurance policies which kick in when a customer is injured in a fall accident like a slip and fall or trip and fall. Basically, if a customer is injured in an accident at a store, the store’s general commercial insurance policy will provide coverage so long as the accident occurred due to the negligence of the store. For example, a customer is injured in a fall accident inside a store in Philadelphia. The accident occurs because a store employee was negligent. If the store has general commercial insurance, the policy will kick in and cover the accident and injuries. The injured customer basically makes a claim under the insurance policy. In a nutshell, fall accident cases operate much like auto accident cases. The actual defendant is the store, but the insurance company provides the coverage. Financial compensation, if any, comes from the insurance company.

Therefore, after a fall accident occurs, the injured individual may get contacted by an insurance representative from the store’s insurance company. You have no obligation to speak to an insurance company representative for the store or a store employee. In fact, you should refrain from speaking to anyone about the case until you talk to fall accident lawyer.

Access our free legal article to read more about how to prove negligence in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania slip and fall or trip and fall lawsuit.

To submit your case for review by our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania slip and fall lawyers, call (866) 641-0806.  Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

**This website does not provide legal advice.  Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case.  See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Last updated: January 7, 2015