Slipping and falling in a public place can be quite an embarrassing experience. People may snicker or stare as you attempt to collect yourself and regain your footing. It’s natural to feel an impulse to just move on and proceed with your day, especially if you don’t notice any injuries right away. Doing that could prove to be a major mistake that could come back to haunt you in the future.

While you may feel embarrassed, the best steps to take in the wake of a slip-and-fall include reporting the accident to the manager or owner of the business or building where you fell. Due to insurance requirements, most of the time a written report is necessary after someone slips and falls. Whether you fell on wet and slippery sidewalks or on an overly polished section of flooring, reporting it ensures there is a record of your accident. It also motivates the person responsible for the property to correct the issue that caused your fall, which can protect other people from a similar experience.

Some serious injuries aren’t immediately obvious

Most of the time people will realize right away if there are soft tissue injuries, like sprains or strains, or broken bones in the wake of a slip-and-fall. However, hairline fractures may not be obvious right away. Traumatic brain injuries can also take some time to generate symptoms after an accident. Combine the delayed onset of symptoms with the rush of adrenaline common in this kind of accident, and you may overlook an injury in your rush to move on from the fall.

Reporting the fall, even if you don’t have symptoms right away, is the best move. It ensures that if you do develop serious symptoms in the upcoming days that there is a record of the fall that caused them. Without that record, you may struggle with any attempt to secure compensation for those injuries after symptoms do arise.

Seek medical care as soon as you realize something’s wrong

It’s common to brush off minor symptoms and to try to tough it out after an accident. However, given that slip-and-fall incidents send over a million people in the United States to the emergency room each year, it’s in your best interest to treat this accident as something potentially serious.

A doctor can help you determine if there could be a TBI or other serious injury as the result of your slip-and-fall. That first appointment can also ensure that you have a record that ties the initial accident to the symptoms you develop over time. If you seek compensation via a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim against a premises liability policy, a record at the place of the accident and with local medical professionals will help you develop your claim.