In order to prove negligence, four separate distinctions must be proven:
defendant’s duty to plaintiff
defendant’s breach of that duty to plaintiff
a direct line of causation from breach of duty to injury
physical damage actually occurred in the incident
All of the above must be true for there to be a negligence case. If you believe that this is your situation, there are a few steps that you should take before you bring your case to a lawyer.
First, take pictures of all of the alleged damages as soon as you can after they occur. Timestamp these pictures so that there can be no argument as to when they were taken. Having been developed at a professional photoshop is also a great way to avoid claims of tampering with pictures. Some photo development shops also function as a Notary Public for just these situations.
Write down a storyline of what happened to you as soon as you can after the incident. Speak in normal language; do not try to over extend yourself to prove a direct line of causation. Do not try to write in legal terminology, either; simply write your version of the events and time stamp it. Documents of this nature, although they are not represented as fax to the judge, are much more convincing if they are taken down soon after the incident.
Look for indications that there has been some breach of duty. For instance, if you slip on a wet floor and there is no sign detailing that the floor is wet, this is a detail that you should definitely put into your storyline. Take note if there are other wet floor signs around the store as well. This is just one example; use your common sense to determine if hazardous materials or other important information in the situation has been left unchecked.
Once you have all of this documentation together, take it to a reputable lawyer as soon as you can. As injuries heal and storylines are forgotten, it becomes much harder to prove a case of negligence. Do not speak to any insurance agents without the aid of a lawyer. Do not leave out any detail thinking that it is frivolous. Do not accept undue blame if you believe that there is negligence involved, especially negligence that may cause a large, unexpected medical bill.