What happens if you are shopping in the grocery store and fall? If you don’t receive any injuries, then you might not think much of it. However, if you receive an injury in the store from a slip and fall, or from anything else, you might actually have a legal claim against the company.
Businesses that have customers coming into and out of their premises are responsible for keeping the public reasonably safe. This is true of all stores, of all sizes, not merely grocery stores. Even though people injured in these types of accidents will usually have a valid legal claim against the business, it can still be a long and confusing road.
What Should You Do After Falling?
Of course, the very first thing you need to do is to evaluate your injuries. Even if they may not seem bad right now, it is important that you report what happened to the store’s management. You should also visit a doctor to get checked out after the incident. Showing that you were concerned for your health, and getting a medical checkup after the fall, is important. In addition, you should make sure that you try to figure out exactly what happened. Was the floor freshly waxed and not have any signs indicating it as such? Was there water on the floor? Know what caused the injury so you can let your attorney know.
The Responsibility of the Store
A grocery store has the legal obligation to make sure that everyone who enters their premises is safe and that there are no hazards that could cause injury. When injuries do occur, it could mean that the store is liable. However, this is not always the case. It will depend upon the individual facts of the case. If you were being irresponsible in the grocery store, such as riding on the shopping carts or racing carts, as most have seen at some point, then the store may not be responsible for the injuries. It will always depend on the specifics of the case.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
While there are a number of different causes for slip and fall accidents in grocery stores and other stores, the following are some of the most common.
• Snow and ice at the entryway to the store
• Water on the floor
• Spilled liquids
• Food, cans, and other items that have fallen onto the floor and been neglected
• Improperly placed displays
• Poor lighting, which can cause poor visibility
These are just some of the most common dangers in grocery stores that have the potential to cause an injury. Stores are responsible for taking note of the potential hazards and making sure they have a way of fixing them before they become an actual danger to the customers. If an accident happens because they were being neglectful and not taking care of the problem, then there’s a good chance that the person who is injured will have a case against the store.
What Makes the Store Responsible?
Why is the store legally responsible? It all comes down to liability and whether they overlooked unsafe conditions. If the store does not take precautions, such as putting up signs to denote dangerous and unsafe areas, like a freshly waxed floor, they are being negligent. If the owner knows of a condition and does not do anything to fix it quickly, it shows that they were behaving in a negligent manner. For example, if the same incident causes injuries to several people over a period of hours or days (depending on the particular hazard), then it also shows negligence.
However, in those instances where they supposedly did nothing to remedy the problem, there needs to be proof that the store knew about the condition long enough to take action to fix it. For example, if someone slipped in the same wet spot within minutes of one another, the store would not likely have had time to note and remedy the situation. There needs to be evidence that the spill was there long enough to be noted and cleaned up, and it wasn’t.
The injured customer will also need to show proof that the dangerous condition was not obvious and something that any reasonable person would avoid. If there is a display that is in the middle of the aisle and easy to see, then the customer would not be able to sue for tripping and falling over the display. It is something that is reasonable enough that most people would have been able to see it and avoid it. Customers need to maintain caution, and failure to prove that you were cautious could lead to a lost case.
The most important thing for the customer to do is to show proof that the grocery store was liable for the incident. You need to be able to document your injuries, which is why going to the doctor after the accident is always recommended. You also need to show how the accident affected you and what types of losses you suffered when it comes to determining what damages you might be able to receive.
In these cases, there will likely be a substantial amount of negotiation with the store, as well as investigation on both sides. The store wants to make sure that you did not stage the accident and fake your injuries, of course. These sorts of things do happen on occasion, which is why it is so important for you to make sure that you have the evidence you need when it comes to proving they were liable. Without evidence and proof, you will not win your case.
You Can’t Do It Alone
These premises liability cases for grocery stores, and all stores for that matter, have a tendency to be very complex. This means that it’s difficult to try to take on a store and their lawyers. You can’t do it alone. Get in touch with an attorney who has experience in the field so they can help with your case.