Published On: Tue, Feb 23rd, 2016

Supermarket Slip and Falls: Your Rights and the Grocery Store’s Responsibilities

You’re walking through the supermarket, minding your own business, when it happens. You didn’t even see it coming.
A wet spot on the floor or maybe something laying in the isle that didn’t catch your eye fast enough. No reaction time. You go down.

What do you do when you slip and fall in a grocery store?

It’s Probably Not Your Fault

Oddly enough, slip-and-fall injuries are not that uncommon in a store. They make up a large portion of all shopping-related injuries. This, in turn, generates thousands of personal injury claims a year for firms like injuryclaimnyclaw.com, a Harlem personal injury attorney.

And, if you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t know your rights or what the “official” procedure is when you fall on someone else’s property.

The first thing you should do is…

Document Your Injuries

Always document your injuries. If you’re alone, take a picture of any injuries you’ve sustained. Call for help. If no store associates are around, or no one comes to help you, call 911 (if it’s a serious injury). Make sure that someone sees you and that you get the medical attention you need.

Scale of Justice photo/DTR via wikimedia commons

Scale of Justice photo/DTR via wikimedia commons

Make sure you also ask the store manager to fill out a report with you. The police will likely have to file a report, too. That’s fine. The more documentation, the better.

Write down exactly what happened, and how it happened.

Don’t think that the store will do it for you, either. A case involving Kroger food stores proves that some companies will go to great lengths to cover up the fact that you were injured in their store.

Call A Lawyer

Some people are a little shy about calling a lawyer. Don’t be. You need to at least understand your rights and what options you have for getting those medical bills paid. Most lawyers will speak with you for free if they’re personal injury lawyers.

What If You Fell Outside?

if you fell outside the store, guess what? The store may still be liable. Many grocery stores have slick floors that make it very easy for customers to slip and fall – even when those floors have been dried.

But, the parking lot can also be dangerous, with poorly-paved parking lot areas, broken up gravel, and other hazards that the store is legally required to maintain.

That means that a slip-and-fall accident that occurs in the parking lot, whether it’s icy patches, cracked pavement, or poor lighting, are all grounds for a lawsuit.

What If You Didn’t Buy Anything?

That’s OK. You don’t have to buy anything for the store to be held legally liable. A grocery store’s legal obligations don’t begin when the sale is made. It begins when you step onto their property. When you fall, and it’s because of negligence, the store is at fault. You don’t have to have a contract with the store or some kind of implied or actual transaction for them to be at fault.

What About Minor Injuries

Think your injury is “small potatoes?” It doesn’t matter. If it’s costing you money to get treated for any injury you sustained on their property, they’re liable for it. Even regular visits to your doctor or continuous pain that’s associated with your fall can be recovered in a lawsuit.

Guest Author :

Mike Talbot is at law school and hopes to become an attorney specializing in injury compensation in a few years time. In the meantime he likes to share what he has learnt by writing blog posts.

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