Category Archives: Premises Liability

wet floor in supermarket
Premises LiabilitySlip and Fall

Grocery store slip and fall claims are legal claims for compensation that are typically based on state tort or premises liability  law. Grocery store slip and fall accident claims are based on the theory that the grocery store did not take the appropriate steps to keep the property reasonably safe and prevent the accident. The standard is not whether the grocery store knew they were going to cause an accident or even that they intentionally caused an accident. Instead, grocery store slip and fall claims are based on the idea that the grocery store could have and should have taken more active steps to keep the property safe for  customers. If you suffered a slip and fall in a grocery store, you will need to take immediate action to protect your legal rights.

Observe the following steps:

  • Report the accident:  You want to make sure the slip and fall has been documented. Most grocery stores will have a set protocol for documenting an incident. Ask to speak to the manager and report your accident. Make sure you explain where and how the incident happened, as well as describing your injuries.
  • Take pictures:  You will want to take pictures of the condition that caused your fall. For example, if you slipped on a slick floor, take a picture of it as soon as possible after the fall. Also photograph your injuries.
  • Seek medical assistance:  You will want to ensure your injuries receive the medical attention they need. In doing so, you will further add to the legitimacy of your claim by making sure you have medical documentation of your injuries.

Legal Standard for Grocery Store Accidents

A grocery store is a business; store owners invite people to come on their property so that the store can make a profit. In other words, the grocery store operates for the benefit of the owners. As a business, the grocery store has the highest legal standard for what counts as sufficient behavior to keep the store safe for customers. The store must actively take steps to remedy dangers before harm occurs. That does not mean that every slip and fall results in legal fault for the grocery store; however, it means that accountability for the grocery store is very high.

Comparative Negligence in Grocery Store Accident Cases

Comparative negligence may come into play in a grocery store accident case. The court may weigh the actions of both the victim and the grocery store to determine who has what percentage of fault for the accident. If the victim shares partial fault, for example, by running, pushing past other customers, or not paying attention to their surroundings, comparative fault may be a question. However, for a grocery store accident victim, comparative fault is something to be aware of, but it is not something to be afraid of. Comparative fault is not necessarily present in a case just because the grocery store alleges it in their defense. It is up to the defense to prove it if they want a jury to accept it.

When You Could Be at Fault for the Accident

If the grocery store was vigilant and made the hazard safe or warned you of the condition that harmed you, then they may not be at fault for a slip and fall accident that happens on their premises. In fact, you, as the shopper, could potentially be at fault for what happened. For example, if you ignored a wet floor sign in an aisle, then you might be responsible for the injuries you sustained when you slipped on that wet floor. Similarly, if you were distracted and paying attention to your phone rather than your surroundings, you could be considered negligent.

What Must Be Proven To Hold the Grocery Store Liable for Your Injury

The typical store injury case is caused by debris or liquid on the floor. There may be condensation on the aisle of the frozen food section caused by frequent opening and closing of the door and melting of ice. A puddle of water may be on the floor in the produce section after the fruits and vegetables have been sprayed. A shopper may accidentally have dropped a food item on the floor. A tattered or buckled mat may be in your path. To recover compensation for your injuries, it must be proven that the store was “negligent.” Negligence is carelessness or not being safe.

The law says an injured party must prove that:

  • The owner either knew or should have known there was an existing unsafe condition;
  • The owner failed to correct the dangerous condition or failed to warn shoppers about its existence;
  • The failure to warn about or correct the dangerous condition was the cause of the injury; and
  •  The plaintiff was injured due to the owner’s negligent conduct in failing to correct or remove the dangerous condition.

Evidence Used in a Personal Injury Claim

There are several things that can be used as supporting evidence for a slip and fall personal injury claim. Keep copies of medical bills and medical records. Get a copy of any accident report that may have been completed. Take photos of the accident scene if possible and take photos of any visible injuries. Get statements and contact information from any witnesses. When you pursue your personal injury claim, you can supply your evidence and supporting documentation to help you prove liability.

Grocery Store Slip and Fall Settlement Value

Every slip and fall case is unique, so it is difficult to offer any solid information on valuation without knowing about key factors like:

  • the circumstances of the slip and fall accident;
  • the clarity of the fault issue (does the store or business admit liability, or are they arguing that they are not at fault?);
  • the nature and extent of your injuries, and the effect of those injuries on your life, including your ability to make a living;
  • your physical and mental pain and suffering resulting from your slip and fall injuries, and your necessary medical treatment; and
  • the availability of insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries and related losses
Premises Liability

A slip and fall accident refers to a situation where an individual unintentionally falls, slips, or trips due to an unsafe or hazardous condition at a premise. Wet or slippery surfaces, inadequate lighting, uneven flooring, and other environmental variables are common culprits. The key to addressing a slip and fall accident is understanding your rights and responsibilities, as well as knowing the proper steps to take immediately after the incident.

Step 1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Don’t underestimate the extent of your injuries after a slip and fall. Some injuries may not be visible or may take time to manifest fully. By seeking immediate medical attention, you can identify any injuries accurately and start treatment right away. Additionally, this step will ensure that you receive proper documentation of your injuries, which is crucial for a slip and fall case.

How medical records serve as crucial evidence in a slip and fall case

Medical records provide  evidence of the injuries suffered as a result of the slip and fall accident. They are a powerful tool for personal injury lawyers when negotiating a fair settlement or presenting your case in court.

Step 2: Report the Accident

Make sure to report the accident to the appropriate party. If the slip and fall occurred in a store or business establishment, notify the management. If it happened on public property, report it to the local authorities. If it happened at a friend or neighbor’s home, tell the homeowner. An official report documents the occurrence of the accident and can strengthen your case. Obtain a copy of the incident report for your records.

Tips for providing a clear, factual account of what happened

When reporting the accident, provide concise and accurate information. Avoid speculation or assuming blame. Stick to the facts and share only what you saw, heard, or experienced during the incident.

Step 3: Document Everything

Gathering evidence from the accident scene can help prove negligence on the part of the property owner. Take photographs of the area where the slip and fall took place, showing any hazards or dangerous conditions. Take photos of any visible bodily harm such as bruises or lacerations. Make sure you keep track of all medical records and expenses.

How to keep a record of medical visits and expenses

Maintain a detailed log of all medical appointments and treatments received, as well as any related expenses incurred. Obtain copies of medical bills, prescription receipts, and other relevant documents. This information will be invaluable in calculating your financial losses and determining a fair settlement value for your case.

Step 4: Avoid Discussing the Incident

After a slip and fall accident, it’s natural to want to discuss what happened with the property owner or their insurance company. However, doing so can be detrimental to your potential personal injury claim. Here are a few reasons why you should avoid discussing the accident:

Admitting fault: In the heat of the moment, you might feel inclined to apologize or take responsibility for the accident. Doing so, even in part, may be used by the property owner or their insurance company to reduce or deny your compensation.

Misinformation: You might not have all the facts about the accident at the time, leading you to say things inaccurately. If this information is later used against you, it could damage your case.

Misinterpretation: Your words can be easily misunderstood or misconstrued by others involved in the accident. These misinterpretations can color how your claim is handled and potentially compromise your case.

The potential consequences of discussing the accident prematurely

Discussing the accident before consulting with a personal injury lawyer can have several consequences, including:

Compromised evidence: Statements made shortly after the accident can be used against you in court. If you say something that contradicts the evidence gathered by your lawyer, it could weaken your case.

Added stress: Engaging in discussions about the accident with the property owner or insurance company can be emotionally taxing and time-consuming. By avoiding these conversations, you can focus on recovering from your injuries and leave the legal matters to your attorney.

Step 5: Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Navigating a slip and fall injury can be challenging without the assistance of an experienced attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help in the following ways:

Evaluating Your Claim: A personal injury lawyer will assess your situation and help you understand the feasibility of your slip and fall claim. They can guide you on the likelihood of success, potential recovery amount, and the best route to take (settlement or litigation).

Communicating with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies may attempt to downplay your injuries or deny your claim altogether. A lawyer specializing in personal injury cases acts as your representative, engaging in discussions with insurance providers to secure reimbursement for your damages.

Gathering Evidence: An experienced attorney understands the importance of solid evidence in winning a personal injury claim. They can work with medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and other specialists to obtain crucial evidence that can strengthen your case.

Filing Legal Documents: A personal injury lawyer will file all necessary paperwork, abiding by court requirements and deadlines, ensuring your case moves forward smoothly and avoid potential roadblocks.

Representation in Court: If your slip and fall case proceeds to court, your lawyer will be there to represent you in court. They will present a persuasive and well-prepared case to showcase the responsible party’s negligence and justify your right to compensation.

If you or someone you know has recently experienced a slip and fall accident, don’t hesitate to seek professional help immediately. Reach out to a trusted personal injury attorney to get the financial restitution you are owed.