Getting Compensation for Injuries in a Slip and Fall in a Grocery Store
Were you injured in a slip and fall in a grocery store? The owner or operator of the store can be liable for your injuries. A slip and fall attorney will evaluate your case and let you know if you can get compensation for your injuries.
Causes of slips and falls in a grocery store
With a steady flow of shoppers, hazards find their way onto the floors of grocery stores. What are some of the common causes of slips and falls in grocery stores?
- Spilled products: A shopper knocks a bottle of liquid or other product off the shelf and onto the floor.
- Leaking freezers: Freezers storing ice cream and other frozen items can leak, leaving water on the floor.
- Water: Grocery stores want their produce fresh, so a sprayer squirts water on the vegetables and sometimes onto the floor.
- Loose produce: Unpacked produce, like fruit or lettuce, falls to the floor.
Common injuries in slips and falls in grocery stores
You may only suffer bruises or cuts in your slip and fall, but more serious injuries can occur:
- Broken bones: Falls result in broken hips, tailbones, legs, arms and wrists. Falls often cause broken bones in older customers.
- Head injuries: Grocery stores have hard floors. If you fall and hit your head on the floor, you could suffer a traumatic brain injury. You could lose consciousness, or your symptoms may not surface until days after your fall.
- Back injuries: You can hurt your back in two ways when you fall in a grocery store. You can injure your back or spine when you hit the floor, or you can twist your back – injuring a disc – when you slip and try to catch yourself before you hit the floor.
What to do if you slip and fall in a grocery store
Falling in a grocery store can be embarrassing and emotional. Keep your composure because what you do right after the accident may affect your health and your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. Follow these steps after you slip and fall accident:
- Get medical assistance. If you need emergency assistance, call 911 immediately. If you experience pain, go to the hospital. If you feel fine after the fall, but experience pain a few days later, see a doctor immediately. You may not experience symptoms from some injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, until a few days after the accident.
- Report the incident. Ask who is in charge and report your fall to that person. You can tell an employee what happened, but you need to make an official report.
- See what caused the fall. Look around to see if there is something on the floor that caused your fall.
- Take photographs. Take some pictures with your phone. The accident scene will be cleared shortly after your fall.
- Get contact information from witnesses. If someone saw you fall, take their name and phone number so they can be interviewed if necessary.
- Contact a lawyer. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can investigate your case and work with the store owner or insurance company to get you compensation for your injuries.
Store owner’s liability for a slip and fall
To hold the store owner accountable for your injuries, you must show the owner had notice of the hazard. A lawyer can show the owner had actual notice; for example, an employee knew the object or liquid was on the floor. Usually, the lawyer will show constructive notice. In other words, the substance was on the floor long enough that the owner should have known it was there in time to take action to prevent your fall.
Your fault can contribute to a slip and fall. For example, an employee placed a “wet floor” sign by a spill, and you walked in the area anyway. In New Jersey, you cannot recover compensation if you were more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. If your fault accounted for 50 percent or less, your fault reduces your recovery by the percentage of fault you bear.
Showing liability for a slip and fall at a grocery store
A slip and fall lawyer will gather evidence to establish the store owner’s liability. The attorney will interview witnesses and employees at the scene. Most grocery stores use security cameras, and the attorney can review the video to determine how long a substance was on the floor, and if employees were in the area. The attorney will also review the store’s policy on inspecting and cleaning store areas.
Compensation for your injuries in a slip and fall in a grocery store
You can recover your medical expenses, including rehabilitation costs. Under New Jersey law, you can get compensated for your lost wages and your pain and suffering.
Get legal help
A lawyer will provide a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you have a case, the lawyer will gather evidence and negotiate with the owner or its insurance company to reach a settlement to compensate you fairly. If the case is not settled, the lawyer will litigate the matter in court.
Did you suffer an injury in a slip and fall in a grocery store? You may get compensation for your injuries. Talk to an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Petrillo and Goldberg at 856.249.9295.