When you are running your daily errands or shopping for pleasure, the last thing on your mind is sustaining an injury during your outings. Unfortunately, when stores become negligent about the conditions of their floors, accidents can and do happen. If a floor has been recently washed and there is no sign alerting you as to the slick conditions of the floor, you may succumb to a serious fall and sustain severe injury.
If there is a spill in the store that isn’t tended to promptly by the staff, you may become injured due to this negligence. Failing to meet proper building codes or leaving uneven flooring in disrepair are other issues that can cause slip and fall accidents in a store. There are a number of factors that can lead up to a slip and fall accident in a store. If you are the victim of such an injury, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Slip and Fall at a Store
Every store has a duty to maintain a safe premises for their customers. If you are injured in a slip and fault at a store that is due to no fault of your own, you may be able to file a claim to receive compensation for damages resulting from the fall. To do so, you will need to demonstrate that the store is liable for damages. This is done by proving negligence.
What to Do In a Slip and Fall at a Store
If you were injured in a slip and fall at a store, there are certain steps you will need to take some steps to help your slip and fall claim, as well as start potentially speedy recovery! Here is what to do if you fall in a store:
- Get medical attention right away. Whether you need an ambulance or are able to get yourself to a medical facility, it is important that you prioritize getting any injuries checked out. The longer you wait after your fall, the harder it is to prove that any injuries occurred from the slip and fall at a store.
- Speak with a Manager. If you’re able to, try to speak with a manager to ensure a report is filed, documenting your slip and fall.
- Gather witnesses. Again, if you’re able to, try to get any contact information for those who witnessed your slip and fall. If you are not able to, try to have a friend or family member do so on your behalf.
- Write your account of the fall. When you’re able to, try to write down any details you can remember from your slip and fall. This can be things like what the spill was, where it was looked and what it looked like. Try writing any detail, no matter how small, to keep the account fresh in your memory.
- Get videos and images. Try to take any photos of the scene of the accident. If there was a spill, try to take photos of the spill. If the store have a surveillance system, ask for copies of any videos of your call.
- Keep copies of medical evaluations and bills. As you seek treatment from a doctor for your injuries, you should keep copies of all doctor paperwork and any invoices you receive for the treatment. This can be used later to determine how much you are owed in compensation.
- Speak with an attorney. As you get ready to file a claim, it may be wise to consult with a slip and fall lawyer. A lawyer can help you gather evidence for you claim as well as help determining a proper settlement and dispute fault.
Types of Stores
There are many large stores that you could potentially slip and fall in. When a slip and fall accident occurs in a large store or a chain, it can often be challenging to file a personal injury claim due to the large amount of wealth and resources these stores will have against you. Here are some large stores that people commonly slip and fall in.
A department store is a large store which stocks a variety of goods in different departments. For example, a department store can sell clothing, home goods, and shoes in one convenient location. All department stores, including Rite Aid and Family Dollar are included in this category.
Fast-Food Restaurants, including Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and KFC, are establishments that prepare its food in large standardized quantities so it can be served quickly and efficiently to its customers. These restaurants are typically nationwide chains with hundreds of locations across the country.
Sit-down restaurants, which include large chains like Olive Garden and California Pizza Kitchen, are places where consumers pay to sit and enjoy meals cooked and served on the establishment's premise. While these also include nationwide chains, sit-down restaurants are typically more expensive and serve higher-qualify food than fast-food restaurants.
Home-good stores, which includes corporations such as Lowes and Sears allow its customers to find goods and products to use, decorate or fix their households. You can usually find building supplies like paint or lumber in most home-good stores.
Stores like 7-Eleven and Stop and Stop (Royal Ahold) are retail stores that primarily sell packaged, fresh, and frozen foods. Grocery stores are typically regional, so nationwide grocery store chains are very uncommon.
If you slip and fall at a store, the first thing you need to do is determine fault. For example, if you merely tripped with no apparent cause, the accident may not be the store’s fault. If, however, you fell due to any of the above-mentioned reasons or any other reason in which blame can be placed on the store, you may potentially be entitled to compensation for any medical bills you incur due to the injury and to damages for pain and suffering and lost wages.
Filing a Claim for Your Slip and Fall Injury
If you want to receive damages for your slip and fall accident in a store, you have a few options. You can try to work with the store directly, which will likely result in one of a few things. You may be given the runaround by the store and may not even be able to obtain the store’s insurance information without putting up a fight. If you are able to work with the store to get the store’s insurance information, chances are that the insurance company is not going to offer you all of the compensation that you may be entitled to, even if the store is admitting blame. It is important to remember that it is not in the insurance company’s best interests to pay you every dime you may be entitled to, but rather they will try to pay you as little as possible to protect their own interests.
Your best option when trying to receive compensation for injuries you may have sustained during a slip and fall accident at a store is to retain the services of a personal injury attorney. Such an attorney will work with you to ensure that you receive all of the damages that you are entitled to, including damages for pain and suffering, which the insurance company will not likely offer to you on its own. Your attorney can also help you prove fault if that is brought into question and the store tries to deny their culpability.
While you may be able to receive some compensation by working with the store and its insurance company directly, such as reimbursement for medical bills, if you want to ensure that you are fully protected and receive further damages such as damages for wages that were lost due to time missed from work and damages for your pain and suffering, your best bet is to work with a personal injury lawyer who will stand up for you and protect your rights, ensuring you get the maximum compensation that you are entitled to.