While shopping at a convenience store, it is possible to experience an inconvenient injury. If you happen to be injured in a slip and fall accident in a convenience store such as 7-Eleven, you should consider filing a personal injury claim.
Filing a claim can award you compensation that can offset the costs of medical bills, lost wages, as well as general pain and suffering. If you slipped and fell inside of a store and plan to file a personal injury claim, there is certain information available to you that can help ensure you get the financial damages you deserve.
How Slip and Falls Happen
7-Eleven, and other convenience store retailers, must ensure that each store provides customers with a safe premises and shopping experience. Usually, an employee handbook offers guidelines on keeping the store in safe conditions, such as by regularly cleaning the floors and checking for spills, as well as putting up warning signs in the case of a hazardous condition. Still, slip and fall scenarios may happen.
There are many possible situations in which you could be injured by a slip and fall accident. These scenarios include:
- Slipping on a spill from a leaky drink machine or cooler
- Slipping on a spill from another customer’s beverage
- Tripping over food or convenience items falling off of the shelves
- Tripping over a loose floor mat at the store’s entrance
- Slipping on tracked in rain, ice, or snow at the store’s entrance
- Tripping due to poor lighting in the store causing poor visibility
Where Slips Often Occur
When a customer enters a store and slips and falls it can happen at any location in the store. The areas inside the store where slips often occur could be while entering and leaving the store, while browsing for products and even in the store’s parking lot which could be icy and slippery in the winter time.
Floors in retail stores can become slippery and dangerous if someone drops bottle of liquid which spills its contents all over the floor and the store staff fail to clean it up in a timely manner.
At a 7-Eleven, and other convenience stores which sell drinks and other liquid products, slip and fall accidents may take place, but slippery floors aren’t the only reason slips and falls take place.
There are reasons apart from the presence of liquid on the floor that can cause a slip in a store or a fall in a store. Only too often store managers neglect maintenance such as replacing damaged and ragged floor coverings and even failing to ensure tiles and other hard floor surfaces are kept smooth and even.
A slip in a store or a fall in a store could also happen if the lighting is insufficient for customers to notice any hazards. By the time the obstacle has been spotted the customer has slipped and fallen and been injured.
Injuries that Can Occur at a Convenience Store
Convenience stores are great places to get quick snacks or a cup of coffee but they can also cause some serious slip and fall accidents. Usually convenient stores are small and packed with merchandise and customers.
The fast pace can make it difficult for store employees to ensure that spills are cleaned up promptly and customers can easily slip and hurt themselves on wet floors. Common injuries that happen at convenient stores all around the country include:
- Broken or sprained ankles
- Broken of sprained arms
- Pulled muscles
- Torn muscles
- Knee injuries
- Back strain
- Back pulls
- Vertebrae fractures
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Broken nose
- Broken teeth
Just like any other store customers might slip and fall inside the store or outside the store. When the weather is cold and wet there can be icy sidewalks that aren’t shoveled or salted or snowy sidewalks and entries that are slippery and cause falls.
Slushy snow tracked inside the store by customers can make the interior floors extremely slippery. So can spills or mopping water that isn’t cleaned up in a timely way. Spills around the coffee or soda stations are also common causes for slip and fall injuries in a convenient store.
Evidence to Support a Slip and Fall at a Convenience Store
If you are trying to prove that the convenience store is responsible for your slip and fall injuries you will need to have medical documentation of your injuries and other documentation that the store or the store’s insurance company won’t be able to refute.
It’s important to get medical care immediately after the incident to document your injuries. While you are waiting for emergency services to come you should use your smartphone to get some photos of the area where you fell and the conditions that caused the fall. The more evidence you have the stronger your claim will be.
Medical evidence means things like hospital bills, a doctor’s diagnosis, test results, X Rays, M.R.I.’s, or any other medical proof that you sustained an injury. Keep track of all of the paperwork you get from the hospital or the doctor’s office and also keep copies of bills from physical therapists, chiropractors, or any other medical professionals that you see.
Photo And Video
Smartphones are great tools for gathering evidence that can prove your claim. Try to get a short video clip of the area where you fell as well as photos. Videos help anyone who sees them get a feel for what happened and they can provide more context than photos.
For example, you can show a judge in court photos of a wet floor but that doesn’t carry the same weight as a video showing the wet floor in relation to the rest of the store. It’s a good idea to get both photos and video if you can.
If you can’t reach your phone or your phone broke in the fall ask someone who saw what happened to get some video and photos of the area and email or text them to you.
If there are other people in the store who saw what happened try to get them to tell you on camera what they saw. Getting a witness statement immediately after the fall when their memories are fresh is the best kind of statement to get.
But, if need to get medical attention right away you can just ask for the names and phone numbers of anyone who would be willing to give a witness statement on your behalf. You can contact them after you get the medical help you need.
Starting a Claim for a Slip and Fall
If you were injured after slipping and falling at 7-Eleven, or any other store, you may be able to eligible to file a for a personal injury claim. For a successful PI claim, you will need supporting evidence.
If you are able to, try to get any witness statements from those who witnessed your fall as well as any pictures or videos. If you unable to do so due to your injuries, have a family member or friend who is with you try to collect the statements. Be sure to get any contact information as well incase you have further questions.
You will also need to keep copies of any medical invoices and documents you receive for treatment from the slip and fall injury. If you have to miss work, keep record of missed wages.
To make sure your properly file a claim, consult with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney will know what documents are needed and how to present the information correctly.
Determining a Settlement
Whenever a customer is injured in or near a store there will be several different factors that go into determining the settlement amount. The amount of injuries, the extent of the injuries, and whether or not those injuries are permanent will all come into play.
The evidence that you have will also be considered because if you have a lot of reliable proof that backs up your case it will probably be cheaper for the company to offer a good settlement rather than go to court and risk having to pay more if a judge finds the store was negligent.
When slip and fall injuries happen there could be long term damage from the injury that doesn’t show up right away, which is why it’s very important to keep getting checked in the weeks after the accident if you have a back injury, a head injury, or a broken bone that could problems later on if it doesn’t heal properly.
Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are personal injury lawyers who specialize in slip and fall accidents. They can help you understand your rights are. Personal injury attorneys also work on contingency, meaning that if you don’t win your case, they don’t get paid.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against 7-Eleven, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.