What You Need to Know if Slip and Fall at Costco*

Costco, being a big-box warehouse club with great deals and savings, is a very popular place for many to shop. Unfortunately, any grocery store can have accidents waiting to happen.

If you become the victim of a slip and fall accident at a store for any of the above reasons, or any other reason, there are some things you will want to keep in mind.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that hiring a personal injury attorney can increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can help you navigate the complicated process and negotiate effectively on your behalf.

If you suffered a slip and fall at a store, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the retailer to recoup compensation for the damages that you suffered.

If you can prove that your slip and fall was the direct result of the store’s negligence – and that all four elements of negligence apply to your specific situation – you can have a successful slip and fall claim and recover compensation for the damages that you suffered because of the fall.

There are four elements of negligence. The first element is you must show that the grocery store owes customers a duty or responsibility. In this case, they have a duty or a responsibility to maintain safe premises to prevent falls and accidents.

Next, you must show that the duty has been breached. This means that they didn’t clean up a mess or repair damages that could lead to an accident. The third element is showing that the breach of duty caused an accident. Then lastly, you must show that accident caused your damages.

Wholesale Club Personal Injury Claims

Wholesale clubs like Costco and any other wholesale club are responsible for the safety of customers who legally use their premises to purchase goods. There are several ways that customers and other legal visitors may suffer injuries from accidents caused by negligent management practices.

The most common type of accident in a wholesale club like Costco is a slip and fall or trip and fall accident in which the customer slips or trips on slippery or uneven floor surfaces or other hazards and falls and hurts themselves. Other common accidents are elevator accidents and electrical fault accidents.

If someone has been injured due to negligence on part of Costco or other any wholesale club, then they may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. The claimant will need clear evidence that the accident could have been avoided if the store or wholesale club management had maintained a safe environment. These sorts of personal injury claims are never easy to win, so it is advisable to use a personal injury attorney to help you with a lawsuit against the club.

Evidence that could be used may include any of the following:

  • Eye witness statements confirming that the accident was caused by a hazard that should have been removed or its access restricted by a warning sign;
  • Photos taken of the accident scene showing what caused the accident;
  • Doctor’s report indicating the severity of the injury or injuries and tying it to the accident at Costco or any other wholesale club.

How You Could Be Injured at a Grocery Store

There are a number of ways you could get hurt in a grocery store. Here is a short (but not exhaustive) list:

  • Grocery stores oftentimes have unpacked merchandise sitting in the aisles, where customers can easily trip over them.
  • The high traffic in the store can lead to very slick conditions if the weather is wet outside and shoppers drag rain, snow, and slush across the floors.
  • Spills in an aisle may go unnoticed for long periods of time due to the massive amount of space in the store and the often inadequate staffing numbers, leaving a wet spot for customers to slip on until an employee finally discovers the spill.
  • The frequent need to wash the floors can also lead to slip and fall accidents if the store staff does not properly place “wet floor” signs while the floors are drying.
  • Pallets of merchandise may even be left in aisles for long periods of time, making it easy for customers to trip over them.

What You Should Do After a Slip and Fall Accident at a Grocery Store

When you slip and fall in a store, make sure you immediately report the accident to the appropriate store personnel.

If you are unable to report the accident yourself due to a severe fall that requires paramedic attention, make sure you get a copy of the report as soon as you are able to do so.

You will also want to gather copies of all accident-related medical records and bills. Even if you will need ongoing treatment to treat your injuries, it is important to keep an up-to-date file containing all recent records on hand.

You will want to provide this information, and future medical records and bills, to the grocery store and/or its insurance company or your attorney.

You should also begin to maintain records of any wages that you have lost due to the accident. You will need to record all wages lost due to time missed from work as a result of the injuries you sustained from the slip and fall incident at a store.

How A Settlement May Be Decided

When you pursue a personal injury claim against a grocery store for your slip and fall, there are several things that will come into play when the value of your settlement is determined.

The severity of your injury, how your accident took place, the amount of your medical expenses, and the long-term effects of your injuries will be reviewed to determine the extent of your long-term losses. All your itemized damages are added up for the total value of your claim.

All your medical bills should be added up. This includes physician visits, hospital bills, tests such as x-rays and scans, physical therapy, chiropractors, medical devices, prescriptions, and so forth.

You will need copies of all medical bills and all medical records. You should also gather up copies of medical excuses and maintain documentation that supports missed work and lost wages. The more supporting documentation that you have, and the more evidence that you have that can show your losses, the stronger your case should be.

Your slip and fall may have been caught on a surveillance video in the store. If that is the case, your slip and fall injury lawyer can ask that the video be submitted to court as evidence. Photos of the accident and witness statements that support your claim can also be beneficial.

The more supporting evidence that you have, the stronger your case and the more convincing it will be. When the grocery store and their insurer see that you have proven without a doubt their liability, they will want to negotiate a settlement.

However, you don’t want to settle a claim too early. You may have future medical expenses and future lost wages, so be sure your doctor has fully assessed your situation and determined the long-term effects of your injuries and any future care that will be required.

Because of the complexity of such a case, and because you will need to determine the long-term effects of the injuries and any future losses, you will need to enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer who handles slip and fall cases in your state.

An attorney will review the details of your claim, calculate both past and future losses, and then determine how to proceed with your claim and the value of your settlement.

What to Include In Your Incident Report

If a grocery store slip and fall incident takes place, a Costco employee, or any other big box store employee, will typically fill out an incident report.

The employee should also take photos of the incident including any injuries so that these can be included with the incident report for the slip and fall.

The sorts of injuries that may be included in an incident report when a slip and fall incident has taken place could include any of the following:

  • a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which accounts for 40 percent of injuries from slip and falls; Hip fractures, 95% which occur as a result of slips and falls;
  • back and spinal cord injuries commonly occur when older adults slip and fall;
  • shoulder injuries such as a shoulder dislocation;
  • sprains and fracture from twisting a knee or ankle which causes a sprain to the connective ligaments at those joints.

Other information that should be included in an incident report are:

  • your name and contact details;
  • the types of injuries and their severity;
  • the treatment administered for the injury;
  • the names and contact details of witnesses;
  • the names and contact details of all involved;
  • the list of property damaged (if applicable).
  • name and address of exact location of the incident;
  • date and time of the incident;
  • a police report if a police officer was called to the incident.

When the key details about the incident have been completed a short description should be written about the grocery store fall explaining how it took place.

If you are a victim of a slip and fall accident in a store and it wasn’t your fault because it was due to unsafe conditions in the store, you can file a personal injury claim from the store which covers the cost of your medical treatment, compensates you for any lost wages and for the pain and suffering you have experienced due to the slip and fall.

Drafting Your Accident Claim

Immediately after your slip and fall at grocery store, you should file an accident claim. Your accident report should include the circumstances in which the fall occurred, which include the condition of the ground, any hazards that were there and lighting conditions.

For your accident report, you should make sure you have as much physical evidence as possible. You should take photographs of the injuries, get statements from any witnesses and inspect the area that you fell. By working with a personal injury attorney, they will let you know everything that you should include in your accident claim.

Starting a Claim after a Slip and Fall Accident at a Grocery Store

There are different incidents that can cause you to slip and fall at a store. If you are well prepared, you can have a successful claim and receive compensation.

When you file your slip and fall claim for your incident, be sure to use all the supporting evidence you gathered to show legitimacy in the claim. The statements, invoices, and records you collect will be crucial to the success of your claim.

If you suffer injuries and financial damages due to a slip and fall at a store, it is important to file a claim so you can recoup any damages that you may be entitled to. If the store was at fault for your injuries, they should be held responsible for your medical bills, any wages lost due to time missed from work, and possible damages for pain and suffering.

The best way to get started on a claim for a slip and fall at a grocery store is to consult with a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer will help you collect supporting evidence.

You attorney will help draft up a demand letter and will know how to properly handle correspondence with the store representatives. Personal injury attorneys have likely handled incidents like yours and will be well-versed in what to do for a successful claim.

Slip and Fall Attorneys For Wholesale Stores

If you were shopping in Costco, or any other wholesale store, and you were injured because you slipped and fell, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the discount membership-only discount big box retailer.

A slip and fall accident lawyer, or any other accident injury lawyer, could help you have a successful claim against the store.

You will need to show that you suffered injuries and damages because of the negligence caused by the slip and fall you experienced while in Costco, or any other wholesale store.

Supporting evidence and documentation for your slip and fall claim against Costco, or any other wholesale store, is very beneficial.

You will need photos of the accident scene, an accident report, and statements from any witnesses. You must show that all elements of negligence apply to your claim.

When you prove your slip and fall accident was caused by the store’s negligence, you can recoup compensation for your damages.

The elements of negligence that you must prove

  • The store owed you a duty of care
  • The duty owed by the store was breached
  • The store’s breach of duty caused the accident in which you suffered injuries
  • You suffered financial consequences due to the slip and fall caused by negligence

A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you pursue a personal injury claim against Costco, or any other wholesale store.

Your slip and fall attorney can help you gather supporting evidence and documentation for representation in court.

Your lawyer can work with the insurance company to try to resolve the issues and get a settlement from the insurer to cover all your damages.

How An Attorney Can Help You

You can try to work with the store and/or its insurance company directly, but you should consider retaining the services of a personal injury attorney. Filing a claim yourself can result in endless frustration.

You may be given the runaround by the store, or you may be offered a less-than-fair settlement by the store's insurance company or legal department.

It is best to have a personal injury attorney looking out for your interests and protecting your rights. A personal injury attorney will know exactly what damages and compensation you are entitled to and will know whether or not the settlement being offered to you is a fair one.

If it isn't a fair settlement, your attorney can try to negotiate a better settlement or, if necessary, escalate the claim to a lawsuit.

If this happens, your attorney can represent you in court to ensure the proper evidence is presented and that the laws pertaining to your case are put to use for your benefit so that you get what you deserve.

Additional Resources


The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Costco, you may not be entitled to any compensation.