When you are out running errands, the last thing you expect is to be injured in a slip and fall accident. But at large variety stores, this can easily happen when safety measures are not in place.
As you make your way through aisles and around shelving, a quick trip to the store can turn into a lifetime of pain if you end up falling. The injuries you may receive in a slip and fall accident, like back sprains, broken bones, and concussions, require costly medical care and may even leave you unable to work.
Your medical bills and lost wages can add up fast, leaving you feeling financially strained. As an accident victim, you may be able to recover compensation from the store if they were negligent and you were injured in one of their stores.
How Can Someone Get Hurt in a Variety Store?
You may go shopping for many different items from milk and eggs to baby products and even shoes. With such a variety of merchandise in one store, there is the potential for several safety hazards, too.
In the grocery area of a store, you may encounter spills and broken glass in aisle ways, slippery surfaces from leaking products, and boxed items fallen from shelves. These items can clutter aisles and cause you to fall as you attempt to make your way around them.
Since most retailers keeps plenty of fresh inventory on hand, they often restock their shelves during the day. The empty boxes and hand carts left behind after replenishing store’s shelves can cause you to stumble and fall as you try to pass by them.
As a discount store, there typically are clearance sections where seasonal, expiring, and outdated items are combined into one small area. Customers often rifle through these items looking for the best deals and merchandise can quickly find its way to the floor. If employees do not pick up discarded items, you can easily trip over them as you travel down an aisle.
Personal Injury Claims Against Discount Stores
According to the Madison Record, in 2006, a mother slipped on soap at her local Dollar General while she was holding her daughter. The soap had leaked out from a damaged plastic container and into the aisle way.
Since the store did not clean up the mess or warn customers of the hazard, she alleged the store was at fault for her and her daughter’s fall. As a result, she filed a personal injury claim against Dollar General seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In her claim, she asked for damages of more than $15,000 but less than $50,000. The case was eventually settled in 2008 for an undisclosed amount.
How Do I Get Help After A Slip and Fall?
All stores have a legal duty to protect customers from in-store hazards. When they fail to do so, shoppers are often hurt as a result.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident while shopping, you may have a legitimate personal injury claim against the large retailer. The value of your claim can vary, so you may want to ensure you claim for the maximum amount of compensation by speaking with a lawyer.
When going up against a national chain of stores, you will likely need a personal injury attorney on your side. He or she can help prove your case, negotiate a settlement, and recover the compensation you are rightfully entitled to under the law.
Filing a Slip and Fall Claim Against a Discount Store
To have a successful claim for a slip and fall, you need to provide proper evidence and documentation to show that the store in question is at fault for your fall. Keep any medical documents and invoices for treatments for injuries resulting from the slip and fall. This will help support the legitimacy of your claim and the amount you are asking for.
If you are able to, get any witness statements and their contact information. If no one witnessed the fall, try to get statements about the hazardous situation that caused your slip and fall. If you miss work, keep track of your missed wages. These can be factored into your claim.
To make sure you get all the evidence and documents you need, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will make sure you have all the evidence you need to have a successful claim. Without an attorney, you run the risk of missing important documents.
Factors That Go Into a Settlement
When you are reaching a settlement, several things are considered. First, the cause of your injury is taken into consideration. Of course, the more serious your injury, the greater your damages and the more you will be entitled to receive. The insurance company and the store will likely not want to pay out more than they must for a claim.
Have you proven that the incident was caused by the negligence of store and/or its employees? If so, they will work to negotiate a settlement.
If you prove negligence, they may be concerned that the court would order a higher payout than they would otherwise have to pay if they had resolved the matter out of court. Of course, when the claim advances to court, that is also time consuming and it will also cost more money.
Some claims are resolved rather quickly, but at other times, it can take weeks, months, or even a year or longer to reach a settlement. You don’t want to settle too quickly you need to fully assess the severity of your injuries so any future losses can be included in the claim.
You may require future medical care and you may have a future loss of earnings. For example, if you are going to miss more work, or if your injuries are causing you to change professions, you could suffer a significant loss of earnings.
If your injuries are serious, you should make sure that you talk with your treating physician about how your future will be affected. Ask about your long-term medical needs and about how your daily activities and employment will be affected by the injuries that you suffered when you slipped and fell.
What Kinds Of Damages Can You Claim After a Slip and Fall?
When you file a personal injury claim because of a slip and fall in Dollar General, or any other store, be sure to include all your damages. If you suffered injuries when you fell, you will have medical expenses, you will also have lost wages and pain and suffering. You may have long-term disabilities or permanent disabilities, permanent scarring and disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
All your medical expenses – physician visits, hospital bills, x-rays and scans, prescriptions, medical devices, physical therapy, and so forth will be added up. Any future medical costs, such as future physician visits, surgery, home healthcare, and so forth. Document all your missed work and lost wages.
Proving Fault For a Slip and Fall Claim
For your slip and fall claim to be successful, you will need to how the store was at fault. You should take photos of the accident scene if at all possible. Those photos should help show where you fell, why you fell, and when you fell. It will also help show your injuries and damages. Ask any witnesses to provide written statements.
There are four elements of negligence, and for your claim to succeed, you will need to show how all four elements apply to your slip and fall. The elements of negligence include – duty or responsibility, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
In this case, the store owes you a duty. They have a duty or a responsibility to make sure that the premises are safe for customers. If there was something spilled on the floor and an hour later that spill hadn’t been cleaned up or there wasn’t a sign posted to warn customers, then they breached that duty.
When you fell because of the floor being slippery, that breach of duty caused your accident. If you broke your wrist and hurt your back in the fall, then those injuries (damages) were caused by the accident that resulted from the breach of duty.
You will need to provide supporting evidence or documentation that shows your injuries and damages were caused by the negligence of the store or its employees. Photos of the accident scene, surveillance video of the store that shows the area before you fell and that shows your fall can be beneficial. You should also provide witness statements, medical bills, medical records, proof of missed work and lost wages, and other supporting documentation that you may have.
Working With a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered a slip and fall and you ended up with injuries, you have suffered damages and losses. You can pursue a personal injury claim against Dollar General, or any other store, to recover compensation for your losses. You should enlist the help of an accident injury attorney who handles such cases in your state.
A personal injury lawyer will be familiar with state laws and will conduct a more thorough investigation into your slip and fall. Your attorney will also work to build a strong case. Like any other discount or variety store, Dollar General will likely have legal representation looking out for them, so make sure you have someone who is looking out for your best interests and ensuring that you are treated fairly.
When you retain an accident injury attorney for your slip and fall case, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, your lawyerwill take your case on a contingency basis, which means that he or she will not be compensated until you win your claim and recover payment through a judgment or a settlement. At that time, your lawyer will receive a percentage of what you recover.
There is a statute of limitations for pursuing a claim, so don’t wait too long to get your claim underway. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form today!
While this article might help point you in the right direction if you were hurt due to the negligence of a store, you might have some more questions about filing a claim against a company. You can find some more information here:
- Do I Need A Lawyer That Has Experience With Dollar General?
- What Happens After A Deposition Against Dollar General?
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Dollar General, you may not be entitled to any compensation.