A slip and fall accident that happens inside of or on the premises of a grocery store or other business may be the result of the business’ negligence. If this is the case for you, then you may have a personal injury claim that can help you cover your medical costs and other financial and personal losses.
Slip and fall accidents can happen outdoors but still on store premises as well. These types of accidents may be caused:
- Unkempt parking lots or sidewalks
- Inclement weather that produces ice or standing water
- Poorly maintained outdoor features, like cracked or broken sidewalks or dips or potholes in parking areas
Proving Negligence After A Slip and Fall at a Supermarket
If you were visiting a supermarket and suffered injuries in a slip and fall, you can pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation to cover your losses, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. To have a successful personal injury claim, you will need to be able to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of the store or its employees. All four elements of negligence must be proven, and a personal injury lawyer can help you build your claim and gather the supporting evidence that shows all four elements of negligence apply to your specific accident.
The four elements of negligence are proving that the store has a duty or a responsibility to you as a customer, that the duty they owed you was breached, that the breach of duty caused your accident, and that your accident (slip and fall) was the direct cause of your damages and injuries. For example, in a slip and fall at a grocery store, the negligence scenario could go as follows:
• Every supermarket has a responsibility or a duty to all visitors, customers, vendors, and so forth to maintain clean and safe premises. This is to allow for safe entry for those coming on the premises to shop or do business.
• If there is a maintenance issue, such as broken tile or a defective rug, or if there is a spill such as soda or a broken jar of fruit, the issue must be addressed promptly. If it needs repairs, a warning must be posted, or the area blocked off. If the floor must be mopped or if there is a spill, a wet floor sign must be posted. When they delay taking care of the issue, or posting a warning, they have breached the duty.
• When that breach, such as loose tile or spilled soda, cause you to slip and fall, then the third step of negligence, known as causation, has occurred.
• Then the last element of negligence is showing that the fall, which was caused by the breach of duty, resulted in your damages. You must provide evidence, such as medical bills, medical records, and proof of missed work and lost wages.
Stop and Shop, and any other business, has a duty to maintain the premises and make sure the floor is clean. This means the area must be properly maintained, repairs made in a timely fashion, and any spills or messes must be promptly cleaned up. Proper warnings must also be issued, which could include a wet floor sign, or an area being roped off or customer access not being allowed in an area where there are hazards.
When you go shopping, it is only reasonable and customary to expect clean, safe premises. You should not expect to come across a rug that isn’t properly flat on the floor, or broken concrete, loose tiles, or a spilled soda. It is reasonable to think that the store is safe for your visit, and that the employees have properly and promptly addressed any issues.
A Slip and Fall Scenario
You were going into the supermarket to buy a soda and some snacks. As you walked down the aisle to get a bag of potato chips, you step on a wet spot and slip. You fall on the floor injuring your back. You look to see you slipped on ice that had been dispensed from the soda fountain’s ice maker. There were witnesses to your slip and fall, there were no signs warning you, and you suffered injuries that require ongoing medical care.
You must prove that you were not aware of the situation and that the store didn’t do anything to warn you of the spill on the floor. This can be proven by witness statements, photos of the accident scene, and by any surveillance video that caught the entire slip and fall incident on tape.
Don’t delay seeking medical care. You should establish treatment right away, so you can show the connection to the accident. If you wait a few days to seek medical care, the store and their insurer can argue that your injuries were not caused by the slip and fall inside the store. You should maintain copies of medical records, test results, medical excuses, and medical bills. These can be used as evidence in your claim.
Be sure to be very detailed in your statement to the grocery store regarding your fall. They will need to complete an accident report. You may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you give a statement because you don’t want it to be used against you later because of misunderstanding regarding what you were saying about the accident.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
If you were hurt in a slip and fall, you should consult with a personal injury attorney who handles slip and fall claims in your state. An accident injury lawyer is familiar with the personal injury laws in your state. Your attorney will investigate your accident, talk to witnesses, review evidence and videos, and determine your damages. With the help of an attorney, you can build a case that shows your losses and that shows the injuries you suffered were directly the result of the negligence of the store and its employees.
There is a statute of limitations, so if you wait too long, you can miss out on your chance to recover compensation for your damages. Personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency basis, so you will not pay anything out of pocket. Instead, your lawyer will not be paid until you win your case and you recover compensation for your damages through a judgment or a settlement. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to share details about your case, so you can determine the best way to proceed with your claim.
No matter where an accident happens on the property of a Royal Ahold store, there are a variety of people who may be held liable for injuries that occur, including:
- The store manager,
- The company, or
- The parent corporation
An insurance claim is often the first step, but some cases also go to court as personal injury lawsuits. Here are two examples of successful personal injury cases involving Royal Ahold stores:
Whether you try to settle your claim out of court or need to file a lawsuit, you may wish to consider hiring an attorney that is familiar with personal injury claims involving large corporations.
Such an attorney can help you prepare your insurance demand letter and assist you in collecting required evidence. He or she can also represent your interests at court, if you must file a lawsuit.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Stop and Shop, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.