Have You Suffered and Injury from a Slip and Fall Accident at a Supermarket or Store?
Slip and fall accidents are very common, even at well-maintained supermarkets and grocery stores. Supermarkets are monitored by their insurance companies to ensure the property, including the parking lot, is safe to use. However, many shoppers still get injured in supermarket accidents. But how do you know if you have a lawsuit?
Supermarket accidents can happen for many reasons. From lacerations, slippery floors and aisle obstructions to faulty exits, shoppers are exposed to many dangers. Hazards such as wet spots or debris can present a danger to customers and cause a slip and fall accident. Sometimes there are uneven surfaces and other conditions in the parking lot area as well that may cause severe injuries. When the staff is not properly trained to maintain the premises, a negligence can also occur causing injuries to shoppers.
Can you sue?
It all depends on the nature of your claim. That is basically the circumstances leading to the accident and injuries sustained besides other factors. Victims generally sue the store owner. However, sometimes the store owner leases the property. In such cases, the property owner may not be liable unless the accident was caused by something they did.
Some things to consider
In order to win these types of cases, some important questions must be answered first such as:
Was the floor wet?
- What are the reasons for the floor being slippery?
- How long was the floor wet?
- Did the customer knew about the slippery condition?
- Was there any warning?
- Did the property owner knew about it?
The most important aspect to prove is whether the defendant knew about the issue and took the necessary precautions to prevent it. The longer they knew about it, the more responsible they are for the slip and fall accident. However, if the accident was the shopper’s fault such as when a customer drops a banana peel and slips right after, then the supermarket owner is not liable because he or she didn’t know about what happened or had sufficient time to find out about the slippery condition.
Hazard warning sign
Although slippery conditions are often difficult to avoid, there are times when the supermarket owner knows about some conditions that may cause an accident. For example, waxing the floor makes it slippery therefore the store owner should put up a sign warning shoppers about it. Failure to warn the clients can be used in court as evidence of negligence.
Some important steps to take a slip and fall accident
- Call the manager and document the accident – The manager must see the accident as it happened and he or she must write an accident report. You should also ask for a copy. Sometimes these reports are not available to clients but your personal injury attorney can, later on, subpoena it.
- Call 911 and ask for medical care – The paramedics can check to see if you sustained serious injuries and write a report. If the injuries are severe, they will take you to a local hospital.
- Gather evidence and look for witnesses – You can take pictures with your cell phone and find eyewitnesses that saw what happened. Also, surveillance cameras at supermarkets can provide unique angles of the incident.
- Ask for the supermarket’s insurance information – If the manager fails to provide your insurance information, you can call corporate yourself.
- Hire a slip and fall accident attorney – This is the most crucial step. You may be able to sue for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.