Slips and Falls in Grocery Stores
Nationwide, grocery store slips and falls result in severe and sometimes debilitating injuries. Such accidents result in more than 300,000 injuries every year that require hospital care. In addition, roughly 20,000 slips and falls lead to fatalities. Because of the enormity of the situation, it is essential that store managers and owners address this problem and make an effort to reduce the risk for patrons. Let’s examine why grocery store slips and falls occur, how to manage this type of accident and how an injured individual can recover the damages associated with it by filing a premises liability claim.
Slips and Falls in Public Buildings
Public buildings are the primary site of slips and falls. This includes the post office, library and others that belong to the city, state and federal government. When this happens, it is possible to file a claim against the governmental agency charged with maintenance.
However, the claim process is different from other types of personal injury lawsuits since the time within which you can file is drastically shorter. An experienced slip and fall attorney will ensure the claim documents are filed in a timely manner.
Grocery Store Slips and Falls
Whether it’s ALDI or Walmart, grocery stores account for many slips and falls. This is because there are wet spots, especially around ice machines or the produce aisle. Other issues are fallen soap containers, eggs or other slippery items.
Technically, the grocery store is required to institute an inspection policy where the aisles are checked every 30 to 60 minutes. When this is neglected, the risk of a slip and fall increases. In areas where there is a good deal of snow, such as Erie, it is essential to have mats and ice melting agents on the pavement after the snow is removed.
What You Should Do If You Fall
The following are things that you should do if you experience a slip and fall:
- Make sure you file an incident report and ask for a copy.
- Let the store manager know if you are in pain and need an ambulance.
- If witnesses are present, obtain their contact information.
- Use a cell phone to take pictures of the area, including the reason for your accident such as a wet spot or fallen items.
- Ask witnesses how long the spill or other issue was present.
- Ask the manager for his or her name and I.D. number.
- Look for a video camera in the area, and take a photo of it.
- Be medically evaluated by your doctor or in the emergency room.
- Keep a diary of how you feel and any information related to the accident, including the type of shoes you were wearing.
- Maintain a file with all the expenses related to the accident and any receipts you may have.
Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident
It is essential to prove negligence in a slip and fall accident. Without this, the claim you have may not proceed. Some elements of negligence are:
- The owner of the store should have been aware of the dangerous condition and failed to take steps to prevent it from causing a slip and fall.
- Scheduled inspections were not planned.
- The store is not kept clean of debris, and actions were not taken to prevent a slip and fall such as using mats around slippery areas.
Damages in Slip and Fall Accidents
The following are damages you can collect after a slip and fall accident if the claim is filed before the two-year statute of limitations expires:
- Medical expenses: This includes all medical-related costs such as ambulance transport, E.R. expenses, cost of medical and surgical treatment, rehabilitation and doctor visits.
- Lost wages: This is the income you would have made if the accident-related injury had not happened. If you are unable to work indefinitely, it also covers any wages you would have earned.
- Pain and suffering: This type of damage is different for each accident and varies from one person to another. It covers persistent pain and emotional and mental discomfort secondary to slips and falls.
Travis Law Firm
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, let the Travis Law Firm provide the legal insight you need. We will investigate your accident and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Just call (814) 277-4444 to schedule a free case review. You can also contact us online if that is more convenient for you.