I was Injured Due to a Fall at the Grocery Store
Unintentional falls continue to be one of the leading causes of emergency room visits and hospitalization among all age groups in Kentucky. Slip, trip and fall accidents can happen anywhere. But retail establishments, more specifically, grocery stores, do have an exceptionally high frequency of such accidents.
In fact, for every dollar that these retail stores spend on floor maintenance, $3 are spend on tackling fall injury claims. The aggregate amount that these establishments spend on defending such claims goes to the tune of a whopping $450 million.
And the big bucks spent on defense sure seem to be paying off!
Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of injuries suffered on-site by both the employees and the customers of supermarkets. So, it’s no wonder that up to 60% of all liability claims filed against grocery stores involve slip and fall injuries. Moreover these accidents are involved in nearly 15% of all personal injury claims filed across the country.
However, only about 4-5% of these claims actually go to trial. That’s not surprising since parties are frequently encouraged to settle through negotiation instead of litigation.
What should you do at the earliest after sustaining injuries due to a fall at the grocery store?
In case of premise liability, you can never call your lawyer soon enough. After all, the accident occurs in the property of the opposing party, which means they have access to crucial evidence that you don’t.
So, it imperative to stop them from tampering with this evidence and that is usually the first order of the day when your attorneys get on board. Having said that, there are a few things that you should and can do if you have hurt yourself in a fall at the grocery store.
What should you do right after your fall at the grocery store?
As is the case in any Tort litigation, evidence will finally decide the outcome of the negotiation or the courtroom battle. So, unless you are in no physical/mental state to do so, this is what you need to do:
Look around carefully: Try to understand what led to the fall. Was it a torn carpet, obstructive wires, spilled liquid, or boxes/carts in the way that caused you to slip/trip? Also check for cameras in the store that may have captured the incident.
Take pictures: Shock and pain can play tricks on your memory. So, take as many pictures as you can of the area in which the fall occurred, the factors that contributed to the fall, the people around you or who have come forth to help you and if possible, have someone take pictures of you after the fall.
Listen to what others are saying: If someone else states that he/she too also almost landed on the floor because of the spill or the floor condition, you certainly want this on record.
Get witness information: Even if you cannot actually document/record everything that the witnesses have to say, do make note down their name and their contact information.
Don’t get rid of the clothes: If the fall was the result of a spill, chances are that your clothes may have been soiled by the liquid that caused you to slip. So, keep the clothes as-is in a sealed plastic bag.
Ask the store to file a report: If they have such a procedure in place, and most stores will file a complaint/report, ask the store manager to file the incident report complaint. But watch your words when filing such a report and read it carefully. If you are in shock don’t sign any papers as yet. The store will no doubt write a report that exonerates them and if you sign this report, it will be held against you in court.
Make a request for video footage: Ask the store to give you the footage of the surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident. In fact, if possible make this request in writing and get them to sign a copy of the written request. If that isn’t possible, capture a video image on your phone of all the cameras around the area of the accident that may have captured the fall.
A fall at the grocery store can have serious ramifications.
According to the CDC, nearly 30% of the fall victims suffer moderate to severe injuries that keep them away from work for an average of 11 days. These injuries include:
- Bone fractures: Slip, trip and fall accidents are the leading cause of hip fractures and these in turn contribute to nearly 25% of the fatalities caused due to fall injuries.
- Spinal cord damage: Disc fractures, herniated discs and nerve damage are also fall injuries. These can leave a person with chronic pain and even loss of motor abilities.
- Head injuries: The head bump that fall victims often suffer can lead to traumatic brain injuries that can impact cognitive skills, emotional and mental health and physical abilities.
In addition to these, falls often lead to bruising, cuts, muscle tears, feet injuries, sprains and even joint dislocation.
What’s causing so many people to fall down at grocery stores?
According to a study conducted to analyze the ecology of falls, specifically falls at grocery stores, the top reasons for such accidents include:
- Water and wet substances: Nearly 28% of all slip, trip and fall accidents at grocery stores are attributed to water and other liquid spills on the floor.
- Solid Foods: A busted bag of peanuts or a few grapes that go rolling across the floor can cause more trouble than you thought possible. Slipping over solid foods leads to almost 21% of all falls in grocery stores. In fact, over 6% of all such accidents are attributed to slipping on a grape.
- Uneven surface: Be it a torn carpet, surface anomalies at the entrance/exit, mats used in these areas or obstructions like electric cord boxes, all of these can be dangerous when a person is completely engrossed in shopping. So, it’s no wonder that nearly 40% of all grocery store falls are attributed to tripping due to poor floor conditions/solid objects.
- Carts: Tripping or falling from the cart is responsible for more than 13% of all such mishaps.
Surprisingly, it was found that the frequency of such accidents was higher in summer than in winter, when people are more likely to bring in the sludge and snow from outside. Also, the majority of the falls occur inside the store. Moreover, adults over the age of 35 years were involved in 59% of all slip/trip and fall accidents at the grocery store.
Compensation is your right if you have suffered due to the negligence of another party!
At Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers we are committed to helping our clients receive compensation that will help them to get their lives back on track. The stores that you visit have a duty to provide you with a safe shopping environment.
If their negligence has caused you to suffer physical harm, they have breached their obligation to you. If this has happened, they have to compensate you for:
- The medical costs you have incurred
- Wages/earnings lost due to injuries
- Pain and mental trauma suffered as a result of the injuries
And our attorneys won’t settle for any less! Contact us today and we will ensure that you receive the fair compensation you deserve.