No one expects to go food shopping and get injured. However, slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence at supermarkets and grocery stores. Without proper precautions and maintenance at the premises, a supermarket can be a dangerous place - spills from food and beverages, refrigerator or freezer leaks, residue from cleaning solution or wax on floors, icy parking lots and defective shopping carts can all create hazardous conditions that lead to slip and falls.
Liability for Supermarket Slip and Falls
Supermarket slip and fall accidents can take place in any area of the store including aisles, vestibules, at cash register lines, and even in the parking lot. Supermarket store owners and managers owe a duty of care to customers when they are anywhere on the premises. This means that they must ensure that both the inside and outside of the store are reasonably safe from dangerous conditions.
For a supermarket to be held liable for your injuries, it must be found that the supermarket was negligent, careless, or that the owner, manager, or an employee recklessly disregarded your safety. For liability to attach, an owner, manager, employee, or another agent of the supermarket must have:
(1)created the hazardous condition or
(2)knew that it existed for a period of time and
(3)failed to remedy it or provide a warning sign
A common scenario where a supermarket might be held liable is the failure to place a "wet floor" sign on a recently mopped area. Negligence can also arise for a slip and fall if an employee or manager knew about a liquid spill but failed to clean the area within a reasonable amount of time.
Documenting Your Slip and Fall Case
If you slipped and fell due to a dangerous condition at the supermarket, it's a good idea to get the names and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident as well as have someone take photos of the area of occurrence. It's also important to obtain a copy of the supermarket accident or incident report that was filed as well as any other documentation that might be relevant to litigation. If you cannot obtain a copy of the accident or incident report, an attorney acting on your behalf can usually obtain the report.
What Damages Can I Recover for Supermarket Slip and Fall Injuries?
It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you slipped and fell at a supermarket. Although you may not feel pain right away, certain injuries can become apparent later. Depending on the circumstances of your slip and fall, your doctor might recommend certain tests such as X-rays, MRIs, or EMG-NCVs for diagnostic purposes.
Slip and falls at a grocery store can be serious and result in severe injuries such as:
•Broken bones or fractures
•Sprains and strains
•Knee, wrist or shoulder injuries
•Neck and back injuries
•Traumatic brain injury
If you sustained injuries as a result of a supermarket slip and fall accident, your medical documentation will become very important if you file a lawsuit.
Depending upon the type of injuries you sustained, you may have incurred substantial out of pocket costs for emergency room and medical treatment, physical therapy, surgeries, diagnostic testing, and office visits. In addition, you may have had to take time off work as a result of your injuries. You may be able to recover economic damages including lost wages, unreimbursed medical costs, and future medical costs in a personal injury action. You may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and punitive damages in some cases.
Contact an Experienced New York Slip and Fall Attorney
If you were injured in a slip and fall due to the negligence of a supermarket, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately who can advise you of your legal rights. An experienced personal injury attorney who handles premises liability cases will know how to help preserve the evidence you will need to prevail in your case. They can also help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and time lost from work.
The Popick Law Firm has thirty years of experience in obtaining compensation for victims of supermarket slip and falls and retail store accidents. Located in Flushing, Queens, The Popick Law Firm handles personal injury and premises liability cases in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Contact the Popick Law Firm today for a consultation.