Getting in an accident anywhere is painful and stressful, but some places are more likely to cause a slip and fall or a twisted ankle. Though it may surprise you, grocery stores are a common location for these accidents to happen. With many people coming in, leaving, or working at the store, grocery stores are a perfect environment for accidents. Whether you trip and fall on something in the aisle, get hit by a falling box of merchandise, or get squished by an automatic door, grocery store accidents happen far more often than you may realize. In this blog post, we’ll explain recurrent reasons for grocery store accidents, and what to do if you have an accident in the grocery store.
Causes of Grocery Store Accidents
The most common causes of grocery store accidents are usually preventable things that can happen due to short staffing or negligent management. While at the store, you're on the owner's property, and it's the owner's responsibility to make sure that you and all of their customers can shop safely, without fear of a slip, trip, or fall. While some trips and falls or other accidents are truly unpreventable or freak accidents, most grocery store accidents are caused by:
- Lack of suitable security
- Unsafe or dangerous parking lots
- Unstable or shoddily installed entrance or exit doors
- Water or other fluids on the floor without a safety sign
- Hazards on the floor like food, wires, or misplaced floor mats
- Unstable merchandise displays or merchandise stacked too high
While hazards or water on the floor seem like a tiny problem to have in a grocery store, slips and falls are the most likely injuries customers and workers alike face in the grocery store. In fact, last year alone retail workers took 125,000 plus days off work due to injuries from slips and falls in the workplace.
Grocery store parking lots are also a common place for accidents. Trips and falls, cart accidents, and poor signage all contribute to accidents in the grocery store parking lot.
What to Do if You Get in an Accident at the Grocery Store
It’s important to know what to do if you or a loved one gets into a grocery store accident. Though the details may vary depending on your area or the size of the store, there are a few things you should do no matter what and a few things you should avoid.
If you get in a grocery store accident make sure to:
- Ask for a manager
- File an incident report with the store
- Get the store's insurance information
- Take photo or video evidence
When filing an incident report, it’s your right to ask for a copy of the report to give to your insurance company or counsel. Also, if the store has security cameras you can ask to see the security footage of the time and place your accident happened. If the accident occurred during regular store hours, it is likely another customer may have seen it. Ask anyone around you if they witnessed your accident, and get their contact information if they’re willing to give it out. Make sure to seek whatever medical treatment is necessary, and let your doctor or clinic know how, where, and when the accident transpired as it will be noted on your file.
If you get into a grocery store accident, try to avoid:
- Discussing the accident at the store
- Leaving immediately
- Lashing out at store employees
- Allowing yourself to be talked down
While it is never a good idea to defer necessary medical treatment, make sure not to leave the area of the incident until you’re sure you have the evidence and information you need and have spoken to a manager. The more you can do on the day of the accident, the better you will be able to prove your claim.
While a grocery store accident may be unfortunate and stressful, lashing out at store employees or the manager can damage your potential case. On the other hand, do not allow the store manager or employees to try and minimize your accident or subsequent injuries. Avoid speaking about your injuries to employees of the store and even your friends and family until you leave. If you’re alone and need medical attention, ask the store manager or closest employee to call 911 immediately. Once you’ve been treated, look for a personal injury lawyer in your area and they can begin to build your case for you.
Do You Need a Lawyer after a Grocery Store Accident?
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. If you were injured or hurt after an accident at a grocery store, you should consult a personal injury attorney about your case. By having legal representation, your lawyer will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and work toward securing a fair settlement. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it?
When you hire a personal injury lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay. Don’t wait, contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.