Experiencing a slip-and-fall accident can be traumatic and scary. Knowing what steps to take if you are injured in a grocery store slip and fall can help ease your anxiety and make your road to physical, mental, and financial recovery much smoother. Below we discuss seven steps to take after a grocery store slip and fall.
What to Do If You Slip and Fall in a Grocery Store: Steps to Take
Being armed with knowledge about your rights and obligations following a slip and fall accident makes the difference in a successful outcome. Here are seven steps to guide you after a grocery store slip and fall accident.
Seek Medical Care
If you were severely injured, you probably sought emergency medical treatment at your local E.R. and may have undergone extensive treatment. However, even if you do not initially believe you are seriously injured, it’s important to have a physician check you out. Many slip and fall injuries manifest over the hours, days, and weeks that follow the accident. Other injuries tend to worsen over time. Getting immediately evaluated is in your best interests and will serve to connect your injuries to the fall. The other side will do whatever they can to lessen their exposure, and if you wait too long to see a doctor, there’s a good chance they will argue that we can’t know if the injuries resulted from the fall or a second incident that happened in between the fall and your first medical check-up.
Each slip and fall victim requires individualized treatment. Common types of medical treatment include:
- Emergency room services,
- Diagnostic radiology scans,
- Orthopedic care,
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy, and
- Pharmaceutical needs.
You should keep copies of all records and bills you receive, so you can seek reimbursement later.
Report the Accident to a Store Manager
If a store manager or supervisor did not witness the incident, you should notify them of it as soon as possible. Always report the fall to the supervisor or manager to create a thorough report of what happened. And don’t forget to request a copy of any accident report.
Document What You Can
Immediately after the slip and fall, you should document the scene if you are physically able. Take pictures and videos of your injuries, the hazard that caused you to fall (e.g., spilled milk on the floor), and the location in the store where the accident occurred.
You should always note the names and contact info of any eyewitnesses and the location of any surveillance videos. Documenting this information while it is fresh in your mind and with photos leaves little room for dispute later.
File a Claim with Grocery Store Chain
Whether the grocery store is a big box chain or a small mom-and-pop store, you should file a formal claim with the store. This puts the store on notice of your injury and will generally initiate the claims process. The store’s insurance company will begin investigating the claim and determine whether to offer a settlement. Our attorneys can help you complete and submit your claim.
Keep Off Social Media
In an age where people post almost every event in their daily lives, it is crucial to avoid posting or commenting about the accident on your social media pages. The insurance company will look to your social media content to dispute and discredit your claim and injury. While you may think posting a video of you walking your dog is harmless, the insurance company may argue you are not as severely injured as you claim. We advise staying off social media while your claim is pending.
Speak with a Grocery Store Slip and Fall Lawyer
Many grocery stores are big box store chains. This means they are corporate and have deep pockets and aggressive attorneys. If you are a victim wondering if you can sue for a grocery store slip and fall, you should schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney. Even if you are unsure if you wish to pursue a lawsuit but want to file an insurance claim, it is best to get the advice and assistance of an injury attorney.
Do Not Provide a Statement to the Store’s Insurance Company
In the same regard as recommending that you speak with an attorney, we strongly urge you to avoid providing a recorded statement to the store’s insurance company without legal guidance. Remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, and the grocery store is a customer of that insurance company. So an adjuster’s job is to pay as little as possible for slip and fall claims. Adjusters may act like they care about you, but their allegiance will always be to their own employer. Ultimately, you may be required to provide a recorded statement, but you should only do so after you have spoken with a lawyer.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slips and falls can result in severe injuries that often have permanent consequences. The most common slip and fall injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (e.g., concussions),
- Broken hips,
- Chronic pain,
- Wrist injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries, and
- Neck and back injuries.
According to the CDC, one in five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. No matter the extent of your injury, you may be entitled to compensation.
Can You Sue for a Grocery Store Slip and Fall?
The short answer is yes, you can sue for a grocery store slip and fall accident. However, as the plaintiff, you must prove your case. Generally, you must establish four elements in a civil lawsuit for damages.
- The grocery store owned or leased the property;
- The grocery store owes you a duty of care, depending on the type of visitor you are (i.e., invitee, licensee, or trespasser);
- The grocery store breached that duty of care; and
- As a result of that breach, you were injured and suffered damages (e.g., medical costs, lost wages).
Successfully proving these elements requires knowledge of the law, a thorough investigation, and strong advocacy skills. Our seasoned slip and fall attorneys can assist you every step of the way.
California Grocery Store Injury Attorneys
At the Frederick Law Firm, our founding attorney, Jacqueline Frederick, has four decades of experience helping accident victims seek the justice and compensation they deserve for their injuries. Here, our clients come first, and we will do what it takes to see your case through to success. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options!