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Is a Grocery Store Liable for My Slip and Fall Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

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When grocery store staff fail to clean up on Aisle 6, the results can often be far more serious than a messy storefront. If an unsuspecting shopper happens to slip on the wet floor, they may sustain injuries to fragile areas like the spine, head, and neck - and need lifelong medical care to treat the permanent conditions that follow.

Fortunately, the law allows for injury victims to bring a lawsuit against the negligent grocery store, under the legal concept known as premises liability. Of course, in order to be successful with a slip and fall claim, you’ll need to have the assistance of an experienced attorney. Because grocery store chains often have significant wealth and resources, they may be able to downplay your injuries as minor, or claim that you could have avoided the offending patch of floor.

In this post, we’ll touch on what makes a strong slip and fall claim,and how you can pursue justice from the supermarket responsible for your injuries.

Understanding a Store Owner’s Duty of Care

Whether you were hurt on the premises of a small local grocery shop or a national supermarket chain like Kroger or Safeway, the store owners have the same legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their visitors.This is called the “duty of care,” and it means they are required to keep an eye out for hazards on the premises, and take reasonable care to prevent injuries.

The duty of care doesn’t apply equally to everyone: If someone is trespassing on store property, for instance, the store owner has little obligation to keep them safe from building hazards. But because grocery store customers are explicitly invited onto the premises for commercial purposes, they are known under the law as “invitees,” and business owners must show the highest level of care towards them.

In addition to the duty of care, you’ll need to demonstrate a few other things in a slip and fall claim:

  • Negligence: The store can’t be considered liable for your injuries unless there was a negligent act committed by one of the employees or owners. That means someone must have knowingly left the slippery patch on the floor,or failed to clean up in time after being made aware of it.
  • Damages: There’s no merit to an injury claim if you can’t prove that you have real damages and losses from the accident. You’ll need to rely on medical bills, doctor’s examinations, and expert testimony to illustrate the true costs of your injuries after falling.
  • Causality: Of course, you’ll also need to show that these injuries were directly caused by the slip and fall accident itself. Under the eggshell skull rule you may still be able to collect some recovery when you had a pre-existing condition - but your attorney will need to make it clear that your previous problems were severely aggravated after the accident.

How Long Do Slip and Fall Settlements Take?

Many injury claims settle out of court and never see trial, and this is also true for slip and fall accident claims. Big grocery store chains are perhaps even more likely to choose settlement over a costly trial,to reduce the amount of public exposure they face. Depending on the complexity of your claim, it could take a few months to resolve the claim, or it could take years and involve multiple appearances in court.

No matter how long it takes, however, our White Plains injury lawyers are here to help you fight back and get the fair compensation you need after a slip and fall injury. We’ll do everything in our power to handle your case as quickly and thoroughly as possible, and offer skilled guidance and compassionate support along the way. With decades of combined experience and a long history of litigating high-profile injury claims, our team can be the reliable advocates you need in a crisis.

Call today at 203-661-6000 to get your free consultation! We’re available 24/7 to take your call.

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