Do grocery store dangers surround you every time you shop? Are the causes of accidents lurking in the aisles? Probably not. But many people are injured every year due to something in the grocery store. If you are an average American you visit the grocery store at least six times every month? On each of your 332 trips to the grocery store, what is your risk of injury or sickness?
Every supermarket, grocery store or “mom and pop” shop, is regulated and inspected for food safety by local and state agencies working under the guidance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These stores are also required to maintain them in ways that ensure the safety of all customers. Yet people are sickened or injured every day. Most of these injuries, if a claim or legal action is pursued, are called premises liability cases.
Most grocery stores are perfectly safe and they follow all guidelines to protect their customers. Occasionally, something is missed and a shopper is injured.
Common Injuries and Accidents in Grocery Stores
Some accidents are caused by the actions of customers and other customers shopping at the same time. Some, however, occur due to the negligence of the store employees. The most common accidents and injuries are caused by:
- Slip and fall accidents in the produce section of the store (water on the floor, slippery produce on the floor)
- Slip and fall accidents due to leaks
- Slip and fall accidents due to spills
- Improperly placed or missing floor mats
- Malfunctioning entrance/exit doors
- Items falling from store shelves
- Obstructions in the aisle
- Cracked or uneven pavement outside the store
- Damaged or uneven flooring inside the store
- Damaged or defective shopping carts
- Contaminated or spoiled food items
- Recalled items available for sale
The most common injuries sustained by customers in grocery stores are:
- Fractures of legs, hips, arms, wrists
- Cracked/broken pelvis
- Cuts, bruises, head wounds
- Concussion and traumatic brain injury
- Back and spinal cord injuries
Older/senior shoppers are at greater risk than most others in grocery stores. A broken hip can change anyone’s life. When an older adult breaks a hip, however, the outcome can be permanent disability or even death.
When the grocery store is negligent in maintaining a safe shopping environment or when the store sells tainted food products, the store may be liable for your accident and may be held responsible for your medical costs and other costs incurred due to the injury.
Grocery Store Responsibilities
Premises liability laws that apply to all types of stores have a “duty of care” – an obligation – to make and keep their building and other property safe for shoppers. This obligation includes being attentive to common hazards and correcting them before someone is hurt. The key words are “common hazards.” The store is not responsible for every possible harm that could come to a customer. The store and its employees are required to prevent reasonably foreseeable incidents. Stores should expect to see common hazards and are expected to have in place a plan to prevent them or correct them before someone is hurt.
To obtain compensation, you must demonstrate:
- The supermarket owed you a duty of care.
- You were hurt because of the store’s negligence.
- The store (and its owners and employees) failed to fulfill their duty of care to you by their negligence.
- The grocery store is liable for your damages.
- You have real and measurable damages.
If you are injured due to the negligence of a grocery store, there are several things you can do. First, attend to your injuries and your health. Do not leave the site of your incident. Do not make any statements that could be used against you, particularly denials of your injuries or admissions of responsibility for the incident.
If you are able,
- Ask for the manager of the store.
- Complete store incident reports and ask for a copy.
- Get medical care.
- Try to identify witnesses in the store.
- Take pictures of the site of your incident, or ask a bystander to take pictures with your phone.
- Ask the manager for the name and contact information of the store’s insurance company.
- Call Altizer Law, P.C.
- Recover from your injuries.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
Premises liability claims can be difficult to prove and complicated to prepare. If you or a loved one is injured by grocery store (or other kinds of store) dangers, trust Altizer Law, P.C., to work for you and to obtain the largest possible settlement or jury award for your hurts and harms. Bettina Altizer and her team of experts negotiate with insurance companies every day. We are always prepared to litigate if negotiations are failing. We understand the impact of an injury of this kind. We understand what is needed to fully recover from such an injury. We know that it’s about the money.