Most retail stores have strict procedures in place to ensure the safety of their customers.
However, the very nature of a business that sells drinks, frozen foods, and fruits and vegetables means that water, spills, and broken items are going to happen.
A well-trained staff and watchful managers will deal with these issues promptly so that accidents are prevented.
As a premises liability lawyer, I know that if the employees on duty ignore the spills, leaks, and breakages and someone falls and gets hurt, that is a different story. In that case, you can sue the retail store for damages.
Every accident has a cause. If negligence is added to the problem, then the establishment is allowing their customers to be at risk.
When It Happens
Sometimes when you have an accident, you are so embarrassed that you simply want to get up and pretend that didn’t just happen. In a rush to save face, you do not take the time to notice if more than your pride was bruised.
A back or neck injury, a fracture in a bone, and other pains may not show up right away. In fact, they may not show up for several days.
When the swelling begins and you have rested a while, you realize that you are in pain. Do not chance it. Advise the store manager of what happened. If needed, have them call 911.
If they refuse, call them yourself. Always seek medical attention immediately.
The Most Common Types Of Injuries In A Retail Store
Some injuries that occur in retail stores are more common than others. Here are a few:
- Spills of liquid onto the floor
- Obstructions on stairways
- Staircases, elevators, and escalators that are in disrepair
- Items falling from high shelving
- Cuts from rough edges on shelves
- Mechanical door malfunctions
- Poor lighting in parking lots and walkways
What Proof Is Needed?
Your attorney will prepare to prove the following:
- A dangerous situation or condition was the cause of your accident
- Management/owner knew of the danger and failed to resolve the problem
- You did not cause the accident
- The dangerous condition was the direct cause of your injuries
- Your injury is real and provable in court
These points are addressed in legal action taken against retails stores.
What To Do Immediately
- Ask the manager to call 911 and request an ambulance. If they do not, ask someone near you or call from your cell phone.
- Take pictures of the area. If you cannot move ask someone to take the photos with your phone.
- Take down names and phone numbers of people who witnessed the accident.
- Request an incident report be completed and request a copy.
- Seek medical attention and follow up with your regular doctor.
- Keep copies of all medical bills, medications, equipment needed, and any other expense that is directly attributed to the injury.
The following day or after being released from the hospital, contact a personal injury attorney. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. They can guide you through the process in hopes for a quick resolution,
Do not speak to the store’s insurance company until you have spoken to your premises liability lawyer. Do not give a statement or sign anything. Do not discuss your accident on social media. Work with your premises liability attorney and let them work with the store. Your main job is to recover.