Chicago Grocery Store Injuries
Are you one of the millions of Americans who grocery shop every week? If so, be aware of the potential hazards you may face. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 30,000 people are injured yearly while shopping in grocery stores.
Injuries can range from cuts and bruises to significant traumas like head injuries. There can be a range of risks that cause accidents resulting in injury claims, and if you’re injured, having to take time off work, lost wages, and medical expenses can cause significant financial stress.
Were you or a loved one injured through someone else's negligence in a grocery store accident? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for grocery store employees, visitors, and vendors injured or killed on the premises.
Contact our Chicago, Illinois premises liability attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Dangerous Hazards in a Grocery Store
Thousands of individuals are injured at a grocery store every year. Even though most grocery stores and supermarkets are typically well-maintained, the congested aisles, slippery surfaces, and narrow walkways are a haven for unsuspecting consumers and store workers experiencing severe injuries.
Every supermarket in the nation has a legal responsibility to exercise reasonable care to ensure that their premises remain safe to avoid any undue harm. This duty means that the property owner, business, store management, and employees must make sure to foresee any hazard ahead of time for the customers, in order to avoid dangerous conditions.
As an example, if a supermarket employee leaves boxes or pallets in the aisle way and a customer trips, it is possible to hold the store responsible for the accident, and ask for damages.
To receive financial compensation for an injury at a Chicago grocery store, the victim must prove the store’s negligence and file a claim or lawsuit for compensation. However, these cases are incredibly complex and often require the legal skills of an experienced personal injury attorney who handles premises liability claims.
Therefore, do not hesitate to get your free consultation with us if you are in this situation!
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident at a Grocery Store
You might have a legal claim for your grocery store accident. However, you should take the following steps to help not only to assist your personal injury lawyer but also get the help you need to reduce any long-term effects of your fall.
Seek Medical Attention
You should seek medical care if you need it after an accident. Remember that you may not realize just how injured you are until well after the fall, especially if you have suffered a head injury.
Even people that are close to you may not realize that you have a head injury until hours or days later. It’s always a good idea to seek medical attention, even if you are not in severe pain, in order to get checked out. It is necessary that your medical provider knows when and how you got hurt.
Identify What Caused Grocery Store Injury
Try and identify what caused you to slip and fall. Store management is responsible for ensuring that all facilities are in a safe condition for use. However, various factors can lead to a fall in a grocery store.
Common causes for grocery store accidents are:
- Freshly mopped floors without wet floor signs
- Failure to clean up a spill or remove debris from an aisle by the store employees
- Spills from leaking freezers, cooler cases, and refrigerators that leave a wet floor
Grocery stores cannot always prevent these accidents, and many supermarkets often use plastic floor mats to help prevent accidents. However, they should have a cleaning system and a way to warn customers and staff, such as a “wet floor” sign, of the danger posed by the slippery surface.
- Loose tiles, carpeting, rugs, and other flooring surfaces
- Inventory blocking the aisles while the store employees stock the shelves
- Broken sidewalks and parking lot surfaces
Grocery stores have to restock the shelves during opening hours, but leaving items unattended in the aisles while that happens is a clear risk to the safety of shoppers.
- Merchandise dropping off shelves or unstable merchandising displays
- Shelving and displays that were not correctly assembled pose a risk to customers and any grocery store employee, as do over-stocked shelves (exceptionally high shelves), and grocery stores have a responsibility to ensure these problems are avoided.
Unsafe Facilities or Equipment
- Faulty electrical equipment, outlets, wiring, and related components that could lead to wrongful death
- Defective automatic doors, escalators, or elevators that haven’t received proper maintenance by the store management
- Poorly maintained changing rooms and toilets, defective escalators and stairs can result in grocery store injuries
There could also be many different grocery store accidents for those working in a supermarket that could lead to a personal injury claim that could include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries for checkout staff – A lack of breaks, long hours, and badly designed chairs could cause musculoskeletal injuries, which could be very painful.
- Insufficient training – Lack of updates and training could cause injuries.
- Lifting of heavy objects – Without the proper training and support, simple lifting processes could result in compensation claims for manual handling injuries.
- Defective or substandard equipment includes everything from dangerous shelving and shopping trolleys to forklift trucks and roll cages. The latter can cause spinal cord injuries and require expensive medical treatment.
- Poorly stacked goods in the warehouse could lead to items falling and injuring people.
If a grocery store has failed in its duty of care to you and you’ve been injured, you’re likely entitled to a compensation payout.
File an Incident Report
When an accident occurs at a grocery store, you should report the incident immediately after you have had medical treatment. Many supermarkets have a specific protocol that they must follow when someone is hurt on their property.
That often includes making an accident report and determining what your injuries might be. While it is a good idea to report what happened, you don’t have to go into detail about the incident just yet.
You should also avoid saying that you are “just fine” afterward, especially if the store manager or the insurance company gets in touch immediately. Simple statements like these can be used against you.
You should also avoid mentioning what caused the accident in your incident report if you don’t know or are uncertain. In many cases, the accident victim didn’t see what they tripped over before the fall. They sometimes try to guess how the injury happened —sometimes incorrectly.
Get Witness Contact Information
If there were any witnesses to the accident, it is vital to get the other customer’s contact information. A person who can speak about the conditions before and after the accident can make for a strong injury claim, which is especially beneficial if the grocery store tries to deny liability.
Document What Happened and Take Photos
It’s easy to forget details over time and when you’re trying to get out of a tough situation, such as an accident at a grocery store. Therefore, it’s crucial to document the incident while it’s fresh in your mind.
Any pictures you take of the conditions or your injuries will serve as evidence in your injury claim, making it easier for your lawyer to establish liability and proof of the grocery store’s negligence.
As an injured customer, you should obtain evidence of the event. Besides the photos, surveillance cameras are a vital part of the story.
Additionally, you should be documenting your losses following the accident. Save any receipts, medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, or other invoices related to your accident. Record the number of workdays you’ve missed and the income lost due to your injury.
Be Careful Talking to an Insurance Company
Do not talk to an insurance company without consulting a personal injury lawyer. Be careful giving a recorded statement or signing papers provided by the grocery store’s insurance company.
Without a fall accident lawyer, terms that you don’t understand or rushing into quick settlements can result in you not receiving the total compensation you deserve. You should even be careful of what you say to the store manager.
Call A Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Law Firm
Once you have made your report and visited the doctor, the next step you should take is to meet with a lawyer. Talking with an attorney now will help you start the investigation process immediately.
Getting your lawyer involved early increases your chances of getting the damages that the law says you have a right to after being injured at a grocery store and not being fooled by an insurance company right after the accident!
After you have talked to one of our lawyers and had a free case evaluation, you will have an excellent understanding of your situation and whether you have a personal injury claim that is worth the time and effort to pursue.
What Are My Rights If I’m Injured in a Grocery Store?
It’s important to understand that you're not necessarily entitled to compensation if you’ve been injured in an accident inside a grocery store. To make a successful claim, you need to show that the supermarket was negligent and could have taken action to prevent the accident from happening.
For example, if there’s a liquid spill in a supermarket that causes you to fall, but the supermarket hasn’t had the opportunity to clean up the spill (perhaps because it was very recent). It’s unlikely the supermarket would be found negligent (even if you have broken bones!).
On the other hand, if the spill had happened sometime before the personal injury, but the grocery store failed to clean it promptly, it’s more likely that the supermarket would be found negligent.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Supermarket
A skilled attorney who specializes in premises liability cases will prove negligence that shows at least one of three conditions occurred, such as:
- Store management, an employee, or a property owner of the supermarket created or knew about a dangerous environment on the premises, which eventually led to the customer’s injury in a preventable accident.
- A supermarket employee, supervisor, or manager knew the dangerous condition existed but failed to take any actions to correct it.
- Supermarket employees, supervisors, or managers should have known the dangerous condition existed through reasonableness and understanding of the premises liability for a personal injury.
The attorney working on behalf of the victim will need to establish negligence by showing there was a failure of routinely inspecting the premises or the level of reasonableness the supermarket knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed or might have existed.
Surveillance cameras will be a great ally when establishing negligence.
What Compensation Is a Person Injured in a Grocery Store Accident Entitled to Receive?
The value of a slip and fall incident in a supermarket accident is usually based on various factors that include:
- The type and severity of injuries involved
- The level of suffering, pain and mental anguish experienced
- The total earnings lost in the past, currently, and in the future as a direct result of the injuries
- The length of time the victim is unable to perform their regular duties
- The amount of past, current, and future medical bills
Compensation Available From the Grocery Store
Considering the factors previously shown, you can pursue compensation from the grocery store if you can prove their negligent conduct contributed to the accident.
The compensation you receive should cover the losses you suffered from your injuries, such as:
- Medical bills
- Damage to personal property
- Emotional trauma
- Lost income and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Funeral and burial costs in cases of wrongful death
How Much Do You Get for a Slip and Fall Case?
The amount you will get for a slip and fall claim varies from case to case. The main factors that will affect the outcome are:
- How the accident happened, and whether the injured person can prove the injury occurred due to a negligent act or omission of another party
- Whether the negligent grocery store is insured (most places have the support of an insurance company)
- The extent of the injuries sustained and the effect on your life
- The extent of any domestic assistance required
- The extent of any lost income and future earnings, medical expenses, economic loss, and the change in the injured person’s financial situation following the accident
Your case’s monetary value will depend on multiple points, including the severity of your injury and your total incurred expenses. Your Chicago grocery store accidents lawyer will review the available evidence and calculate the amount of money it takes to compensate you for all your losses.
Who Is Liable for My Grocery Store Injury?
In all slip-and-fall instances, the grocery store owners will be held liable for your injuries, even if they have liability coverage through an insurance company. A grocery store owner must keep their premises clean and safe to provide their customers with a secure shopping experience.
The owner is usually held responsible for your injuries when you trip and fall in a grocery store. Business owners are bound by law to keep their staff and customers safe at work.
A slip and fall accident in a grocery store can happen for various causes. While it is not possible to eliminate the chance of encountering a hazard, knowing about potential issues may help you avoid injuries.
What to Do to Resolve a Claim
The first step in resolving a grocery store accident is to immediately seek all necessary medical attention immediately and report your injuries to a medical care physician. Restoring your health is of the utmost importance.
It is essential to ensure that the dangerous event is reported and that you receive a copy of all reports when possible. Also, ensure all evidence is preserved, including taking photographs of the area where the accident occurred.
Next, avoid commenting on the accident once the report has been documented. Finally, hiring a legal team specializing in supermarket accidents is essential to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Hiring an Attorney to Represent You in a Case Against a Supermarket
If you have suffered injuries caused by the negligent action of a store employee, you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation. A skilled personal injury attorney can handle every aspect of the case to ensure you receive a full monetary recovery for your injuries. The law firm will work to preserve evidence, including store videos and obtain testimony from eyewitnesses of the accident.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC specializes in Illinois personal injury accidents, including those in Chicago supermarkets. Contact our law offices at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your case.
Our attorneys can answer your questions and provide various legal options on the best ways to proceed to ensure you receive adequate compensation for your injury.