There are several steps you should take if you’ve been injured at a grocery store. However, getting medical attention should always be your first step.
If your injuries are severe enough to incur extensive medical expenses, income loss, and pain and suffering, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. This article goes further in some proactive steps you can take to begin building your case about your grocery store injury.
- Seek Medical Attention for a Grocery Store Injury
- Document Your Grocery Store Injury Accident Thoroughly
- Inform Store Management Personnel of Your Accident and Injury at the Grocery Store
- Do Not Give a Statement to the Insurance Company
- Contact Our Law Firm to Hire a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
- Continue Medical Treatment and Focus on Your Recovery
- Let Our Team Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve
Seek Medical Attention for a Grocery Store Injury
To be safe, seek emergency medical attention. Ask a store employee or, if necessary, a bystander to call 911.
Though you may feel that you want to minimize or even ignore the severity of your pain or lack of functional ability after the accident (for example, limping after hurting your knee in a fall), you might later experience much more severe pain in your neck, back, wrist, or any other part of your body that the grocery store injury directly caused and a loss of function that is much worse. It is common for fall injuries to become noticeable hours to even days after an accident once the shock wears off the body.
Avoid Saying You’re ‘Fine’ After Your Accident
Although your first instinct may be to hop up and proclaim that you are unhurt, resist this urge. Adrenaline and embarrassment are a powerful combination for masking or understating the severity of actual injuries you may have sustained.
Do not say you are fine or unhurt if anyone asks. You do not know the severity of your injuries until you seek medical attention. If these injuries ultimately call for a claim, you do not want to give the grocery store or its insurance carrier any grounds to deny liability for your accident-related injuries.
For example, if you say you were “fine” after your accident, the grocery store might claim that:
- No injury was sustained in the grocery store based on your immediate claims after the accident.
- Any injury you sustained was much less severe than what you claimed at the time of the accident.
Rather, keep any statements about your physical condition to yourself and report your injuries to a medical care physician right away.
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Document Your Grocery Store Injury Accident Thoroughly
If you can safely do so, collect as much information as you can. Enlist others to assist you, if necessary. To document your accident, you can:
- Take photos of the scene: If the hazard was on the floor or the floor was defective, you can take photos of the floor to show what factors led to your injury. Causal factors may include spills, objects on the floor, and cords. Also, note if the grocery store placed any hazard warnings around the area or attempted to repair the defective conditions of the store. Try to take photographs from various perspectives. Close to the dangerous/defective condition that caused your injury, further away, from the height you stand at, from the ground level perspective, etc.
- Collect the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed your accident: If there were any witnesses to your accident, try to get their information. If you are unable to get their contact information, try to remember their physical features. Our team may be able to contact them later upon investigation into your accident and obtain a statement that supports your account of the accident..
- Ask others to share any photos or videos with you: If other people caught your accident on video, such as on their cellphone, ask them to send you a copy of the footage they captured. This may also be used to support your claims about how the accident occurred.
Focus on documenting any hazards that may have contributed to your injury. If you can collect evidence that establishes how a potential hazard caused your accident, this can help you build your case against the grocery store.
Inform Store Management Personnel of Your Accident and Injury at the Grocery Store
If the grocery store’s management is not already aware of your injury, it is best to notify them as soon as possible, if it is safe to do so. If circumstances permit you to do so without risk of further harm, request that a manager make a formal report of the accident. If for some reason you were not able to do so, we will put the store on notice.
Keep Mindful of Your Rights After Getting Injured
Remember, you are the injured party at a public establishment. New York law allows people to sue if they were injured on another party’s property, whether it is public or private. Grocery stores and other retail outlets have a duty of care to provide a safe environment for the public.
In the event of a spill or another potential hazard, the store must provide a clear warning or block off the area to avoid exposing shoppers to unnecessary harm. If the store knew about a potential hazard—or should have known about the hazard—and failed to take action, it could be held liable for your damages.
However, in some cases, store management might bring obstacles in attempts to protect the store. If so, keep the following in mind:
- Make sure to file an accident report with the grocery store: Ideally, the grocery store should provide you with a copy of this report. However, some will refuse to provide a copy. If they refuse, don’t raise any conflict about it.
- Make sure to remember or document who the store manager is or was: If the manager or other store employees refuse to provide their names, try to record their physical description in writing or in a photo.
- Do not make any statements before retaining a lawyer: If you intend to file a claim or lawsuit with the help of a personal injury lawyer, make no comments on your case until you hire them. If anyone asks you to sign anything, refuse to do so until you hire a slip and fall attorney from our team.
Do Not Give a Statement to the Insurance Company
You can expect a call from the grocery store’s insurance company or a claims adjustment company, or an investigator working on their behalf soon after your accident.
Here are some things to look out for if they call:
Do Not Give Any Statements if the Caller Asks for One
The caller may request a recorded statement from you or possibly ask you to sign documents. Do not give a recorded statement, sign anything, or even discuss the details of the accident or your injuries without first consulting a member of our team.
If you give a statement, the insurance company may use it against you later as a reason to deny your injury claim. Depending on what you say in your statement, the insurance company may also seek to use it against you if the case is litigated or goes to trial.
Do Not Accept Any Settlement Offer You Receive Unless You Have Consulted with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If the insurance company believes you have a strong case, it might offer you a quick settlement offer. However, you should not accept any settlement without seeking legal advice first.
If you agree to a settlement before you determine the value of your claim, you could be accepting a settlement that discounts the true value of your claim by a tremendous amount of money.
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Contact Our Law Firm to Hire a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Hire a slip and fall and trip and fall accident lawyer at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., if you intend to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Our law firm helps accident victims like you fight for the compensation they need to recover from their damages.
We will do the following for you if you become our client:
- We will investigate your accident and injury.
- We will obtain evidence to document the accident and establish liability for your injuries.
- We will identify your economic and non-economic damages to establish the value of your injury claim.
- We will communicate with all parties on your behalf.
Our legal team will manage every aspect of your case. This allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
We Will Help You Understand Which Damages Entitle You to Compensation
Part of the reason why we advise you to consult our team before considering or accepting any settlement offer is so that you understand how much your case might be worth. Many people assume they can only receive compensation for their medical expenses, but this is not true.
In addition to costs for medical treatment, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Diminished earning capacity
- Reduced quality of life
If you lost a loved one due to injuries they sustained as a result of their accident at the grocery store, we extend to you our heartfelt condolences. We are ready to file a wrongful death action on your behalf. With this type of case, you may be able to recover other damages, such as funeral expenses or loss of financial support. We are dedicated to winning the compensation you need and the justice your departed loved one deserves.
Continue Medical Treatment and Focus on Your Recovery
If, as a result of your injuries, you remain symptomatic it is best that you continue attending doctor’s appointments and follow your doctor’s orders.
Ongoing medical care may be important for you if:
- You are still in pain.
- You still have a limited range of motion or other functional deficits.
- You developed new injuries as a result of the initial injuries.
Such care is important so that you can alleviate your pain and restore function back into your body and quality of life. Our team will also use your ongoing treatment records as evidence of the severity and duration of your injuries.
Why Recording Your Ongoing Treatment Is Important
Generally speaking, the insurance company for the grocery store will press every opportunity to claim your injuries are not as serious as you state.
Gaps in treatment or premature cessation of treatment, even if the result of life circumstances that may make attending treatment difficult, will almost always be used by the insurance carrier to discredit your claims.
The insurance carrier may even attempt to use gaps or early termination of treatment to allege you are contributing to your injuries. That is, further indicated treatment would have helped you recover sooner or to a greater degree but “failure” to have such treatment has actually “worsened your condition.”
Let Our Team Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve
When you have a personal injury lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., working on your behalf, we handle all the legal details. Take proactive steps in building your case and hire a lawyer from our team today.