There are several steps you should take if you’ve been injured at a grocery store. Your first step should always be getting medical attention.
Seek Medical Attention for a Grocery Store Injury
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. You may even feel fine immediately after the accident but, later, you could experience significant pain in your neck, back, wrist or any other part of your body that was directly caused by the grocery store injury.
If these injuries ultimately call for a claim, it is likely that the grocery store and it’s insurance carrier will try to use any of the immediate post-accident circumstances to show that no injury was in fact sustained in the grocery store or that, an injury that was sustained was much less severe than the victim claims.
To be safe, seek emergency medical attention. Ask a store employee or, if necessary, a bystander, to call 911.
Do not say you are fine or unhurt if anyone asks. You do not know that yet and a statement of this nature could provide grounds for later denying a slip and fall or premises liability claim.
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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:
- Take photos of the scene (If the hazard was on the floor or the defective condition of the floor, if ground-level photos can be taken, they may be helpful.)
- Collect the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed your accident (If this is impossible or if they are uncooperative, try to note their physical description in as much detail as possible.)
- Ask others to share any photos or videos with you
Focus on documenting any hazards that may have contributed to your injury, such as a spill, a loose floor mat, an unsecured cord, missing handrail, etc. The more evidence you have of any potential hazard, the stronger the case against the store will be if it allowed the condition to remain without repair, warning or barricading off the area.
Inform Store Management of Your Grocery Store Injury Accident & Injury
If the store management is not already aware of your injury, make sure to notify them as soon as possible. Make sure the manager makes a formal report of the accident. The grocery store should provide you with a copy of this report. Otherwise, the store may attempt to deny the event later.
If the manager or other store employees refuses to provide his or her name, please note, in as much detail as possible, their physical description.
If anyone asks you to sign anything, refuse to do so until you speak to a slip and fall / trip and fall attorney.
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. The caller will likely request a recorded statement from you or possibly ask you to sign documents. Never give a recorded statement, sign anything or even discuss the details of the accident, your injuries or treatment without first talking to a member of our team.
The insurance company will almost certainly use your statement against you later, as a reason to deny an injury claim. Depending upon the substance of any statement made, the insurance company may seek to use it against you if the case is litigated or goes to trial. The documents that the carrier or these other parties working on their behalf asks you to sign could compromise your legal right to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages.
If the insurance company believes you have a strong case, it might offer you a quick (usually very small) settlement. Do not accept any settlement without first consulting your attorney. 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 a Slip, Trip, and Fall Accident & Injury Lawyer
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 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 may be liable for your damages.
Our legal team will investigate your accident and injury. We obtain evidence to document the accident and establish liability for your injuries. We identify your economic and non-economic damages to establish the value of your injury claim and get you the maximum compensation possible.
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.
For example, if you are still in pain or if you still have a limited range of motion or other functional deficits, or if you have developed new injuries as a result of the original injuries, (for instance, the gait disturbance of a hip injury resulting in a subsequent injury to a knee) ongoing medical care is critically important.
Such care is important not only because alleviation of pain and restoration of function are so important to your quality of life, but also because we will use the treatment records as evidence of the severity and duration of your injuries.
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. Our team manages every aspect of your case and communicates with all parties on your behalf. This allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries. We document your case to establish liability and calculate the value of your case based on your injuries and other damages.
You may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Diminished earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
If you lost a loved one due to injuries they sustained as a result of the negligence of a grocery store’s owner(s), manager(s) or employee(s) or of any agent or third party acting on their behalf, (for example, an outside company that comes in to wax the floors, or fix a refrigerator leak), we are ready to make wrongful death claim on your behalf The sooner you contact us the greater our opportunity to build the strongest case possible for you.