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Slip and Fall at the Grocery Store: Who Is at Fault?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Grocery store slip and fall accidents are often caused by negligent actions of store employees who block aisles with boxes, overload shelves, and fail to clean up spills.

Grocery Store Falls

Slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence in grocery stores. They usually happen without warning, and they can cause serious injuries, especially to children and elderly adults. Since grocery stores have hard-surface floors for easier cleaning, injuries can result in serious injuries including sprained ankles, fractured and broken bones, back and spinal cord injuries, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

The most common causes of grocery store slip and falls seen by slip and fall lawyers include:

  • Faulty operating entrance and exit doors
  • Missing or torn floor mats
  • Damaged wheels on grocery carts
  • Aisle obstructions from boxes and pallets
  • Overloaded shelves
  • Food or liquid spills on floors

Slip and falls can also occur outside of grocery stores on sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. Most outdoor falls are caused by cracked pavement, uneven sidewalks, and potholes. Outdoor falls are especially common during inclement winter weather when slippery surfaces are caused by rain, snow, and icy conditions.

Who’s Liable for Injuries?

Retail establishments, including grocery stores, have a duty of care to their customers who are considered invited guests. Under state premises liability laws, retail stores have an obligation to provide a safe environment that is free of hazards to protect customers from accidents and injuries. When stores breach their duty of care through negligent actions that cause accidents, injury victims are entitled to compensation.

A slip and fall lawyer can file a premises liability lawsuit in civil court to collect compensation for the injury victim. If the case is based on negligence, the court will require proof that the victim’s injuries are directly linked to negligent actions. The lawyer can gather important evidence about the fall through store surveillance videos, photos of store conditions, testimony from witnesses, and documented medical records that show proof of injuries, injury treatments, and medical expenses.

In many cases, slip and fall injuries are settled out of court between the injury victim’s lawyer and the grocery store’s insurance provider. Settlements are advantageous to the grocery store because it keeps them out of lengthy court litigation and usually results in a lower payout for injuries, especially when a victim sustains serious injuries that require extensive or long-term medical care.

Categories: Premises Liability