Four common grocery store injuries
A trip to the grocery store to pick up food for the week’s menu or supplies for a party might not seem like a risky activity, but injuries at retail establishments are extremely common. No one expects to end up in a hospital bed after a simple shopping trip, and people are not always aware of the hazards that can be lurking just around the corner of the aisle.
Not all injuries sustained at groceries or other retail stores can ultimately be blamed on the store. However, many can. One common type of injury involves spilled or dropped produce. Berries, fruit, and other produce items on slick concrete floors can result in serious slip hazards. One moment, a shopper is carefully examining items she would like to buy; the next moment, her feet fly out from under her and she lands hard on the floor, felled by a single piece of stray fruit. Injuries from these types of accidents can include sprains, strains, and even broken bones.
Grocery stores and convenience stores are also infamous for liquid spills. A broken freezer may be leaking water underneath an aisle, where it is all but invisible against the tile floor. Another customer might have dropped a bottled drink, causing a puddle to form. In these cases, there may be no warning before an unsuspecting customer takes the wrong step and ends up seriously injured.
Slip and fall accidents aren’t the only hazards at grocery stores. In many cases, employees will stack boxes or sale items much higher than is safe. Even a small bump can dislodge heavy products, causing them to fall. When a sale item lands on a customer, it can cause bruises, fractures, or even serious head injuries.
Finally, grocery stores often use rubber or plastic floor mats to help prevent slips in high-traffic areas. However, poorly-installed mats can prove to be more of a hazard than a help, particularly when the edges become bunched up. A mat that ends up folded or bunched in the center can be a serious trip hazard. A trip and fall on hard concrete floors can result in head injuries, back injuries, and broken limbs from breaking the fall.
The store will not be held liable unless your personal injury attorney is able to show that they knew about the hazard ahead of time, or should have figured it out. For example, if one customer spills a drink and another customer slips on it just moments afterward, it will be difficult to hold the store responsible, since they had no opportunity to clean it up. On the other hand, if the first customer reports the spill but management takes no steps to clean it up or place wet floor signs, they can be held liable for any injuries resulting during the delay.
In any retail store accident, it’s important to document everything. Take photographs of what caused the injury and ask the employees to create an incident report. Write down who you spoke to and what their position was, and make sure you get contact information for any witnesses who saw the incident. Your attorneys will not be able to use this testimony in court unless they are able to actually make contact with the witnesses on their own. If you have questions about your own situation please call an attorney like Cohen & Cohen, P.C. today.