15 Jul Clean-Up In Aisle 7: What To Do If You Slip-And-Fall On A Supermarket Floor?
It’s Saturday morning at the local supermarket chain. The food and veg section has good deals and it is crammed with people grabbing the last of the fruit that is still ripe. And the manager is telling the kids who are working to keep getting those shelves stocked. Maybe the manager should have given more thought to clearing the blueberries that he knew fell and are now mushed on the floor.
You didn’t see it happen, but the next thing you know you are on the floor, flat on your back.
Did you hit your head? You’re not sure. You put your hand on the floor which is wet and has squashed blueberries all over. The manager comes over and mentions something about an accident report. But you are just embarrassed. So many people looking at you and talking.
How do I get out of here? One of the kids working in the store helps you up. Your back hurts a little but nothing that won’t go away later. You sign some form that says “R.M.A.” You later learn that that means “refused medical attention”. You make your way out to the car to call your wife. This is all still a shock. And the next day that back pain hasn’t gone away, it is actually starting to feel worse. And what is with these headaches?
According to the National Floor and Safety Institute (NFSI), 8 million ER visits are a result of somebody falling. And 1 million of those falls are as a result of a slip and fall. Quick and proper clean ups in supermarkets are what will prevent slip and fall injuries. Unfortunately, supermarkets put profit before customer safety all too often.
What your options are after a slip and fall, according to our friends at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC:
- Medical Attention: Sometimes, a slip and fall victim will not be able to get up because of a fractured bone or loss of consciousness. In this case, the victim will be transported to a medical facility. Other times, the victim is not sure if the pain is temporary and worse. Occasionally, the victim won’t feel any pain until later that day or a few days later. Different bodies react differently. It is always a better idea to get immediate medical attention if you are in pain. However, just because you went home to see if the pain would go away does not mean that you do not have a lawsuit.
- Accident Report: Most big stores will fill out an accident report. Of course, they have an interest in writing a report that looks good for them. You cannot change what they choose to write. However, it is good to follow up with them whether that day or later about how your fall happened. Remember: many stores delete video after 30 days and most stores edit the video they preserve to only show the fall and not how long the floor was dangerous. That is why you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer asap who will send a letter that demands the video is kept.
- Photographs: This is usually not possible but if anyone took a photo, you should try and get a copy of it. All this evidence will help your case.
- Witnesses: There are some good Samaritans out there who will give you their contact details after seeing your injury. Be sure to give that information to your lawyer.
- Lawyer: Consult with a personal injury attorney asap – this will help preserve the video. Remember the 30-day excuse that supermarkets use all the time to delete a video. And remember that different states have different rules about how much time you have to sue.
Liability for supermarket slip-and-falls vary by state. In most states, a lawsuit for a supermarket slip and fall injury will be filed against the supermarket. Sometimes, a lawsuit will also include the property owner and any contractor responsible for maintaining the floor. This will often happen when the injury happens in the area of a mall that is just outside a supermarket entrance.
If you’ve experienced a slip-and-fall accident recently, contact a personal injury lawyer today for help.