Visiting the grocery store is a banal, everyday experience, like commuting to work. Just like driving, there are also risks that people ignore that stem from being on someone else’s property. People can easily fall while shopping, and older adults are at especially high risk of a serious injury.
Grocery stores are full of refrigeration and freezer equipment that can sometimes cause puddling on the floor. The power cords for displays and stand-alone refrigeration units could also pose major tripping hazards. Spilled items left behind by a customer or wet floors by the entrance after a rainy or snowy day could mean that you end up experiencing a slip-and-fall when all you expected to do was buy some milk and some fresh produce.
How should you respond after a slip and fall at the local store?
Report the issue to management before you leave
Many stores have overhead security cameras, so there’s a good chance that the business has video footage of your fall. If you suffered significant injuries, the company’s internal records can help you.
Notifying a team leader or manager about your incident will result in their writing up a report with all of the details. Typically, they will then also have to retain the relevant security camera footage if applicable. If it turns out that you need extensive medical care or to take a leave of absence from work, that documentation will help you when you make a claim later.
See a doctor if you even suspect injuries
If you break your arm when you fall, you will probably notice this when you try to lift yourself up off the ground. However, stable broken bones don’t always produce instant symptoms. Other injuries, like a soft tissue injury or a brain injury, could progress for days before the symptoms become unignorable.
If you even have reason to think you may have hurt your soft tissue or your brain in your fall, you want to see a doctor so that you can easily connect any diagnosed medical condition with the incident at the store.
Review what options you have for compensation
Most businesses carry premises liability insurance coverage that will cover the company from losses related to someone falling in the store. You can make a claim against that coverage for everything from the cracked screen on your phone to your broken wrist and several weeks of lost wages at work during your recovery.
In some cases, you may even have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the business if your losses are extreme or if the business doesn’t have the necessary insurance. Understanding your rights as someone hurt in a public space will make it easier for you to pursue a premises liability claim after your injury.