Stocking up on your groceries for the week should never put you at risk of injury, but that’s a real threat when store owners and operators around Central Valley don’t take your safety seriously. Those proprietors are supposed to monitor slick spots on their floors, weather hazards in their parking lot, and much more but when they are negligent in these duties, shoppers can take dangerous slips-and-falls.
If you are on someone else’s property and get injured, it’s very important that you don’t assume the property and grocery store owners will be first in line to help you in your expensive recovery. Talk to a local attorney at Maison Law to find out the steps you’ll need to take to ensure you don’t face these costs alone. A fall at a store can lead to permanent disability and rob you of your physical and financial freedom. Contact us for a free and honest look at your best path to compensation.
Central Valley Slip-And-Fall Dangers
Grocery day (or night) in Central Valley might mean a trip to a Visalia Save Mart, or a Fresno Vallarta Supermarket, or maybe the Turlock Wal-Mart. As you walk those aisles with your cart you might be focused on the price of green beans and take for granted that your safety is being watched over.
The fact is, the bigger the grocery store, the more chance you could take a fall and end up with a serious injury. It may seem like a slight threat, but Aging.com reports that each year falls for victims of any age are responsible for over 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments across the nation. The yearly tragedies include over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
These trip-and-fall accidents can occur at any moment of your visit, as you park your car, as you walk inside, and even a visit to the bathroom.
These are some of the most common hazards you’ll find in a grocery store:
- Indoor Threats: Liquids on the floor can be the most dangerous obstacle you’ll face. Customers and their kids can spill drinks, produce workers can mist water over the hard floor, broken jars can put down liquid and glass to slip on. The bathrooms can be hazardous with soap and water on the tiles. Rugs can be folded over creating a tripping hazard. Stockers can leave boxes on the floor that can go unnoticed until your foot catches them.
- Outdoor Threats: Weather hazards can prove to be a big threat. Rain and ice can send you sliding across a parking lot. Landscaping obstacles can include mulch and shrubbery. Crumbling pavement, potholes, and stairwells without handrails can all send you to the ground for a painful injury.
Premises Liability for Store Owners
All of these threats can leave you with a life-changing injury, and the fact is every hazard that could hurt you should be cleaned up or repaired before you ever have the chance to land in an accident.
All store owners in California are obligated to show a “duty of care.” The legal duty signifies that property owners must do their absolute best to keep visitors reasonably safe as they travel across a grocery store. When they don’t clean up a spill in a reasonable amount of time or repair an obstacle in the parking lot, and you get injured, they can be held responsible for every hardship you endure.
The concept of “premises liability” means if a proprietor was at fault for your accident, they must help pay for the consequences.
Of course, whether it’s a national chain or a local mom & pop store, most owners won’t be eager to accept blame. They might even try to pin the blame on you. At this point, an attorney can be your best asset as you move forward.
Maison Law has experience taking on teams of lawyers working for national grocery chains. They’ll want to get you to accept blame and take less compensation for your accident, but an attorney with Maison Law can make sure they don’t take advantage of you during a vulnerable time. You need immediate help with your bills and getting your life back on track, and that’s what our attorneys will focus on.
Frequently Asked Questions
What evidence do I need in a slip-and-fall case?
If you are physically able after a fall, you should immediately take pictures of the scene. The spill or obstacle that led to your fall will usually be repaired or cleaned when you return. The accident report that the manager fills out for the grocery store chain will also be an important document later when you present your case. Witnesses, including store employees that are willing to speak up, can be invaluable to your case. Get their contact info and if they’d like to report what they saw in writing or in a video on your phone allow them to do that.
What if I was partially at fault for my grocery store fall?
You can still get compensation even if you have to accept part of the blame for your fall. You may have not been watching where you were going when you fell, or you may have been in a restricted area, but California is a pure comparative negligence state so you and the store owner can share the blame. You might be assigned 25% of the blame in your accident and the grocery chain might have to accept 75% of the liability. In this example, you would still be awarded compensation for your injuries, but your 25% of blame would be deducted from the final award.
How long do I have to file a claim for damages against a grocery store owner?
California allows injury victims up to two years to file a civil lawsuit against a store or other business. This statute of limitations begins on the date of the accident. It may seem like a lot of time, but victims should file their claims as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the sooner a resolution can be reached that hopefully provides you with compensation to cover your mounting bills and lost time at work.
Contact a Slip-And-Fall Injury Lawyer
If you visit a grocery store or any place of business and receive a serious injury, don’t count on the goodwill of a property owner or grocery chain. You might be forced to file a claim for damages to make sure you don’t face your medical costs and future therapy alone. A local attorney can help you each step of the way and ensure that you’re allowed to recover without the worry of paying for your own treatment.
In the Central Valley, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice, and personalized attention to detail their case deserves.