Supermarkets are stereotypical locations where a spill could lead to a slip and fall injury, but there are dozens of dangers in a supermarket. Although instances of serious injuries from an accident at the grocery store are rare, they do occur. If you or a loved one was injured at a supermarket, it is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer to understand whether you have a case and how much your case might be worth.
The Philadelphia supermarket accident injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm represent the victims of injuries from supermarkets and grocery stores. For a free consultation on your injury case, contact our law offices today and schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys. Our number is (215) 246-9000.
Are Grocery Stores Liable for Injuries?
If you are hurt in a grocery store, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company for the injuries you suffered. Business owners and property owners, in general, owe their guests and customers certain duties to keep them safe from injuries. The primary duty is to warn visitors to the premises, i.e. customers, of any hidden dangers.
This duty is why many stores and businesses use yellow tented signs that say “Caution: Wet Floor” when there has been a spill. Until their staff can get around to cleaning up the spill, customers may step into a spill, slip, and fall. The sign helps fulfill their duty to warn their patrons about the danger, but they could also fulfill their duty by cleaning up the spill.
Ideally, hidden dangers will be cleaned-up or repaired. Not every danger in a grocery store is as simple as a wet floor. Unstable shelves could fall on top of customers if they are knocked over. Heavy items stored on high shelves could fall off. If shelves are too high for patrons, in general, they could be injured if they fall while using a cart or lower shelf as a height booster. Sharp edges on metallic or glass freezer bins could also snag patrons, causing cuts or scrapes. Warning of these kinds of dangers and ensuring that aisles are safe is part of the duty of grocery store staff and owners. If they fail to fulfill this duty, customers may be able to sue for injuries.
Suing for Accidents in Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
To sue for an accident, you must be able to show that the grocery store owner or staff was responsible for your injuries. You do this by demonstrating their “negligence.” In legal terms, negligence requires showing 4 factors:
- The staff or owner owed you a duty, e.g. the duty to warn of or repair hidden dangers.
- The grocery store breached that duty, e.g. by failing to warn you or repair the dangers.
- This breach of duty caused your injuries.
- You suffered injuries the court can compensate you for, financially (known as “damages”).
If you can prove all 4 factors, the judge and jury should be able to rule in your favor and award you compensation for your injuries.
Compensation for an accident usually addresses the harms you suffered from a financial angle. This means that compensation is usually awarded for any medical expenses you paid because of the injury, for any wages you lost if you had to miss work, and for any pain and suffering you faced.
When suing a grocery store, you usually sue the company itself. This means that for chain supermarkets, you may sue the corporation as a whole, and for small businesses, you sue either the individual owner or the entity that runs the business. You can usually hold employers and companies responsible for dangerous policies and overarching decisions they make as well as the negligence of individual employees.
This “vicarious liability” allows you to get compensation from the company even when one or two low-level employees are ultimately responsible for the accident. In Pennsylvania, as long as an employee is acting within the scope of their duties when they cause your injuries, you can sue their employer for their actions. Since the individual employee may not have the funds or insurance to cover your injuries, this gives you greater access to the funding you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Grocery Store and Supermarket Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident in a grocery store or supermarket, talk to a personal injury attorney today. The Philadelphia supermarket injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm represent people injured in slip and falls and other accidents in grocery stores. For a free consultation on your case, and for help understanding what you may be entitled to in a lawsuit, contact our law offices today. Our number is (215) 246-9000.