Is a Grocery Store Liable for a Customer’s Injury?
Local 10 News recently reported that alarming new test results show shopping cart handles can have incredibly high levels of bacteria. An investigative reporter for the news outlet went to 10 different locations around South Florida from Davie to Coral Gables and Liberty City to Westchester and the results were disturbing. Seven of the 10 samples had extremely elevated levels of bacteria, and three of those seven samples had bacteria counts that were in the billions. A scientist employed by the company that provided the special testing kit has asserted that these kinds of alarmingly high numbers generally aren’t seen outside of circumstances like raw sewage.
The silver lining is that testing also indicated that merely utilizing a sanitizing wipe provided at the door of the bulk of stores these days significantly reduced the amount of bacteria. However, there are many other potential hazards inside of grocery stores, many of which can cause injuries that aren’t so easily wiped away.
Understanding Grocery Store Injuries
Grocery stores have a wide turnover of people on a daily basis and the environments inside of them are constantly changing. Because of this, one of the most common injuries that customers sustain while at grocery stores are slip and fall accidents. And while this may not seem like a big deal, falling can have serious implications. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 800,000 patients are hospitalized every year because of a fall injury.
Slip and falls can occur in grocery stores because of scenarios such as:
- Freshly mopped floors
- Stray produce
- Spilled liquids
- Falling objects
Holding a Grocery Store Liable
Generally speaking, a grocery store can be held liable for a customer’s injuries but that doesn’t mean there aren’t stipulations for how this can happen. An injured party typically needs to demonstrate that the owner or operator of a store actually knew of the problem or should have known of the problem with enough time that an ordinary business owner should have known about it in order to prove liability for the injuries of a customer who falls due to a slippery or dangerous condition. A claim may also be successfully proven by demonstrating that the dangerous condition that caused the injury existed for a long period of time before being resolved.
Should a Personal Injury Claim Be Pursued For Every Grocery Store Slip and Fall?
Importantly, no. The reality is that people slip and fall every day in grocery stores and many of these falls occur at no fault of the grocery store itself. Simply falling and becoming injured at a store does not automatically entitle you to pursue a legal claim. Following an accident inside the grocery store, always make sure your injuries are properly documented and diagnosed by a medical professional. Afterward, reach out to an experienced personal injury team for help who can examine the circumstances of your injury and advise you on the likelihood of a successful personal injury lawsuit.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured at a Grocery Store?
As the Miami personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we are experienced in handling personal injuries that occur in a variety of circumstances. From slip and falls to car accidents, you can depend on us to assist you in maximizing your chances of success. Reach out to us for help today.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Bradenton, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach areas.