Grocery Store Slip and Fall Accident

a slippery caution in a store

When visiting a grocery store or corner market in New York City, we assume that the store owner or operator has taken precautions to be sure that the store aisles and entry areas are free of spilled liquids and other hazards that might cause a slip and fall accident. When spills do happen, grocery stores should promptly clean up foods, liquids, or other substances from the floor.

When a grocery store’s disregard for safety allows a slip or trip hazard to remain on the floor for an unreasonable length of time and a customer is injured due to that hazard, the grocery store may be held liable for the medical bills and related costs that arise as a result of the accident.

For more than 20 years, the injury attorneys of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have fought for full and fair compensation for New Yorkers injured in slip and fall accidents. From our office located in Manhattan, we serve clients throughout New York City. As a small firm, we provide personalized legal representation. Our firm has a bilingual staff to serve the Spanish-speaking members of our community.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a grocery store slip and fall accident, call David Resnick & Associates, P.C., at (212) 279-2000 or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-cost case evaluation. Speak with a New York slip and fall lawyer about your case and learn more about how our firm can help you pursue the financial compensation you need.

Proving a Slip and Fall at a Grocery Store

To prove that a grocery store has liability for a slip and fall accident, our attorneys will conduct an investigation and seek several types of evidence, such as:

  • An accident or incident report completed by the store management
  • Surveillance video from the store showing your slip and fall, or showing how long the hazard was present on the ground
  • Eyewitness testimony from your accident
  • The grocery store’s policies and procedures for regularly inspecting the premises for hazards and cleaning slip and fall hazards
  • Your medical records describing the injuries that you suffered and establishing that those injuries occurred as a result of a slip and fall accident

Your attorney will work to gather all available evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.

When Are Grocery Stores Liable for Slip and Fall Injuries?

Our NYCHA slip and fall lawyers represent clients injured in a slip and fall on NYCHA premises.Grocery stores generally owe a duty to their customers to undertake reasonable efforts to keep their premises free of dangers and hazards that pose a risk of injury. A grocery store can be liable for a slip and fall accident when it fails to undertake those reasonable efforts.

For example, when a fall hazard is caused by the store’s own equipment – such as a cooler or freezer case that is leaking water, the grocery store may be liable for a slip and fall or posting a warning of the hazard. When the grocery store fails to clean up a hazard or fails to implement reasonable policies to discover potential slipping hazards, such as having employees make regular visual inspections, then the grocery store may be legally liable for a slip and fall accident under New York premises liability law.

Of course, there may be some slip and fall accidents that do not create liability for the grocery store. If a customer slips on a substance that he or she had just spilled on the floor, for example, the store may not be liable. If a customer enters an area that is off-limits to customers and suffers an accident, the store may not be liable. If you slip on a hazard that a diligent store would not have reasonably discovered and cleaned up by the time you slipped on it (such as if another customer drops food or liquid onto the floor and you walk by only a minute later), the store might not be liable for your accident.

Types of Slip and Fall Injuries That Can Occur at a Grocery Store

Slip and fall accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries, including:

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken arms and wrists, caused when a person extends his or her arms to try to break a fall
  • Broken ankles, which can occur if a person’s ankle rolls during a slip or trip and fall
  • Broken hips, which can occur when a person falls sideways
  • Soft tissue injuries, including sprains and tears of muscles, tendons, and ligaments
  • Head injuries, including skull fractures, if a person’s head hits the ground
  • Traumatic brain injury

Steps to Take If Injured at a Grocery Store

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident in a grocery store, you should remember to take the following steps to protect your legal rights and your claim to compensation for your injuries and damages arising from your accident.

  1. Report your accident. You should report your slip and fall accident to the store’s manager as soon as possible. Don’t just tell an employee about your accident. Ask to speak to a supervisor or manager. The store may prepare an accident or incident report to document your accident. This will serve as key evidence in a later claim for compensation so that the store cannot claim that your slip and fall never occurred. If you are asked to give a statement about the accident, stick to the facts as you remember them. Don’t get emotional or try to assign blame. Any statements you give might be used later to argue you share some fault for the accident.
  2. Document the accident scene. If possible, try to take photographs of whatever caused your slip and fall accident, the surrounding area, whether any warning signs or barriers were present, the lighting conditions, and the weather conditions outside. You should also photograph the clothes and shoes you were wearing at the time of your accident, in case the store tries to argue that inappropriate clothing or footwear contributed to your slip and fall.
  3. Get witness statements. If others saw your accident, try to get a brief statement from the person, or take down their contact information so that you can later get their statement.
  4. Seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel like you were injured in the accident, you should have a follow-up evaluation with a doctor or another medical provider as soon as possible after your accident. An examination can reveal the presence of injuries that haven’t yet caused you any pain or symptoms. Promptly identifying your injuries will allow you to claim more persuasively that the injuries were caused by your grocery store slip and fall accident and not some other incident.
  5. Speak to an NYC slip and fall attorney. You should consult with an experienced New York slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to understand your legal options. An attorney can help you understand whether you have a valid slip and fall injury claim and can begin the process of investigating your claim, including obtaining a copy of the grocery store’s accident report and copies of surveillance video footage.

Challenges in Grocery Store Slip and Fall Claims

Making a claim for a slip and fall accident suffered in a grocery store may not be as straightforward as it seems. The corporations that own grocery stores and the insurance companies that carry their liability insurance coverage will often try to deny liability for your injuries.

You will need to prove that the slip or trip hazard that caused your injury was either caused by the store or its staff or was present on the ground long enough that the store’s failure to identify and clean it up amounted to negligence. An experienced NY slip and fall attorney at David Resnick & Associates can gather the evidence needed to show the store’s negligence and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company for a just settlement.

The grocery store may try to argue that you bear some fault for your accident because the hazard was obvious and you should have noticed it if you had been exercising proper care. Our attorneys have heard these types of arguments many times and know how to counter them.

Furthermore, if you do not have contemporaneous evidence of your slip and fall accident, such as surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, or an accident report completed by store management, the grocery store may even deny that you suffered a slip and fall accident in the first place. Let our attorneys review your injuries during a free consultation and discuss how to move forward.

If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall accident in a grocery store in New York City, contact a slip and fall injury lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call us at (212) 279-2000 or fill out the contact form on our website to reach us today.