Breaking Down a Grocery Store Fall Claim
Indoor and outdoor slip and falls are the leading cause of injury accidents among grocery store employees and customers. Bad falls usually cause permanent injuries. Head injuries usually cause personality changes and have other neurological effects. Broken bones, especially broken leg or hip bones, often permanently limit mobility.
These permanent injuries make these cases difficult to resolve. A doctor must determine the likely amount of future medical expenses. Unless that happens, the victim could be financially responsible for these costs.
Insurance companies care little or nothing about these issues. They just want to find the cheapest resolution possible. A Carlsbad personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, is committed to obtaining the compensation these families need to put these incidents behind them and move on with their lives.
When we say “grocery store,” we’re really talking about three areas: the grocery store itself, semi-independent businesses, like banks and coffee shops, inside the store, and common areas outside the store.
A San Marcos personal injury lawyer must carefully identify the proper defendant in these cases. A mistake in this area means a settlement delay at best. At worst, a delay could cause the statute of limitations to expire. That expiration robs a victim of the right to obtain compensation in court.
Usually, the grocery store owner has exclusive control over the store itself, including such areas as an in-store pharmacy. Exclusive control is a very important factor in California premises liability law. More on that below.
This owner usually doesn’t have exclusive control over semi-independent businesses. In fact, depending on the terms of the lease, the grocery store owner might be immune from slip-and-fall and other injury actions that occur in such places.
Outside common areas are usually divided into spheres of control. The grocery store, or other separate business, has exclusive control over the walkways and parking spaces directly in front of it. That’s why these stores can reserve these parking spaces for their customers. A property landlord is usually responsible for upkeep in all other common areas, like the large parking lot close to the street.
Many states divide fall and other premises liability victims into categories, mostly depending on their relationships with the owners. The category determines the duty of care. California, however, imposes a blanket duty of care on all property owners. The extent of that duty depends on several factors, such as:
- Defendant’s control over the property,
- Likelihood of serious injury,
- Foreseeability (possibility) of injury,
- Owner’s knowledge of the injury hazard,
- Property’s location, and
- Property’s accessibility.
On the low end, property owners have no legal responsibility, except to refrain from intentional harm. At the high end, owners have a duty of reasonable care.
These factors point to a high degree of care in grocery store fall cases. Usually, the duty of reasonable care includes a responsibility to frequently inspect the property and remove all wet spots, obstacles, like items that fell off the shelf, and other injury hazards.
Damages in a premises liability claim usually include money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Rely on a Dedicated San Diego County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Carlsbad, contact the Pursley Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.