The average American shopper heads to the grocery store at least 6 times every month, adding up to more than 332 trips to the supermarket every year.
Food shoppers are injured every day in North Carolina because of store negligence. Whether you shop at major chain supermarkets like Wal-Mart, Food Lion, Publix, Wegman’s, Trader Joe’s or Harris Teeter or a local mom-and-pop grocery, the right to expect a safe environment in which to shop and the right to be fairly compensated if you are hurt because the grocery store failed to provide such a safe environment.
A grocery store, like any other retail business, is legally responsible to exercise due care to keep its property safe for shoppers, no matter how big (Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, etc) or how small (mom and pop store, local store, etc). However, because a person falls and injures themselves at the store, the store is not automatically responsible for the harm. Proof of negligence or some fault on behalf of the grocery store must be established.
Store owners, through their managers and employees, must remove known dangers from the aisles, such as fallen produce, liquids or advertising displays that have fallen and pose a slip and fall or trip and fall risk. Also, the store cannot create a dangerous condition. When a store has created a dangerous condition or has noticed that a dangerous condition exists, it must either fix the condition or warn customers about its existence in order to prevent injuries. If a hazard exists for a sufficiently long time such that the grocery store should have known about it and fixed it, they can also be held liable in that situation.
What Must be Proven in Order to Recover Compensation
The typical grocery store injury case is caused by a dangerous condition on the floor that causes a slip or a trip that results in serious injury. There may be condensation on the aisle of the frozen food section caused by frequent opening and closing of the door and melting of ice. A puddle of water may be on the floor in the produce section after the fruits and vegetables have been sprayed. A shopper may accidentally have dropped a slippery food item on the floor such as a grape. A tattered or buckled mat may be in your path.
In order to recover compensation for your injuries, it must be proven that the store was “negligent.” Negligence is basically carelessness or not being as safe as an ordinary prudent grocery store would be.
The law says a claimant must prove that:
- The owner either knew or should have known there was an existing unsafe condition. This can include the owner creating the condition as well as simply knowing of the condition even if they did not create it.
- The owner failed to timely correct the dangerous condition or failed to warn shoppers about its existence.
- The failure to warn about or correct the dangerous condition was the cause of your injury.
- You were injured due to the owner’s negligent conduct in failing to correct or remove the dangerous condition.
If surveillance tapes of the area and the incident exist, they may be valuable in showing how much time passed between the time the dangerous condition was created and your injury. They can also show who created the danger.
If no video exists, the testimony of other shoppers or employees may establish the store’s notice of the condition. Also, store records may show maintenance, clean up, and inspection procedures.
An experienced personal injury attorney will search high and low for facts to support your case.
Representation for North Carolina Slip and Falls
In the past, Maginnis Law’s head personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, has handled numerous premises liability cases, including trip and fall cases. He has handled cases in which the grocery store was aware of the hazard, as well as cases where the store created the hazard themselves.
The personal injury attorneys of Maginnis Law provided free consultations to those injured in a slip and fall incidents and other premises liability situations. We can help you recover fair compensation to put you back on your feet. This includes compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and for any permanent injury or disfigurement. We offer a contingency fee agreement, so you pay no attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf.
The firm handles slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall and other premises liability cases throughout the state of North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding areas.
You can contact the Raleigh personal injury attorneys of Maginnis Law at 919.526.0450 or reach out to Mr. Howard directly at 919.480.8525. You can also email our firm at firstname.lastname@example.org.