When you’re shopping in a supermarket or in a big-box store, such as Walmart, Costco or Home Depot, you’re probably focused on searching for products. It’s easy for you to miss hazards on the floor or otherwise below your line of sight. If you have an accident at a retail store and feel you may be injured, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect your health and your legal rights.
Retail store owners and managers have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for customers, but some stores fall short. If you or your child have been injured at a store, you might be able to bring a personal injury case alleging negligence.
Common causes of falls in retail stores include spilled foods, beverages and other slippery items, solid objects you can trip over and recently mopped areas that are still wet. The store should prevent accidents by cleaning up, blocking off or posting visible warnings around unsafe areas.
If you trip or slip and fall, you should:
Take pictures of the condition that caused your accident.
Note the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Look for any surveillance cameras that might have had a view of what happened.
Notify store management of the accident.
Ask the manager for the store’s insurance information and a copy of their report on the incident.
Seek prompt medical attention, even if you don’t feel hurt, because some injuries aren’t immediately apparent.
Prepare a detailed account of the accident and surrounding circumstances when you have the opportunity.
One thing you should avoid doing is making any statements that might be used against you later, such as taking partial blame for the accident or suggesting that you aren’t injured. Under Connecticut law, your own negligence might reduce the compensation you can obtain in a personal injury claim.
Once you’ve received medical attention, you should contact a slip and fall accident attorney to discuss whether you can pursue a damages claim. You have two years to sue, but the sooner you see an attorney, the better the attorney’s chances of building a strong case on your behalf through additional investigation. If you deal with the store’s insurer yourself, you’re likely to get a lower settlement offer than your case is worth.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. in East Haven and Hamden litigates slip and fall cases in Connecticut. Please call 203-745-0942 or contact us online for a consultation.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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