Fell trying to free a stuck grocery cart from the stack of carts...

by Deb
(Hazel Green, AL)

Just after entering the grocery store, at about 11:30 AM four days ago, I went to get a grocery cart which was stuck to the one ahead of it in the stacked row of carts. Giving it a good yank, I freed the cart, only to lose my balance when stepping backward while hanging onto the freed cart.

I must have over-corrected trying not to lose my balance, but ended up tipping to my right and hitting the floor, pulling the grocery cart over onto its right side as well.

At this point, only my purse was in the cart. Both a checkout clerk and a customer came to help me up, asking if I was okay. I believe that the commotion caught the attention of a store supervisor, but this person never came forward. Possibly because I told the two who helped me up that I was fine.

Four days later now, I am having miserable and worsening pains in my right pelvic area. I'll likely go to the ER tomorrow to get this checked out.

Will it do me any good to attempt to seek compensation at this late date from the store? I didn't want to come across as someone fraudulently seeking damages when the accident happened, for what was I to say if I wasn't feeling injured at the time? What can I do now? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fell trying to free a stuck grocery cart from the stack of carts...":

Deb (Hazel Green, AL):

To have the basis of a personal injury claim against the grocery store will require a showing of negligence. The questions then is whether the manner in which the grocery cart was stuck to the other grocery carts constituted negligence on the part of the store.

It's fair to say millions of people shop at grocery stores each day, and most people know grocery carts often stick together, requiring some effort to pull them apart. This would be a counter argument to any claim you might bring against the store.

The next issue is the grocery store's legal duty to make sure grocery carts do not stick together. Would it be reasonable for grocery stores to have an employee stand by the carts as they come in and oil each one, or take other measures to make sure they don't stick together? Possibly.

However, until a grocery store shopper is very seriously injured or killed as a result of falling while trying to extract a stuck grocery cart, we won't know.

Before taking any action, you must seek immediate medical care. Your health is much more important than a personal injury claim. Once you learn the nature of your injuries you can decide whether or not you want to pursue a claim against the grocery store.

Once you have been evaluated by a doctor, contact the store's supervisor and tell them you would like to file an injury claim. Often the symptoms of soft tissue injuries such as yours don't appear for hours, and even days after an injury event. It would not be unreasonable for you to file an injury claim at this point.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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