Huge clothing rack fell on me...
(Little Rock, AR)
While shopping in local discount store a huge rack of clothing crumpled and fell on me, knocking me to the floor. I hit my head, causing a concussion which was verified at the ER. It's also causing pain in my neck and hip.
The employee who assisted me said, "we are totally responsible this has happened before." She said, "we will pay any medical expenses and I am sending this to our main office."
At the moment I was in such pain and shock I asked my husband, who had been summoned at my request, to take me to my Doctor. We then decided to go to the ER instead, where they did a CT scan and diagnosed a concussion. They sent me home with instructions to be aware of many dangerous things that could happen.
That was 24 hours or more ago. Since I am on Medicare and a supplement I have no idea what this may cost, but I have suffered pain and anxiety. I do not want to sue anyone but should I pursue compensation? How do I go about it? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Huge clothing rack fell on me...":
Mary (Little Rock, AR):
From the facts you present, liability will not be an issue. The employee's admission of prior knowledge of similar events makes clear at least she was aware of the previous collapse of the clothing rack. It is arguable her admission can be imputed to the store manager and corporate owner.
The applicable legal doctrine is Premises Liability, which refers to a property owner's legal duty to do everything within reason to make sure persons legally on the property are not injured.
When a property owner breaches his or her legal duty, and as a result a person is injured, the owner may be liable to pay the injured person's damages. Damages are unique to every accident and to every person involved in the accident. In a premises liability claim, damages can include medical bills, lost wages, related expenses, and pain and suffering.
To succeed in a premises claim will require you to prove the following:
- The store owner or manager knew, or should have known the clothing rack presented a danger to customers
- With that knowledge the store owner or manager failed to repair or remove the clothing rack
- As a direct result of the store owner's failure to repair or remove the clothing rack it collapsed, and you sustained injuries and related damages
Continue to seek medical care. Also contact the store manager or owner and make clear you were injured when a clothing rack fell on you. Tell the manager you would like to be compensated for the damages you sustained, and ask that their insurance company contact you to discuss compensation. You will then present your medical bills and related costs to the insurance company representative.
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,
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