Injured in market by another shopper ramming cart into me...

by Odel
(Flushing, NY)

I was shopping in a supermarket and bending down to get eggs (the dairy dept fridge is low). As I was bending, a shopper with 2 kids in a metal shopping cart rammed into me. The store aisles are known to have boxes and pallets all around in the aisles, and she tried to avoid the pallet and hit me hard.

I felt something internally moving and felt that I damaged my spine. My neurologist said that I might have nerve damage. I have headaches, and occasional tingling in the hand, shoulder, face, left leg and knee. My pelvis and back are very tight and my left side is immobile.

I can not bend down and am using my right side as much as possible. I made a report in the store and was taken to the ER after the incident. This happened on Friday Feb 7,2014. The insurance said that they have a $5000 medical fund, but I will need much more than this.

What can I do here? Is the store primarily responsible or the woman who hit me? Anything you can tell me would be helpful. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Injured in market by another shopper ramming cart into me...":

Odel (Flushing, NY):

While the store may share some liability for your injury, the primary responsible party is the woman who struck you.

For the store to be wholly, or even partially liable will require you to prove the woman struck you because there were some boxes or pallets which obscured the woman’s view, or made it necessary for the woman to have to maneuver around those boxes or pallets.

Additional store negligence and liability might be based on poor lighting or slick floors. Without proof the store committed a negligent act or omission, resulting in your injuries, you should be thankful they are offering to pay up to $5,000.00 dollars in your medical bills.

There is another avenue available to you. In many cases, homeowners insurance covers injuries caused by the policy holder which occur away from home. In this case, there remains the possibility the woman’s homeowners insurance may cover your medical bills.

From the facts you present, it appears the store created an incident report at or about the time your injury occurred. That report will likely have the woman’s name, address, and other contact information. Contact the woman and ask her for her homeowners insurance information.

While threatening a person is never a good idea, you might let her know you would prefer to avoid legal action, but to do so, her cooperation will be required. Tell her all you want is the name, policy number and contact information for her homeowners insurance company.

With that information in hand, contact the insurance company and report the incident. An investigation will likely ensue, and hopefully most or all your medical bills will be paid.

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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