Insurance Denying Injury in Store...

by Lindsay

My family was in line at the cash register in a store and the aisle was partially blocked by a rack filled with clothing. The rack had wheels protruding from the bottom which were difficult to see under the clothes.

My son tripped over one of the wheels and fell into a support post, hitting his head quite hard. After calming him down and checking him over, I thought he was OK.

The cashier witnessed the entire event and expressed concern several times. I paid for my purchases and we exited the store through the mall entrance. Later, we came back through the store to get to our car. The same cashier recognized us and asked if my son was OK. Another employee witnessed this conversation.

Two days later, my son started complaining of headaches. They got so bad that he wouldn't even go trick or treating on Halloween. I took him to the E.R. to get checked out (the third day after hitting his head). The next day I went back to the store and filled out an incident report.

The claims company that reviewed the case has now denied the claim. They stated that they reviewed the cameras and they did not see any falls. They stated that no employees remember this incident, even though I gave them the name of the employee who witnessed the accident. I know for a fact that these statements are not true.

What are my options? How can I get them to accept liability for my son's head injury? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Insurance Denying Injury in Store...":

Lindsay (Minnesota):

At this point, unless your son has an identifiable injury, the only recourse you may have against the store is reimbursement for the emergency room treatment, any medications, and your lost wages if you had to miss work to take your son to the hospital or had to stay home to care for him while his injuries healed.

Getting the store or its insurance company to pay any money is going to be difficult. If they previewed the videotapes and decided they didn't see your son fall, then the burden of proof shifts back to you.

At this point you don't have a legal right to see the store's videotapes. Unless a lawsuit is filed and the videotapes are subpoenaed, they will remain private.

Even if you can isolate one or more employees who you say may have seen your son fall, that may not be enough to prove he was injured. Once again, unless your son suffered some abrasions, contusions, broken bones, torn ligaments, etc, and those injuries can be documented, you don't have the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.

You can always consult with a personal injury attorney. Unfortunately if you don't have evidence of injuries you will have difficulty in finding one who will accept your son's case.

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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