Visitor Question

Do I deserve a workmans compensation award for this?

Submitted By: Annette (Missouri)

I work for a third party marketing company that deals with a major retailer. While at the retailer I was using a rocket cart that crashed down on my face when I was putting it away. The retailer does not allow vendors to use a regular shopping cart. They did not offer to get me medical attention.

Also last June while at the retailer I fell over a yellow highlighter they had left on floor. I did not make a report then, but did tell the company I worked for. I have nerve damage in my left arm and again I was not offered medical attention or asked to make a report.

Does the retailer have any liability? I think my company is also at fault for not doing any safety training and not providing a safe work environment. Do you think I have a case?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Annette,


Because most states have Statutes of Limitations, or time periods for the filing of lawsuits, your injuries must have occurred within the last two years. If that is the case you will have to either settle these cases or file lawsuits within a specified period – usually within a two year period from the respective dates of the injuries.

From the facts you present it seems the retailer may have some liability for the injuries you sustained when the cart fell on your face. Whether the retailer offered medical assistance is not immediately relevant if you did not seek medical attention on your own.

In the first instance before liability would attach you would have to have sustained actual and definable medical damages. These include emergency room treatment, or medical assistance received within a reasonable time after the cart fell on your face.

Because your nerve injuries are to your left arm it would be difficult to link that injury to the cart falling on your face. So in the first instance you present it does not appear the retailer or your employer will have any liability for medical damages. The reason, of course is because there aren’t any apparent medical damages resulting from the cart falling on your face.

If you are thinking about Pain and Suffering or Mental Anguish you will also be out of luck in the first instance with the cart. Pain and Suffering and Mental Anguish are only recoverable if you have actual damages.

Now it may be a different story for the fall you took over the highlighter and resultant nerve damage to your arm. If you were “on duty” – working at the time of the injury, then your employer may suffer some liability. The retailer may suffer some as well.

Again it would be quite beneficial if immediately, or within a reasonable time after the fall and injury you had sought medical attention on your own. In any event the nerve damage would have to have been medically linked to the fall you took over the highlighter.

There is no doubt you will have an uphill battle to be compensated for the injuries you sustained unless you are able to meet all the conditions set out above.

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

Best of luck,

Published: March 10, 2011

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