Visitor Question

How can I keep the processing of my slip and fall claim moving?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Antioch, California)

While recently at the grocery store, I walked to bag my groceries and slipped and fell on water that was in the bagging area. I bruised my ribs and wrenched my back, neck and right shoulder.

When I went to the doctor, he told me to take anti-inflammatory medication, ice the area, and get rest. The store insurance carrier reached out to me and said they would go over the claim. It has been over a month and they are still waiting on the video and back paperwork showing diligence from the store.

I am just starting to feel better. The insurance carrier did say the checker remembered a customer some time before me who said water dripped from her ice bags, but the checker felt it was maybe the size of a quarter. I told the carrier there is no way with the fall I had that’s true, and once the video is viewed she would see that.

She told me the claim is still being reviewed and she is waiting for the video to see. FRUSTRATED! Is there anything I can do to keep the process moving? Thank you.

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.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

The legal issue involved in your slip and fall is one of Premises Liability. In the case of supermarkets, premises liability means store owners have a legal duty to do everything within reason to assure the store is safe for its shoppers. This means the store owner must eliminate dangerous conditions which could lead to injuries to its shoppers.

“Within reason” means the store isn’t required to eliminate every dangerous condition at every moment the store is open. Rather, the store owner is required to take all actions necessary and reasonable under the circumstances.

For example, when you were checking out, if the water from the ice fell to the floor immediately after the shopper before you, the employees may not have immediately noticed the spill, or if they did, may not have had time to clean up the spill or place cones around the wet area.  In that case, the store owner would likely not be liable, as it would have been unreasonable for the store employees to have cleaned up the spill so quickly.

Alternatively, if the employees knew the ice was there and had time to clean it up, or at least place cones around the wet area, and failed to do so, the store would likely be liable for your injuries and resulting medical bills.

In this case, failing to clean up the spill would be tantamount to negligence. Their negligence would have been a breach of their legal duty under premises liability.

Presuming the store employees had time to clean up the spill, or place cones around the area and failed to do so, you would likely  be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, crutches, etc.), lost wages while you were recovering, and an amount for your pain and suffering.

The most important thing you can do at this point is stay vigilant. Keep calling the insurance company on a regular basis asking for updates to your case. Make sure that when an offer is finally made on your case, it is fair and covers all of your expenses.

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: September 17, 2017

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