Store Liability for Spilled Water?

by Janice
(Thomasville, NC, USA)

I was walking by the front registers in a department store and when I cut through the middle register I slipped on spilled water. When I tried to catch myself from falling a lot of my weight fell on my right hand. I was wearing flip flops at the time and the middle strap bruised my arches and now I have severe pain when I try to walk or if I stay on my feet for a certain period of time.

My feet were x-rayed in the emergency room and I was diagnosed with contusions along with sprained ankles and sprained tendons in my legs. I also have a pinched nerve in my shoulder which causes pain there and in my neck, my hand also goes numb where I fell on my palm, it aches and hurts all the time.

I previously had a slipped disc in my lower back, but due to this fall I have hip pain on both the right and left sides. I have been seen by an orthopedic doctor once who agreed with the ER doctor. I have also been to a chiropractor who provided a temporary fix for the underlying problems. I have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor that specializes in foot problems so I can see about my arches.

Some of these injuries are directly relate to the fall. I haven't followed up on all these injuries because I have been hospitalized on numerous occasions not pertaining to this incident, so this has not been followed up as much as it should have been. I am trying to recuperate from other hospital stays and now I have to work on getting these injuries taken care of. Mostly the pain is the worst.

I'm curious as to what's the store's liability for my injuries and pain and suffering? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Store Liability for Spilled Water?":

Janice (Thomasville, NC, USA):

The store may be liable for your injuries. The problem you may have is defining the nature and extent of your injuries, especially as they are closely intertwined with your multiple previous injuries.

To determine the extent of the store's liability you will have to be able to prove the injuries you suffered were separate from the previous injuries. To do that you will need credible and verifiable medical proof.

Because of your multiple previous injuries it will take professional evaluation and documentation to convince the store's insurance company they should pay you a certain and specific amount of money.

Insurance companies are reticent to pay damages when there are previous injuries. You have suffered an aggravation of those previous injuries. The problem for you will be attempting to convince the insurance company where the previous injuries ended and the new ones began.

All you can do is try. To do so contact the store's management and tell them you want to file a claim. They will refer you to their insurance company and one of the insurance company's claims adjusters will take it from there.

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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