I slipped and fell on water from condensation on the floor of a store. I did not suffer any major medical problems, only minor injuries. I was initially examined by a doctor who told me I had a bit of arthritis/runners knee. I chose not continue to pursue medical care after that. I still have some annoying pain in my knee and some discomfort in my leg occasionally. Essentially it was a bad fall, and I have a heck of a pain tolerance.
However, I am quite certain the store is liable since a friend mentioned to me that she witnessed the employees changing the freezer stock earlier that day. Having the freezer open for a long period of time to change the inventory would more than likely create condensation on the floor.
I don’t have any lost wages (I am a stay-at-home mom), nor do I have much on going suffering. Should I just settle for a smaller amount by going through the adjuster or in small claims court? I am simply trying to recover the cost of my doctor bill and my time and inconvenience. Am I entitled to more than a couple thousand dollars?
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.
The initial challenge you will be facing is the amount of time that has gone by since the accident. A major contributing factor will be whether or not an incident report was created by the store at the time of the accident. If you failed to notify the store owner or management when the incident occurred, and a good amount of time has passed since that fall, the store owner will likely contend your injury occurred separately, and as a result of a separate incident.
However, if the store did create an incident report at the time of your fall, this will be important evidence to support your claim against the store. If this were the case and you sought medical care immediately (or within a day or two), your claim against the store will be stronger.
To pursue a personal injury claim against the business, you will not necessarily have to go through small claims court. Instead, try and settle your claim with the store’s insurance company by working with their claims adjuster. If the adjuster is agreeing to compensate you, you will likely be reimbursed for your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses for medications, and a nominal amount for your pain and suffering.
In the event these negotiations break down, you can always wait until then to consider filing a small claims lawsuit. For more information about filing a small claims lawsuit in the state of New York, go to the NY Courts website.
If the store is located outside of Nassau or Suffolk County or New York City, contact the appropriate county clerk based on the location of the store.
Learn more here: Wet Floor Slip and Fall Claims
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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