Visitor Question

Stepped on rusty nail outside of store entrance…

Submitted By: Jeff (Tucson, AZ)

Upon walking into a Lowes Home Improvement store I stepped onto a 2-3 inch rusty nail. I am presently in the waiting room at the ER. My foot is burning and blood is all over my foot and car. After informing the manager, he said it was a common area and they aren’t responsible. I thought I would at least get help with some bandages and control of the blood.

Is the store liable? What can I do? 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 Jeff,

If the injury occurred on property (premises) owned by Lowe’s Cooperation or one of its subsidiaries, there is a high probability the company is liable for your injuries. The legal basis upon which the company is liable is referred to as Premises Liability.

In its basic form, premises liability means a landowner has a legal “duty of care” to do everything within reason to assure those persons legally upon the property are safe from undue harm or injury. Whether designated as a “common area” or not, if the property was owned or under the control of Loews, it’s likely they are liable for your injury.

There are three types of persons who are owed a duty of care. They are Licensees, Invitees, and Trespassers. Let’s take a look at the definitions of each:

Invitees:

An invitee is someone who is invited onto the property of another, such as a customer in a store.

Licensees:

A licensee enters property for his own purpose, or as a social guest, and is present at the consent of the owner.

Trespasser:

A trespasser is a person who enters upon property without any right whatsoever to do so.

Contact the Lowe’s Corporate Office and report the incident. Explain to them exactly what occurred. Be sure to have copies of your medical bills and receipts for any out of pocket expenses such a medications, crutches, wheelchair, and other costs directly related to your injury.

If you had to miss work because of the injury and recovery, be sure you have a letter from your employer confirming the days you missed and the wages you lost. Go back to the store and take photos of the area in which you were injured. Offer to send all these items to Loews. Hopefully Loews will cooperate and reimburse you for you medical bills and resulting costs.

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: October 19, 2017

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