Ask for the compensation you deserve when you’ve been injured in a supermarket. We give you a sample demand letter along with helpful tips.
Supermarkets and grocery stores are part of everyday life for most Americans.
Most supermarkets are safe and clean places to shop for food and other necessities. Yet, dangerous conditions are a common reason for supermarket injury claims.
Store owners aren’t responsible for every customer injury, but if you were hurt because the store was negligent, you’re entitled to fair compensation.
Slip and fall claims are the most common, caused by wet floors, debris in the aisles, or snow or ice on walkways and parking lots. Supermarket owners are also liable for injuries caused by damaged carts, falling inventory, and other hazards.
Injuries are unique to every victim, as are the facts of each injury claim.
Severe injury claims should only be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney to get anywhere near fair compensation.
Relatively minor injury claims can usually be handled directly with the insurance company, once you’ve become familiar with the injury claims process.
When handling your own injury claim, negotiations get underway when you send a formal compensation demand letter to the supermarket’s insurance company.
Learn more about How to Write an Effective Compensation Demand Letter.
Putting Together Your Demand Packet
Until you’ve recovered from your injuries, it’s too soon to negotiate an insurance settlement. In the meantime, gather copies of the evidence you’ll need to prove your claim:
- Medical records and bills
- Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
- Statement of lost wages from your employer
- Witness statements
- Photographs and video
Photos of the scene can be crucial, especially pictures of the hazard that caused your injury. Also take pictures of your injuries immediately after the incident and throughout your recovery.
Supermarkets often have surveillance cameras inside and outside the building. There might be video footage that captured your fall or shows the hazard. Ask the store to “preserve” any camera footage taken on the day you were injured. If you have to file a lawsuit, your attorney can subpoena copies of the film.
Before you begin crafting your demand, use the bills, receipts, and wage loss statements to calculate the value of your injury claim.
Make copies of all your evidence to enclose with the demand letter. Keep original documents organized in your injury claim file.
Send a Professional-Looking Demand Letter
With a little attention to detail, there’s no reason you can’t prepare a demand letter that looks as good as one prepared by an attorney’s office.
- Double-check grammar and spelling
- Verify names and addresses
- Make sure dollar amounts are correct
- Print your letter on quality bond paper
Your demand letter should include:
- Facts: Provide a detailed description of the circumstances surrounding the incident
- Liability: Explain why the store is directly responsible for your injuries
- Injuries: Describe your injuries and how they impacted your life
- Damages: Give an accounting of everything you can claim for damages
Make a copy of the full demand packet for your files. Have a copy of the packet in front of you when you begin negotiating with the claims adjuster.
Send the complete packet by USPS certified mail, return receipt requested, to confirm the date the insurance company receives the letter.
Sample Supermarket Injury Demand Letter
We’ve created a sample demand letter with helpful hints you can use for writing your own demand for insurance compensation.
Our fictional injury victim is injured by a slip and fall on spilled oil from a broken bottle in a grocery aisle.
Click for practical hints about writing your demand letter.
3252 E. Elm St.
Patchogue, NY 32502
October 11, 2020
Classic Insurance Company
101 High Street, Suite 16
New York, NY 10002
Attn: Frank Wilson
Your Insured: Standard Supermarket
Re: Slip and Fall on August 23, 2020
Claim Number: PL1230041
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Dear Mr. Wilson:
As you know, on August 23, 2020, at around 10:00 a.m. I was seriously injured by a fall in the Standard Supermarket Store on Roe Boulevard in Bastion, New York.
I violently slammed into the floor after slipping on spilled oil from a broken bottle in a grocery aisle. I suffered bruises and abrasions over the entire right side of my body, including my face. I had several small lacerations to my legs, a fractured clavicle, and a serious brain concussion.
In addition to the pain from my injuries, I suffered the indignity of being sprawled on the floor with my dress hiked up, and other humiliations. The injuries kept me from working for a full month.
If not for the negligence of your insured, Standard Supermarket, I would not have suffered my injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. I still have painful symptoms that may continue into the future.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
On the morning of August 23, 2020, I visited the Standard Supermarket on Roe Boulevard to shop for groceries in anticipation of our family vacation.
I already had several items in my grocery cart and was slowly moving down the baking aisle when my feet suddenly flew out from under me. I instinctively tried to stop the fall by holding onto the grocery cart, but my body slammed to the concrete floor, and the half-full grocery cart tipped over on top of me, pinning me to the floor.
I fell so fast and violently that my head bounced once off the hard floor before slamming to a stop. I lay there stunned, disoriented, and in terrible pain. I heard a lady yelling for someone to help. As I tried to sit up, I realized I was pinned under the heavy cart that was on top of my lower body.
A grocery clerk came to help, loudly telling everyone to stay back so no one else would fall. There was a small crowd looking down at me.
The clerk, a young man, lifted the cart off me. That’s when I realized, to my horror, that my summer dress was hiked up nearly to my waist. I tried to cover myself, but it was painful to move, and the floor under me was slippery with oil, so I couldn’t get enough traction to get up on my own. I was in tears from the pain, the shock, and the humiliation.
As the manager hurried over, the clerk blurted out, “I’m sorry, Boss! I know you told me to clean this up, but another lady asked me to help her find something, and I forgot!”
Enclosed are two written witness statements from store customers who saw what happened to me and heard everything the store clerk said.
The two men managed to lift me from the floor to get me on my feet. They were holding one of my arms to help me up, and my other arm and shoulder hurt too much to use it. My wet, oily dress was stuck to me, and I couldn’t reach to pull it down, so I was in wet underwear, totally exposed to these men and the other customers.
I was sick and dizzy, and blood was running down both legs from broken glass cuts. My arm hurt, my head hurt, and I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t stand by myself, so someone brought a chair, where I sat until the ambulance got there.
Fortunately, a kind lady told the clerk to get my purse out of the spilled grocery cart and give it to me. The same lady used her phone to take pictures of the dumped grocery cart, with the broken bottle and salad oil covering the floor. Copies of those photographs are enclosed.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
As you’ll see from the ambulance report, they evaluated me for a head injury and stabilized my neck and shoulder before transporting me to the nearest hospital. I threw up in the ambulance on the way there. I was so miserable and embarrassed. I couldn’t stop crying.
At the hospital, my husband was called while I was rushed to radiology for an MRI of my head and neck. When the doctors were sure I didn’t need to go to surgery for a brain bleed, they took CT scans and X-rays of my arm, shoulder, and hips.
My husband assured the doctor that my family would follow the brain-trauma protocol for the next 24 hours, so I was released to the care of my family.
I couldn’t have more than over-the-counter pain medications because of the brain concussion. I was given a prescription for muscle relaxers, with the provision that I hold off taking any for the first 24 hours.
I was in terrible pain from my broken collar bone, all the bruises, and had terrible headaches. I was nauseated and dizzy. I was unable to sleep comfortably for several days, and then I was too fatigued and dizzy to do more than rest on my bed or the couch.
My children were distressed because Mommy was so out of it, and I looked like I’d been beaten up, especially with the bruises on my face. Because I was in no condition to travel, our family vacation was canceled. My husband spent the week caring for our children and me.
I was bruised and abraded over the entire right side of my body, including my face. I had several small lacerations to my legs, my clavicle had a hairline fracture, and I was suffering from a brain concussion.
I have worked at Daylight Gardens as a nursing assistant for the past twelve years. My job requires me to spend most of my shift on my feet, and to be able to lift and turn patients.
I was scheduled to be off for the vacation that was ruined, and then I missed another three weeks of work because of the headaches, light sensitivity, and restrictions on using my right arm until my broken clavicle healed.
I have returned to work, but I still get very tired and have headaches. As you’ll see in the medical records, my doctor told me it could be months before I feel like I did before I fell in Standard Supermarket.
Your insured’s negligence was the direct cause of my injuries. I was moving slowly, pushing a grocery cart and looking at products on the store shelves, just like any other shopper. I did not see the broken bottle of oil on the floor and could not have avoided slipping and falling. I did nothing wrong.
Standard Supermarket has a duty to provide a safe environment for customers. Protecting customers from harm includes cleaning up dangerous spills from the grocery aisles. The clerk admitted he and the manager were aware of the oil spilled on the floor. Yet, neither the clerk nor the manager cleaned up the slippery mess or took any reasonable action to protect innocent customers from injury.
Your insured, Standard Supermarket, is liable for the damages suffered by me and my family.
The following is a list of my damages. Copies of the bills, receipts, and other supporting documents are enclosed.
To compensate me for the physical pain, emotional distress, and the financial costs I suffered because of the negligence of your insured, I demand the total amount of $36,185 to resolve my personal injury claim.
Please respond within fifteen (15) business days. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
Legal Help is Always Available
The hardest part of handling your own injury claim is dealing with the insurance adjuster. It’s good to know you have the right to consult a personal injury attorney at any point in the negotiations process.
Most of the time, you can get to a fair settlement after a few rounds of offers and counter-offers, but sometimes the negotiation process breaks down.
Whether the adjuster won’t come off an offensively low offer, or some other impediment is keeping you from a fair settlement, legal help is always available.
It’s amazing how fast an injury claim can settle when your attorney enters the picture. Adjusters often offer more money rather than risk an injury lawsuit against their insured.
Don’t throw in the towel before talking to an attorney. Most injury attorneys don’t charge for their initial consultation. It costs nothing to find out what a good attorney can do for you.
How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?
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