Retail Stores Paying Dearly in Slip and Fall Cases
The Insurance Business Journal recently published an article on how slip and fall accidents in grocery and retail stores are costing businesses millions. In one case that occurred Tallahassee, a 47-year-old woman was awarded $2 million for injuries she sustained at USA Grocers. While most slip and fall cases won’t settle for that much money, it isn’t unheard of either.
Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents Can Be Severe
Most of us have experienced it at least once in our life. We’re in a grocery store, the floors are wet, we slide a little bit, and then we catch our balance. Even if we do fall, we may suffer nothing more than a bruised ego and tailbone. However, some slip and fall accidents can be quite violent resulting in head, neck, and back injuries. When that happens, it doesn’t matter how routine the accident is or the amount of negligence that the proprietor showed, the victim is compensated for their injuries.
In the case mentioned above, the jury held USA Grocers 100% liable for the accident. In other words, they ruled that the plaintiff contributed no fault of her own.
While the article is skewed heavily toward the interests of proprietors and the insurance companies that provide them with general liability coverage in these accidents, it generally remains true that jurors still believe in individual responsibility and accountability. While the Insurance Business Journal bemoans the current state of the litigation environment and talks about an overarching sense of American entitlement, lawyers still need to present proof to insurance adjusters and juries concerning their client’s injuries.
Increased Focus on Safety
The Insurance Business Journal makes one claim that we can all agree on: Proprietors open to the public should be doing more to mitigate risk to their patrons. Slip and fall accident lawsuits are not easy to prove. As a plaintiff’s attorney, you need to show that the defendant was negligent. That means proving that they either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and elected not to do anything about it. That is a higher standard of proof than most personal injury lawsuits.
Today, retailers are leveraging this fact to provide safer conditions for all their patrons. We think that’s a great idea. Not only does it reduce their risk of getting sued, it provides a safer place for their patrons to shop.
The idea that there are people out there who want to suffer serious traumatic injuries that justify $2 million settlements is absurd. The woman mentioned above will deal with pain for the rest of her life and she may not be able to work again. She may require help getting to the grocery store. None of this is fun.
Talk to a Vero Beach Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
If a proprietor has left a dangerous condition on their premises, and you’re injured as a result, you are entitled to recover damages equal to your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Talk to the Vero Beach slip and fall attorneys at the Vocelle & Berg, LLP today for a free case evaluation.