Can I be compensated for a fall in a grocery store? 21 Answers as of April 01, 2013

I was at a grocery store and when I turned to leave the counter, I tripped over the metal bars that are bolted to the floor for the use of anyone in a wheelchair. I went down like a ton of bricks and ended up at the emergency room the next morning. I spent 3 weeks in a walker in severe pain and feel that my age, 61 and the fact that I was a regular customer should be deserving of compensation.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Yes. You should make a claim against the store and its insurance company. If they won't be fair, file a lawsuit through a personal injury attorney.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/1/2013
Angelo Marino, Jr. PA | Angelo Marino, Jr.
It is possible you have a claim, but you need to see a lawyer who handles these types of cases.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/4/2013
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
In order to entitle you to receive compensation for your injuries you would have to show that there was some unreasonably defective condition about which the store knew or should have known and that this unreasonably defective condition caused your fall. Based on your statement of facts there does not appear to have been anything unreasonably defective about the bolting of the metal bars to the floor unless there have been other such tripping and falling incidents attributable to them. If so, you might be able to pursue a claim. However, under the facts as stated, you might have trouble finding an attorney to take your case.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 3/4/2013
Robert Kubler | Robert Kubler
You ought to hire a lawyer to seek your damages from the grocery store.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/4/2013
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
Yes, but for the grocery store to be liable, you would have to prove that the metal bars are a non-obvious condition which the store knew about and the store failed to warn or guard against it. From your description, it sounds like the bars were open and obvious and you might have a problem there. if they wont accept liability, they may be willing to pay your medical bills only under their med pay provision of their property policy.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 3/4/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    You'll need a lawyer to look at it to determine if the condition was open in obvious.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Law Offices of Mark West
    Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
    If you could prove that the bars were installed in a negligent manner, you might be able to receive some compensation. Most of the accessibility additions to public facilities are put in pursuant to code and the facility must put them in.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You can be compensated for your injuries, if the cause is considered a defect and the store was negligent. There is no automatic compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    If you can prove that it was the store's fault, and that you were paying attention but still could not see or avoid the defect. If not, you will lose.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    Recovery would be possible, but a tough case in as much as there is not duty to protect customers from open and obvious hazards. If the metal bars were hidden somehow or the circumstances made them difficult to see, then you should seek out an attorney. If they were out in the open and you just forgot about them, then pursing compensation may not be worth your time.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    Premises liability claims are pretty tough in Mi. However, they still remain fact dependent and you should consult local counsel re: your claim. Your lawyer would need the incident report from the store, pictures/measurements of the area where you were hurt, etc. Generally if a condition of the land is "open & obvious" the owner has no duty to warn you/make the premises safe as you should see the hazard and avoid it - this is what the Michigan Supreme Court has pronounced. If the premises owner created the hazard, then you would have an argument for liability as most "o&o" cases involve transient conditions such as snow, ice, water, etc. Further, it may be that some company other than the owner placed the hazard and they may be able to be sued without the "o&" defense being applicable. You should be aware that there are 2 parts to any case, liability and damages. Cases are uncertain to win and expensive to investigate/present, so your damages will also have to be fairly severe/significant to make the economics of presenting a case "work". 3 weeks of severe pain alone, would likely not be enough damage to warrant a case, especially in light of the law being against most "slip & fall" cases in Mi.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    In cases like yours a picture is very helpful to allow a lawyer such as myself to judge whether it appears that a good case can be made that it was a dumb design.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You should contact an attorney to discuss this matter further. You should bring photographs of the area where you fell and any other pertinent information.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    I dont know what you deserve. The question is whether the store is negligent with its construction. If so, and if you were not negligent in any way (that is if you looked carefully and could not see) then you may have a good claim you don't get anything just because you are 61 or fall on someones property. Remember you must prove negligence. You may need an engineer or builder to look and give you and opinion. If the problem is open and obvious to the eye you will lose the claim
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Maybe. Maybe not. Issue is how obvious is the obstruction causing your fall. See local personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Law Office of Malosack Berjis
    Law Office of Malosack Berjis | Malosack Berjis
    It depends on whether or not the grocery store was negligent. Also, the store may have med pay coverage you can collect to help with medical bills regardless of fault, but not all stores have this. Retain an attorney if you are injured to assist you with this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    James Morris Law
    James Morris Law | James Morris Law
    You may be able to recover if the metal bars you tripped on could be considered a dangerous and/or defective condition. Before I could truly evaluate the case I would need to see photographs or inspect the area. This is the type of case my firm handles on a regular basis and I would be happy to discuss it further with you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Law Office of Michael H. Joseph PLLC | Michael Joseph
    You are entitled to compensation if the metal was a dangerous condition or if they didnt adequately warn of it
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Law Office of Christian Menard
    Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
    An establishment has an obligation to its patrons to provide conditions which are not dangerous and they can be held liable for any dangerous condition of which they had knowledge, or of which they should have had knowledge. To establish a case, a plaintiff must prove the condition that caused injury was dangerous and that the store knew, or should have known was dangerous. Prior falls caused by the condition would help prove the knowledge issue. An expert would be needed to prove the condition was dangerous, especially when what you tripped over was there to assist the disabled. The question would be how to accommodate the two, i.e. how to provide disabled persons access while still providing a safe environment. Therefore the need for the expert.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    A property owner or business proprietor can be held liable for known hazards that could foreseeably result in injury. In order to make a claim the injured party has to show either that the owner knew or should have known of the hazard, had an opportunity to correct it, and failed to take action or that the property owner created the hazard. In your situation, the grocery store installed the metal bars, but there is a question as to whether they knew or should have known that it was hazardous. The fact that you were a regular customer hurts your case rather than helping it, because it can be said that since you were there on a regular basis, you knew or should have known of those bars on the floor. But there is another possibility: some property liability insurance policies include a provision called a "medical payments provision. Although it is not required, this provision will pay medical expenses up to a certain amount, regardless of fault
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/1/2013
    Kram & Wooster, P.S. | Richard H. Wooster
    Go and take photographs of what you tripped over before the conditions change. Take as many photos as you reasonably can take. Put something down for scale, like a quarter or a dollar bill. Then find an attorney. Depending on the condition, the store may be liable. However, it will take a human factors engineer to address the issue and possibly a building code specialist. It all turns on the design and the danger it posed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/1/2013
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney