Did the store owner assume responsibility when they stated have the bill sent to them? 17 Answers as of March 25, 2013

I had fell at the local grocery store, the day after a icy snow storm. I had hit my head very hard on the ice. I waited all day for the pain and headache to go away. I was concerned that something was wrong, and had expressed this to the store owner. They told me to go to the hospital and have it checked out, and to send the store the bills. So I did. Now that they have talked with the insurance agency whom they carry their liability insurance with, and they told her that she was not negligent they will not cover the claim. The store owner is now telling me that they will not pay the bill. They know I had no insurance and no way to cover the bill.

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Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
If there is fault you have a claim. The insurance company thinks there was no fault. If you don't prove fault you don't have a claim. You get nothing because you fell. You must prove fault.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 3/25/2013
Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
No. A willingness to try to help a customer with medical bills is not an admission of liability. In fact, most commercial insurance policies have medical payments coverage that cover anyone hurt on the business premises regardless of fault. I would ask if the store had this type of insurance policy but if not, your only recourse would be to hire an attorney to evaluate your case.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/25/2013
Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
The fact that the store owner instructed you to go to a doctor and send them the bill SUGGESTS that the store knew it was responsible, however, by itself, it does not win your case against them. They may explain their offer by saying the store owner was only trying to help you, whether or not he was liable for the injuries, and a jury (if the case goes to trial) might believe that. You need to hire a lawyer and, if necessary, sue the store owner for your injuries. The fact that he and his insurer SAY they are not liable does not mean they aren't.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/25/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
No, he didn't. Get a lawyer. You may be entitled to more, and you may be entitled to nothing.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/25/2013
Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
Consult an personal injury attorney. Generally stores are responsible for split and falls. They have to show that you were negligent. From the facts you stated it does not sound like you were negligent. A personal injury attorney will take the case on a contingency fee basis if you have a case. That means you would not have to pay the attorney until you settle or win.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 3/25/2013
    Law Offices of Mark West
    Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
    Depending on the size of the medical bill it probably would not be a big enough claim for an attorney to take it. You could take the store owner to small claims court, but they would be able to bring an insurance adjuster to represent them and fight it and you would have to prove the store was liable, i.e. failed to salt the ice when they knew it was icy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/25/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    You should talk to the insurance adjuster again. It is typical that in commercial liability policies there is medical pay coverage that will pay an injured person's medical treatment bills up to the limit of coverage and without regard to whether the insured store was at fault/negligent. I do not believe the insurance company and/or agency is being "straight" with you. If the store owner is a person of their word, they may agree to request the insurer pay your bills out of the med pay coverage and/or show you a copy of their declaration sheet for their insurance which would reflect whether or not med pay coverage exists, and if it does, in what amount. The owners promise to pay your bills may serve as a "contract" that you can enforce - or maybe you could assign your rights to such enforcement to the medical care provider and let them file the claim/suit in your place? As I've said in many other posts, you only have a remote chance of succeeding on a premises liability claim in Michigan for removal of snow/ice due to the "open & obvious" doctrine. However, if the store owner increased a hazard vs. a natural accumulation, you may have a basis for such a liability claim. If there was such a claim it could include any and all medical expenses, as well as pain & suffering. You would need to consult local counsel to review your facts re: whether such a claim was even viable with your facts.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/25/2013
    Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law
    Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Alison Elle Aleman
    You have the right to formally open a claim with the insurance carrier, or even file a lawsuit to have them cover medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering. I would obtain services of an attorney for assistance in filing a suit against the store.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/25/2013
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
    You probably know about the Open and Obvious doctrine, which can preclude claims. But, there are ways around it. Were you seriously injured? Quite honestly, headaches without provable injury won't be pursuable. If you have substantial, provable injury, your matter should certainly be looked into. I could definitely help you do that.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    The store assumed no responsibility when it told you to send it a copy of your medical bills. They admitted no liability and have simply decided after speaking with their insurance carrier that the accident was through no fault of their own. You will probably have to make a decision whether it is worth it to you to retain counsel and to pursue the store for allegedly causing your injuries out of its negligence.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Yes, when they told you to go to the hospital and send them the bill, they committed to pay for it....if their own insurance company refuses to pay for it, then they have to pay it.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    You need to file a claim with the grocery store's insurance company. If they won't pay immediately, you should file a lawsuit against the store owner.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    You can sue the store owner in small claims court for the medical expense. What made him liable is not only his undertaking to pay the bill, but the fact that you relied upon his promise when you incurred the bills for medical treatment.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    By taking the medical bill does not mean the store is accepting liability.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    In my opinion, they did not. They made a one-sided promise to do something in the future and then changed their mind. That is not a legally enforceable obligation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    No, just saying have the bills sent to us is not an admission of fault. It's a store's way of getting rid of you at the moment and giving anyone in earshot the notion this store takes care of it's customers when in fact the opposite is true.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    The fact that you slipped on someone's property does not automatically make them responsible. You still need to show that the store committed negligence, or wrongdoing. If you fell during an icy snow storm, it may have been impossible for the store to keep the floors completely dry. The test is one of reasonableness under the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/24/2013
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