How do I get money for a slip and fall personal injury? 40 Answers as of February 20, 2012

I was in a supermarket and I was walking to the deli dept and I slipped on a piece of clear plastic that was in some water. The water came from a chilled cabinet that 2 men were cleaning out. There were no signs out. There were witnesses and a report was filed but the witnesses worked there so no one signed the report. I sustained really bad bruising on my arm and leg. I went to a doctor 2 days after and they gave me 2 strong pain relievers and put my arm in a sling. I have had a lot of discomfort plus I lost 2 days work. How do I get my medical bills paid? The claims dept called and said they do not pay medical bills unless they are negligent. How do I prove they were?

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The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
If you already filed a claim with the market and they have denied that they are negligent, most likely you will have to hire a personal injury attorney to help you negotiate your case. Claims adjusters for insurance companies know that most people do not know how to file a lawsuit themselves, so when a layperson files a claim on a complicated case they will often deny the claim and wait for the person to either hire an attorney or for the statute of limitations to run out. Premises liability cases are very difficult cases to prove because you have to show that the person responsible for the hazardous condition knew or reasonably should have known about the condition and failed to clean it within a reasonable time. You may have a good case, but you will have to put together evidence to show the defense that they are negligent. In the meantime unfortunately, you will have to pay your medical bills out of your pocket and will only be reimbursed once you prove that the other party is legally responsible for your injuries.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/2/2011
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
In Louisiana, there is a statute specifically aimed at merchants' liability in slip and fall situations. The statute sets out exactly what must be proven for the merchant to be liable for one's medical bills and pain and suffering. One of the first things you must prove is that the merchant knew or should have known about the hazard and secondly that the merchant failed to address the hazard. Typically, the length of time that the hazard is on the floor will help with the constructive knowledge versus the actual knowledge aspect. There are various things to be considered when going through all of the elements. Please contact my office to see if this is something with which we might be able to assist you.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 8/2/2011
Law Offices of Tom Patton
Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
It sounds to me like they were negligent for failing to put out cones, or in some way warn you that there was a hazard. You should consult an attorney about the possibility of filing an ORS 20.080 claim on your behalf.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/1/2011
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
You have to prove your case which is always difficult. Having independent witnesses is good. In order to make a court case out of it and hire all the witnesses you might need, your damages would have to exceed a minimum of $20,000.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Replied: 8/1/2011
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
Generally, water and a piece of plastic do not belong on the floor in a supermarket where man are working unless they have the area well marked and protected. Get a copy of the report, even unsigned, and see if it confirms your statement as to what happened. If it does, file a small claims lawsuit for $7500.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/1/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    You sue them. Their first instinct is to deny any claim. There is probably also videotape to prove it. If it happened recently, demand, in writing, that all videotape of the store be preserved as evidence. Go find an attorney. Your damages are not very high, but they are damages.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    It sounds to me like they were negligent. Unfortunately, or fortunately, your injury does not seem severe enough to interest a lawyer. That's actually good for you. You don't want a good case. Try to settle for whatever you can get.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    A slip and fall on liquid is a tough case unless, as in your case, you have a good argument that the liquid originated as a result of activity by the premise owner or by some other identifiable group. (You don't say if the 2 men cleaning the cabinet were store employees or worked for another company which you might make a claim against.) I hope you took photos of the bruises. Call me or another lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    It is typical that a business owner will deny fault after an accident on the premises. The simple answer to your question is that a lawyer can help you build a case against the supermarket. You make have to take statements under oath from the witnesses, and request copies of store policies and other materials to prove your case. Unless you are familiar with how to do these things in a legal setting, you probably need a lawyer. Most lawyers will take cases like this on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay them if they win. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Potter Law Offices
    Potter Law Offices | Cal J. Potter, III, Esq.
    You would need to hire an attorney to pursue the claim or file a complaint.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Retain and/or consult with an accident or a plaintiff's personal injury attorney, who should contact and file a claim with the insurance carrier for the supermarket in which your injuries occurred.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    It appears that you do have a personal injury case and you should discuss this matter in more detail with an attorney. If you would like to discuss this matter further.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    Lawyers are rarely viewed as the source of strength and direction for a person who has been hurt in an accident. Despite the incorrect coupling of the words "plaintiff contingency fee lawyer" and "frivolous lawsuits" have been merged together by the rich and powerful who want no accountability for their bad acts. In the situation described, your slip and fall should be covered by insurance carried by the store. You would be wise to hire an attorney familiar with Oklahoma law on slip and fall negligence cases and let that attorney evaluate your case for you. The statute of limitations will bar your claim forever unless you have a pending suit on file within 2 years of the accident and injury.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    If they were on notice of the plastic & the water & had the opportunity to clean it up or warn, but did not. It's not a very big case though & they know that. So, I would try to work with them. Riley
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    It sounds as if you will need an attorney to get their attention. It also sounds as if they quite negligent.

    Contact an attorney and they will begin the process by contacting the supermarket and their attorneys. An attorney can also help you get treatment, keep track of your bills and lost wages, and get you to an expert if needed.

    My office handles these types of cases, and I would be happy to help. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    It depends on who the men cleaning out the cabinet were. If they were store employees I think negligence exists. If they were from some outside source then they are the ones liable. You may have to retain a lawyer for this one.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    A personal injury lawyer will do your case on your behalf if it is a good case.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    You need a personal injury lawyer no store admits responsibility and pays anything unless a proper claim is made. Call me if you like.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You will probably have to file a law suit. Some of the questions are going to be how much notice they had as to the hazard (store is allowed a reasonable time to clean up the mess AFTER it is on notice)and whether or not you should have been aware of the hazard and did you avoid it? You can usually talk to a personal injury attorney for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Joel Ewusiak
    Slip and fall cases can be difficult to litigate. The key issues are whether the store was negligent by failing to adequately maintain its premises and whether the plastic/water were open and obvious conditions. The following facts would be material to proving negligence: the length of time that the water was on the ground, whether footprints were located around the water, the length of time that the men were working in the area without signs, etc. If you are able to prove that the store is liable for negligence, then you can recover damages for your past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering. You should consult with an attorney. Generally, most lawyers will handle a slip and fall case on a contingent basis. The lawyer will take a percentage of the recovery, plus costs. Keep in mind that all claims, including yours, are subject to a limitation period; that is, the claim must be brought within a certain period of time or is forever barred. In Florida, negligence claims are subject to a four year limitation period.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You need to write a letter insisting they were negligent outlining why as you explained in your question. If you are out of work more than a week, a lawyer may be warranted to sue the supermarket if they refuse to pay for your medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Your fact situation (workers working on cooler) suggests they knew about the defect and would therefore be liable. Sue them in the Judge Judy (small claims) court.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    From what you describe it sounds like they had to be on notice that something was on the floor. The question is whether they had a reasonable time to correct the problem and again if there were workers cleaning out the cabinet then you could argue that they could have cleaned that up too. If the company will not agree to pay your expenses then you will have to file suit against them. If you wish to discuss further you can contact the firm.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    David B. Sacks, P.A.
    David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
    This is a classic slip and fall case that requires that the injured person prove that the store failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. The wet plastic, depending on how it got there, i.e. who dropped it, the water and how it got there, and how long the condition was present, all go to whether the store was negligent. It is not surprising that the store is indicating that they did nothing wrong because they are hoping you will just go away. In most of these cases an attorney is required to obtain just compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Liability on slip and fall cases is never clear cut. You have to prove that the store either knew of the dangerous condition, or caused the dangers condition, and did nothing about it. It is good for your case that you have evidence that the store created the condition, rather than a customer. You may not know how long the water was on the floor, in which case they could argue that they had insufficient time to put up warnings, or mop it up. You are probably wasting time trying to convince the adjuster that they are liable. You should probably just file suit. Unfortunately, if your injuries are minor, it may be difficult to get an attorney to take the case. In that case, you might consider filing suit yourself in Small Claims Court.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    You may have to sue to let a jury decide whether or not you can prove to the jury that the supermarket was at fault. But, more importantly, it depends on the amount you are seeking, if it a a small amount, the insurance company may just settle, since it will cost them money to defend the case.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    You need to make a claim by letter to the supermarket about your injury and see if they will compensate you. However, if you discover you have a worse injury, then you'll likely need to consult with a negligence lawyer who can back up a claim with a law suit if they don't respond favorably. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Alton William Wiley, Jr.
    Law Office of Alton William Wiley, Jr. | Alton William Wiley, Jr.
    I would suggest that you consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area.  It sounds like you have a viable case, but you need to act swiftly so an investigation can be launched.  If there were witnesses it is important to try to find out who they are and get statements as soon as possible for liability purposes.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    Assuming that the water and plastic were put on the floor by the store's employees, then it would appear that they "created" the dangerous condition and are responsible for your fall and damages. Before speaking with the claims department again, I would strongly suggest that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney, so that you don't say something which may jeopardize your case. Our office offers free, no obligation consultations on cases such as yours.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    They should have a medical pay provision in their insurance policy, unless they don't think it happened the way you describe it. It covers bills only, not lost wages.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    Slip and fall cases are difficult at best and frowned upon by the insurance companies. You may need the assistance of an attorney to get the insurance carrier to think that you are serious about pursuing the claim. If they are unwilling to settle you would have to consider bringing a lawsuit to enforce your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    If the market is self-insured, they may have that policy regarding the payment of your medical bills. If they have insurance, and you can ask them this, the med-pay provision usually covers $5,000 to $10,000 of medical expenses regardless of fault. The reality is if you are dealing with this on your own, they will not be as forthcoming as if you had a lawyer doing your bidding. Although your case is not huge, it does have value and you should push them to compensate you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    It sounds like you have a valid claim of negligence. Contact a lawyer to discuss your case. Generally, based on your facts, where the landowner creates the hazard, it has a duty to repair or warn against the hazard if it cannot be repaired. Your claim sounds legitimate. The next question is the extent and duration of damages. If you make a real quick recovery, you may consider filing in Small Claims Court. If you have lingering trouble or permanent injury, you will need the help of a lawyer. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Cary J. Wintroub
    You do need to prove negligence. I urge you not to give a statement to the representative of the supermarket. Personal Injury lawyers know how to prove negligence. We handle many slip and fall matters in supermarkets. We will happily consult with you no obligation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Sorry to hear about your fall and injuries. These cases are not factually complex but can be very difficult. If the employees left the dangerous area where customers were likely to walk, then you could have a a viable claim. However, not all injury-causing incidents were the result of negligence. You should speak to an attorney soon to consult with him/her.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Some insurance policies have what's called Med Pay which pays for medical bills up to a certain limit regardless of whether the owner is negligent. If they don't have that, you will need to prove the store had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition or that they created it by doing the work they were doing. One problem you face is that your damages seem small right now so most attorneys probably wouldn't take the case. In the meantime, you should send the store and insurance company a letter (certified mail, return receipt requested) asking them to preserve any surveillance showing the fall and the work being done as it may help you prove negligence. Its possible the doctor may diagnose something more serious so you should protect yourself. Feel free to check out my web site and call me to discuss your case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    Proving negligence in a slip and fall case in Utah can be very difficult. You have to prove that the temporary unsafe condition existed long enough for the company to be aware of it and/or fix it. In a case like yours that probably would not be easy. Ultimately, you will probably have to file a complaint in court.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/28/2011
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