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Injury Lawyer for Slip and Fall Accidents at Shaws

Slip and fall on business propertyPeople slip and fall down every day. Most of the time, they are left with nothing more than a bruised ego, but a fall can be dangerous and cause serious injury. Supermarkets, such as Shaw’s, are not menacing by nature, but they do present a few potential hazards. If you slipped, fell, and suffered an injury at a Shaw’s supermarket, you may be able to recover your losses with the help of a slip and fall injury lawyer.

How Can a Slip and Fall Happen in a Shaw’s Supermarket?

Supermarkets are packed with thousands of items with the potential to cause dangerous conditions, and grocery store employees have a responsibility to keep the store reasonably safe for everyone. However, employees get busy, especially during a rush, and when they face understaffing, elements of the job are neglected. That is when the possibility of an accident is heightened. Some potential slip and fall hazards include:

  • Unsafe conditions in the parking lot. Massachusetts has some dangerous winter months and receives several inches of snow throughout the year. Property owners have a responsibility to remove snow and ice from the parking lot and outdoor walkways within a reasonable amount of time, or they risk causing a serious injury to customers or workers.
  • Uneven flooring, torn or worn carpet, and broken tile. High-traffic areas in a supermarket are often worn down and have broken tiles, lifted flooring, or torn carpeting that could easily cause someone to slip or trip.
  • Spillage from punctured liquids or food items. Items break in stores all the time. Children pick up things they should not and drop them, and parents sometimes leave the items there to avoid paying. Without routine checks, the spill could stay there all day and cause someone to slip and fall.
  • Broken equipment leaking on the floor. Freezer sections have cooling units that leak and break. Sometimes the water leaks into an aisle and creates a dangerous condition. Sinks and toilets in the bathroom may leak water on the tile floor as well.
  • Entranceways and exits. When the weather outside is wet from rain, snow, or ice, people track in water on their shoes and get the floors wet in front of the entrance. This type of spill is much more visible to employees and should be cleaned quickly.
  • No warning signs or partitioning. Sometimes spills return, which could be the case with a faulty freezer or fridge. Sometimes areas of the store are under construction and present a danger to everyone. When employees know this and fail to rope off the area or put up proper signage, they endanger others.

There is no comprehensive list of potential hazards in Shaw’s or any other supermarket. Sometimes heavy items are placed too high or displays are assembled in a precarious condition and fall. If employees do everything right, slip and falls will still happen. However, the store will not be held responsible.

What Types of Injuries Are Common in a Supermarket Slip and Fall?

The potential injuries caused by a slip and fall accident range from simply embarrassing and minor to severe and even life-threatening. The most at-risk shoppers are the elderly, and they tend to suffer the worst of the injuries that could happen. Some common injuries caused by a slip and fall accident include:

  • Knee damage, such as a torn ACL or MCL that could lead to surgery or further complications down the road
  • Back or spinal cord injuries, such as herniated discs or fractured vertebrae
  • Broken bones, which usually occur in the wrists, ankles, and hips
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and torn tendons
  • Cuts or abrasions
  • Traumatic brain injuries, which can encompass mild concussions, hemorrhages, hematomas, and more
  • Shoulder or neck injuries, including dislocation or muscle strains

Injuries can result in a great number of financial losses from medical treatment and missed work, but they may also cause psychological damage in the form of emotional distress, pain, and suffering. The purpose of filing a lawsuit is to ensure that the person or persons responsible for the dangerous condition that caused your fall is made to pay for those damages.

How Is Fault Proven in a Slip and Fall Accident?

When you file a lawsuit for a slip and fall accident, you are responsible for building your case and proving that the other party in the case caused the accident either intentionally or negligently. This is sometimes a complex process. There is no precise way to show that a property owner or staff at Shaw’s definitively caused the dangerous condition that led to your accident. However, you can argue that they did not act as carefully in maintaining safe conditions on the property, and your liability will come into play as well. To deem the property owner or staff responsible for your case, one of these scenarios must be true:

  • The property owner, manager, or staff should have been aware that the hazardous condition was there because any reasonable person would have known.
  • The property owner, manager, or staff caused the dangerous condition themselves and did nothing to remedy it.
  • The property owner, manager, or staff knew of the dangerous condition and intentionally did not remove it.

The most commonly used argument is the first. However, each of these requires common sense from the judge and jury hearing your case. To prove that a reasonable person should have known also requires defining what a reasonable person is.

What Is Considered Reasonable?

The standard of reasonableness in a slip and fall case is based on the previous actions of the owner or manager. Here are a few questions you may ask to determine liability under the standard of reasonableness:

  • How was the lighting in the area where you fell?
  • If you slipped or tripped on something, was it there for a long period of time?
  • Could a simple barrier, such as a sign or caution tape, have been given to prevent the accident?
  • Is there a procedure in place for regular safety checks in the store?
  • If an object caused your fall, was there a safer place to put it that would cause no inconvenience to the property owner or staff?
  • Was there a legitimate reason for the item that caused your accident to be there?
  • Was there a safer place for the item?

The property owner will likely argue you had either some fault or were entirely responsible for the accident. It is up to the jury to decide if you hold any responsibility for what happened, and Massachusetts follows the rule of modified comparative fault. This means that the amount you are awarded in your case is subject to a deduction equal to the percentage of fault you carry. Additionally, if you are more than 50% at fault for the accident, you are no longer eligible for compensation.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

The victims of serious slip and fall accidents often suffer heavy financial burdens as a result. To help alleviate that burden, Jason Stone Injury Lawyers require no upfront fee to get started on your personal injury case. The first element of the Stone Cold Guarantee ensures that we get paid only after you get paid. We are ready and available to assist you with your claim. Contact Jason Stone Injury Lawyers today for a free case evaluation.