It’s a normal day for you. You shop at your local supermarket for groceries, and make sure to check all the items on your list because you don’t want to miss any of them. Everyone has a store close to their house; they visit every time they need to restock their supplies, where the staff organises the goods in a manner they find easy to understand. Maybe you stopped to buy a bottle of milk, or it’s the big shopping day of the week, and you’re about to fill the cart. But while walking through the store, something horribly wrong happens, and you find yourself sprawled on the floor. You most likely slipped and fell on a wet or dirty floor. Or maybe you tripped on a mat that was broken or bunched up. You could’ve even gotten hurt in the parking lot because the supermarket’s manager didn’t remove the ice.
Supermarkets and other large retailers have procedures, policies, and plans created to keep their clients safe. Sadly, sometimes supermarket workers fail to follow or know corporate safety policies, and they put their customers at risk. This is why thousands are injured in supermarkets and grocery stores worldwide annually.
Like many other people, you are loyal to your local supermarket and spend a large portion of your budget on purchases. Stores like Tesco expect to earn plenty from their customers over the course of their lifetime. So, is it too much for you to ask them to provide you with a safe environment while you shop? Unfortunately, for some retailers, the answer is yes.
Supermarket managers know there are problem areas on their premises. They often include entrances, exits, frozen food aisles, floral departments, produce departments, and other high traffic areas where there is ice, water or other ingredients that could make floors slippery. Retail spaces owners and operators have the legal obligation to care for and maintain their spaces to keep visitors safe. They must take all needed steps to correct or warn people about any dangerous situation (like ice in the parking lot), as long as they know or should have known of the risk.
Furthermore, supermarket managers must make periodic inspections to identify dangerous conditions like tripping or slipping hazards. Employees are tasked with sweeping floors and removing any threat that may put clients at risk. But most supermarkets fail to assign an employee to identify and remove dangerous conditions. This means that hazards frequently go unnoticed, and people get injured.
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What should you do if you get injured at the supermarket?
With workers and managers ignoring to care for retail venues and removing hazards from the site, it’s no wonder that you experience a slip and fall accident. The law states that real estate and land owners and operators could be held liable if you suffer from injuries on their property due to their negligence. It’s their responsibility to keep customers safe by cleaning and maintaining the space. They should repair dangerous surfaces, floors, and uneven aisles to provide the clients with access to safe premises. Space operators are responsible for creating a safe space both inside and outside.
It’s crucial to follow these necessary steps if you get injured while shopping at your local supermarket. Suppose the space operator neglected to remove the hazards you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries.
1. Seek medical attention
If you had a public space accident and got injured, ask the supermarket employees, customers or manager, to call 911. If you even have doubts, you may be hurt; seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s essential not to ignore this step because insurance companies require medical paperwork to document the extent of your injuries when seeking compensation. After you fall, your health is your priority. Call the emergency services immediately if you feel severe pain, have difficulty moving, or cannot get up from the floor. Suppose your injuries are minimal, and you can get up, walk slowly to your car and visit your healthcare provider for a check-up.
Even if you don’t feel pain immediately after the accident, it’s essential to follow up with your doctor because some injuries show signs a few days later.
2. Ask for the manager
Make sure you get in touch with the supermarket’s manager. If your injuries don’t allow you to get up and search for them, ask an employee or another customer to get them. You need the manager to see you, the hazard that caused your injuries, and identify the source of the imperilment. It could be oil spilled on the floor, water from the flower department, scattered and crushed vegetables or fruits, or a leaky refrigerator. Try to keep in mind what the manager does and says, as your personal injury solicitor may ask you later.
3. Call a personal injury solicitor
If you have an accident in Tesco or another supermarket, call a personal injury solicitor to help you claim compensation. Even if your injuries are superficial to begin with, you could manifest symptoms later that could affect your quality of life. The solicitor may ask you for pictures of the scene, so try to take photos before leaving the scene (as long as your health state allows it). Get contact details from any witnesses present because you may need them to testify if you go to court.
4. Report the accident
Ask the manager if they are going to report the accident to the authorities. This is important, but you cannot force them to do it. However, most retail chains write up a report to record the time and location of the incident. Keep in mind that the manager will write down everything you say, so avoid using phrases like “I’m sorry” or “it was my fault” because they may use your discourse to blame you. When you don’t know all the facts, don’t accept the fault or blame until your solicitor doesn’t investigate the incident. Ask for a copy of the report. Most supermarkets don’t provide one, but it doesn’t hurt to try.