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Bronx Supermarket Slip and Fall Lawyer

Slip and Fall in a Supermarket? Here’s What You Need To Know

A fall in a supermarket can happen in many ways, but what you need to do if it does happen is basically the same. Learn what you need to do if you had a slip and fall in a supermarket.

If you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident in a supermarket or grocery store in the Bronx, it’s crucial to understand your legal rights. New York law recognizes the responsibility of supermarket owners and managers to ensure a safe environment for their customers. This includes addressing hazards like wet floors promptly. When a slip and fall incident occurs due to unattended water or other fluids, the store may be liable for negligence.

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5 Common Causes of Supermarket Slip and Falls

Wet floors in supermarkets can be caused by a variety of factors. As a result, supermarkets are required to manage slip and fall risks effectively. This can be done with regular inspections, prompt cleanup of spills, proper signage, and ensuring that mats or anti-slip flooring are in place in areas prone to wetness. Unfortunately, however, grocery store owners sometimes fall short in their obligation to manage slip and fall risks. Here are five of the most common reasons that supermarket owners are found to be responsible for falls:

  1. Spills from Products: One of the most frequent causes of wet floors in supermarkets are spills from products. These can occur in any aisle, but are particularly common in areas with liquid products like beverages, cleaning supplies or condiment aisles. Broken or leaking containers, customers accidentally dropping products, or even children playing with items on shelves can also lead to spills.
  2. Produce Section Water: Many supermarkets use misters to keep fruits and vegetables damp and fresh. While effective for produce preservation, this practice can lead to water accumulating on the floor. Customers handling wet produce and shaking off excess water can also contribute to wet floors in these areas.
  3. Foot Traffic During Bad Weather: During rainy or snowy weather, customers entering the supermarket can bring in water, snow, and slush. This accumulation is especially common near the entrance and exit areas. This can create slippery conditions, despite the use of mats and rugs designed to absorb the moisture.
  4. Cleaning and Maintenance Activities: Regular cleaning and mopping is essential for hygiene in supermarkets. However, it can also lead to wet floor conditions. If the area isn’t properly cordoned off, or if wet floor signs aren’t visible, customers may unknowingly walk into these areas and slip.
  5. Bathroom Overflows or Leaks: Supermarket restrooms can experience water overflow from sinks or toilets, or leaks can occur in plumbing fixtures. This water can extend into the main shopping areas, especially if the bathroom is in frequent use or not regularly inspected for issues.

What is Notice in a Supermarket Accident Slip and Fall Claim?

In New York, the legal concept of notice plays a crucial role in premises liability cases, including slip and fall incidents. The idea of notice is centered on whether the property owner or manager knew or should have known about the hazardous condition that caused the injury. There are two types of notice in this context: actual notice and constructive notice.

Actual Notice: This occurs when the property owner or manager is directly aware of the hazardous condition. If an employee sees a spill on the floor and reports it to their supervisor, then the property owner has actual notice of the hazard.

Constructive Notice: Constructive notice refers to a situation where the property owner or manager should have known about the hazardous condition through reasonable care. Constructive notice is often argued in cases where the dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that the owner should have discovered and remedied it. To establish constructive notice, you must usually show that the hazard was visible and apparent for a sufficient period such that it should have been discovered through regular inspection and maintenance.

Advice for Those Injured in a Supermarket

Here are 5 important things that you need to do after a slip and fall accident in a supermarket:

  • Report the Incident: Notify the supermarket management or staff about the accident as soon as possible. Ensure that an accident report is created and ask for a copy. This document can be critical in proving that the incident actually occurred on their premises.
  • Document the Scene and Conditions: Take photos and/or videos of the exact location of where you fell, including any visible spills, wet floors, or lack of warning signs. This type of evidence doesn’t last, so preserve it.
  • Identify Witnesses: If there were any witnesses to your fall, ask for their names and contact information. Witness statements are powerful evidence that can help prove your case.
  • Do Not Accept Quick Settlement Offers: You may be offered a quick settlement by a savvy insurance adjuster who is looking to have you sign a legal document that gives up your right to file a claim. This happens routinely, so don’t fall for it.
  • Follow Through With Medical Advice and Treatment: Adhere to the treatment plan prescribed by your healthcare provider, if you were hurt in the accident. Attend all follow-up appointments and therapy prescribed. This will help you feel better, and also strengthen your case.

Fell in Supermarket? We Can Help

Have a question, or need some advice? Contact our experienced slip and fall lawyers by email or by calling (718) 364-4000 for a free consultation. You can also fill out one of our case intake forms and we will have one of our attorneys get right back to you.

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