Most people make routine trips to supermarkets like Safeway to shop for groceries, dozens or even hundreds of times a year. So it's inevitable that slip and fall accidents occur in stores like these, and in some cases, the store and its employees may have been careless.
In a grocery store like Safeway, many slip and fall accidents occur in the entryway because so many people come in and out with carts. Other common causes of grocery store slip and fall accidents are recently waxed or mopped floors, and grocery products that have been spilled in aisles. No matter what the cause, this article explains what to do if you have been injured in a slip and fall at a Safeway Supermarket.
Gather Evidence of Your Slip and Fall Accident
Anyone who has slipped and fallen in a grocery store knows that the experience can be startling, not to mention quite painful. The first concern (after your overall health and safety of course), is to determine what the injury is and what may have caused it.
Take photos. Use a cell phone camera (or a regular camera if you have one) to document the condition of the floor where you slipped and fell. Store employees will quickly be directed to clean up the area, so the time for obtaining photographs is limited. The key is to take as many photos as you can of the scene as it existed at the time of your accident -- of anything left or dropped on the floor, accumulated water, broken flooring, inadequate signage -- anything that might have caused or contributed to the slip and fall.
Locate witnesses. If you are able, depending on your condition, speak to other shoppers or store employees who may have seen you fall, or have a companion do this for you. Take down their contact information so you can get in touch with them later, if necessary, and use them as witnesses.
Be careful what you say. When you speak with store management, note the name and title of the person with whom you speak. Be careful not to speak extensively with them until you have consulted with a lawyer.
Understandably, the sudden and traumatic nature of slip and fall incidents often leaves people unable to get evidence such as this at the time of the injury. If this has happened to you, go back (or have someone else return) to Safeway and take photos of the area where you fell. Also, keep a journal where you describe the condition of the Safeway at the time you fell, how the accident happened, the nature of your injuries, and all effects the incident has had on you.
Follow Doctors' Orders
It is a good idea to go to the Emergency Room of your local hospital or to a quick-care facility as soon as you are injured. You may not be able to determine the extent of your injuries at first, but it is always wise to consult with a medical professional right away. He or she likely will direct you to follow up with your primary care physician, and you should do that as well.
If you have injuries commonly associated with slip and falls, such as back, leg or ankle injuries, your doctor may prescribe ongoing treatment. Typically this consists of physical therapy. Make sure you keep all appointments and follow your providers' instructions so that you will recover quickly.
This is also important from a legal standpoint because, if you ultimately file a lawsuit, you will have to produce your records of all medical treatment associated with the accident. So it's important for your medical records to show that you sought out and received care shortly after the accident, and that you participated in all follow-up care as advised. You need to do everything you can to promote your recovery, and to protect your right to compensation.
Get Legal Advice
Navigating your way through the legal system is not an easy task. If you have slipped and fallen in a Safeway store, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Any claim that you pursue against Safeway will be vigorously defended by a company that has deep pockets and a great deal of experience combating insurance claims and lawsuits.
Even if you aren't sure whether you have a claim against the store, it cannot hurt to get advice and to speak with someone knowledgeable in this area. You may be surprised at what you learn. Also, most initial consultations are free and most slip and fall cases are taken on a contingent fee basis, which means you will only have to pay legal fees if your attorney successfully resolves your case for you through settlement or trial. So, it's worth the time and effort to find out how you may be able to be compensated for your medical bills, pain and suffering.