What Are My Rights If I’m Hurt While Shopping In A Store?

What Are My Rights If I’m Hurt While Shopping In A Store?

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In 2018, a woman filed a suit against Moran Food LLC and UniFirst Corp, seeking damages for injuries she sustained while shopping at a store. According to the lawsuit, the woman slipped on a wet floor in the store and suffered injuries. This incident is an example of the many injuries that happen while shopping.

If injured while shopping in a store, it’s important to know your rights, but determining who is liable can be a complicated process.

Am I Entitled To Compensation?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that nine out of 10 store accidents are caused by negligence on the part of the store owner. The law holds store owners responsible for maintaining a safe shopping environment for customers, and compensation in the occurrence of an accident caused by their negligence. This responsibility extends to all store areas, including aisles, floors, stairways, and entrances and exits.

In Iowa, store owners have a duty to protect their customers from harm. This means they must regularly inspect their premises for hazards and take necessary steps to fix existing problems. They must also warn customers of any potential dangers that they cannot immediately fix, such as a wet floor that’s being cleaned.

Determining Liability

To determine liability, it’s important to consider whether the store owner knew or should have known about the hazard that caused the injury. In the context of a person being hurt while shopping at a store, determining liability would involve investigating the circumstances surrounding the injury and determining who is at fault.

For example, if a falling object hits a customer, the store may be liable for injuries. The store would be responsible for ensuring all objects on their shelves are secured. The store would also be responsible for ensuring that their premises are safe for customers and that all objects on their shelves are properly secured.

Premises liability, a legal concept, holds property owners responsible for injuries on their property. The level of responsibility varies based on the person’s status on their property. The 3 categories include:

An invitee 

An invitee is someone invited onto the property for business purposes, such as a customer in a store. Property owners owe invitees the highest level of care because they are responsible for maintaining a safe environment.

A licensee

A licensee is anyone with permission to enter the property but is there for their own purposes. Property owners owe licensees a lower level of care than invitees, but they are still responsible for warning them of known hazards.

A trespasser 

A trespasser is someone who enters the property without permission. Property owners owe trespassers the lowest level of care.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Filing the claim can be a complex process, but anyone can navigate it successfully with the right guidance. Here are the steps to take to file a personal injury claim:

Step 1: Get medical care

Health and safety should always come first. Even if some injuries may seem minor, it’s crucial to see a doctor and document such injuries to support your claim later on. Getting medical care also establishes a record of your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your claim.

Step 2: Contact an experienced lawyer

Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer lets you navigate the complexities of the legal system. Besides offering advice on the best course of action, they also ensure those hurt receive the full compensation entitled to them under the law.

Step 3: Preparing a claim

To prepare a claim, your lawyer will need to gather adequate evidence to support your case. Some information to be gathered include:

  • Medical records
  • Photographs
  • Witness statements
  • Other relevant documents

These details will help the lawyer build a strong case to prove the other party’s liability.

Step 4: Negotiating for Settlement

The personal injury attorney will negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurance provider. This may involve rounds of negotiations. The lawyer will advise the victim on whether to accept or reject any settlement offers.

Step 5: Settlement

You will receive compensation for your damages if a settlement agreement is reached. If not, your case may go to trial.

How to Prepare for a Consultation with an Attorney

Personal Injury Attorney

Before meeting with an attorney, it is important to have clear insight of what to expect from them. The following can guide one into having a productive and informative consultation.

Determine if they offer free initial consultation

Some attorneys offer free consultations to potential clients. This is to help the clients discuss their cases and evaluate whether the attorney is a good fit for their needs. Other attorneys may charge a fee for the initial consultation.

To determine whether a lawyer offers a free initial consultation, check their website, online review sites, or contact their office directly. Confirm if the consultation is completely free or if there are any hidden fees or charges.

Set a goal

Plaintiffs who clearly outline their goals and understand why they seek an attorney’s service are more likely to get the help they need than those who want the attorney to do everything for them.

For instance, if you want advice on a personal injury case, you may want to get compensation for lost wages or medical expenses. A clear idea of your goals lets the attorney understand your priorities and offer relevant guidance.

Gather enough facts

To help the attorney understand your case, gather evidence or facts. Be as thorough as possible when gathering these facts because they will help the attorney offer the most comprehensive advice. You should try to organize the information clearly and logically so that you can present it in an organized and easy-to-understand manner.

Have a list of questions

Preparing a list of questions before your consultation with an attorney will ensure that all your concerns are addressed. This allows you to avoid forgetting important details or questions during the consultation.

Some examples of questions to ask include:

  • What are my legal options?
  • What’s the fee structure?
  • What are the potential outcomes?
  • What is your experience with these kinds of cases?

Know Your Rights While Shopping

You may be entitled to compensation if injured while shopping in a store. You need to take the right steps to protect your rights and potentially recover damages. This includes consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact or call us at 515-444-4000 as soon as possible for a free consultation.