Supermarkets can be surprisingly dangerous places. Many potential hazards could cause an injury to an unwitting customer if the market is not diligent about maintaining safety.
If you were hurt while food shopping, a Houston supermarket injury lawyer could explain your rights and help you pursue compensation. You could be entitled to damages that cover your loss of income while injured, medical expenses, and compensation for your pain and inconvenience. These cases can be challenging to pursue alone, so take your case to one of our skilled premises liability attorneys.
Common Supermarket Hazards
Certain unsafe conditions can be prevalent in supermarkets. For instance, there is a steady stream of customers walking on the floors, and in wet weather they bring the water in with them. Wet floors lead to slippery floors, and slippery floors lead to falls. In addition, customers might drop and break containers of liquids, and spills also create slipping hazards.
Another potential risk factor at supermarkets are the high shelves packed with merchandise. Items could fall from a height and strike a customer or worker, injuring them. Dry goods might spill, causing a hazard that someone might trip or slide and fall. Additionally, grocery carts could strike a person and cause an injury, or a child might get a body part caught in a cart or fall out and get hurt.
Meanwhile, many accidents also occur in supermarket parking lots. A person could trip over uneven pavement or get hit by an unsecured shopping cart. Vehicle accidents might occur in the parking lot, and the store could be liable if it did not establish a safe traffic control pattern that protects pedestrians.
Determining the exact cause of the supermarket accident is a crucial part of filing a claim, and one of our dedicated Houston attorneys could take the lead with collecting evidence or speaking with witnesses.
Supermarkets’ Obligations to Customers and Other Visitors
As a commercial enterprise, a supermarket has a heightened obligation to protect its customers and other visitors from foreseeable hazards. If a supermarket fails to take the utmost care and someone suffers an injury, the supermarket could be liable. An experienced lawyer in Houston could evaluate the circumstances of an accident to identify examples of the market’s failure to exert reasonable care.
A store’s customers and other visitors are known as invitees. A grocery store, for instance, must protect invitees by regularly inspecting for hazards and addressing any dangers as soon as reasonably possible. If remediating the dangerous condition cannot occur immediately, the supermarket must post warnings or take other reasonable steps to prevent harm.
The supermarket must also continuously monitor the condition of the aisles and other public spaces and immediately clean up any spills or wet spots. It must ensure that carts are in good working order and prevent children from riding in carts that are not designed for that purpose. The store must make reasonable efforts to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the parking lot and develop traffic patterns that minimize the risk of cars colliding.
How Could Comparative Negligence Impact a Supermarket Accident Claim?
Even if a market failed to correct a dangerous condition in a timely fashion, an injured person might bear some responsibility for an accident. For example, if a short person stood on a shelf to reach an item over their head and fell, the store might not be liable for all the person’s damages.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.003 holds each party responsible for their part in an incident. The supermarket could be liable for placing items in a location where they were beyond the reach of a customer without providing a means of access. However, the customer also has some responsibility for climbing onto a shelf that is not meant for climbing.
When such a case goes to trial, a judge decides how much responsibility each party has for the accident, and the parties pay a percentage of damages that reflects their portion of the fault. If the parties attempt to settle before trial, the relative fault of each party is likely to be a focus of negotiations. This process can be complicated, but a seasoned Houston attorney could help ensure that an injured client does not bear an unreasonable share of the responsibility for a supermarket accident.
Pursue Your Supermarket Injury Claim with a Houston Attorney
Recovering from an injury and trying to deal with a supermarket’s insurance company at the same time is a lot for a person to handle. You could be better off allowing one of our local attorneys to handle your pursuit of compensation.
With their considerable knowledge and experience, a Houston supermarket injury lawyer at Kirk Law Firm, PLLC could get you a reasonable settlement that provides fair restitution for your losses. Schedule a consultation today.