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From Aisles to Asphalt: Injuries at the Grocery Store

Injuries at the Grocery Store

Five bags of groceries and $70 later, you may be feeling the pain of inflation but at least you made it out physically unscathed. Grocery stores are part of our daily life but those aisles can pose risks beyond just denting your wallet. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we have worked on several grocery store-related accidents and are here to talk about some of the risky circumstances that are often overlooked.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is the term used to describe a property owner’s legal responsibility to keep their property safe for anyone who is on their property with permission. This responsibility includes making routine inspections, following safety standards, and warning about potential hazards. In most of the circumstance listed below, it is the responsibility of the property owner to prevent injuries and if they fail to do, the store can be held liable.

Slip and Falls

One of the most common accidents in grocery stores is a slip, trip and fall. Whether it’s a spill left unattended, a freshly mopped floor without warning signs, or broken walkways, these hazards can turn into a painful experience. It is well established that stores have a duty to maintain safe conditions for shoppers. This includes promptly cleaning up spills, repairing broken walkways, or ensuring aisles are clear of restocking boxes or crates.

Tumbling Displays

Ever walk into a grocery store before super bowl and see the tower of soda can boxes shaped like a smiling face or a football? It’s undoubtedly fun to look at, but cringe worthy when you consider the weight of even just one box falling. A tumbling display from apples to soda cans alike can cause serious harm. In such cases, negligence on the part of the store, such as improper stacking or securing of merchandise, may be at play.

Parking Lot Dangers

Picture it, a B.J.s or Costco parking lot on a Sunday afternoon. Complete chaos of crying children, rouge shopping carts drifting in the wind, and drivers who don’t look before they fly out of their spot. It is no wonder that approximately 20% of all vehicle accidents in the U.S. occur in parking lots and account for up to 17% of pedestrian deaths. ( According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2023). If you were hit by a car in a parking lot, negligence will most likely fall on the driver. But if it was due to poor signage or light, lack of traffic control, overgrown shrubbery blocking sightlines, or other carelessness of the shopping center, a case may be brought against both the driver and shopping center.

Other common injuries in parking lots include slipping on ice or oil spills, or tripping on uneven pavement. Much like the responsibility of a store to maintain the inside of a property, they or shopping center management, are also required to maintain the outside of the premises as well.

Actual Accounts

I know, it might sound like we’re painting a doomsday scenario here, but the reality is these incidents occur far more frequently than one might think. Don’t just take our word for it; let’s hear from some our clients who have experienced these hazards firsthand.

“Through no fault of my own, I hurt my leg on the sharp corner of a metal step stool in a public restroom. It was a serious and deep laceration that required prolonged treatment in a hospital wound care center and still impacts my life.”- client 2024

“Following a very serious slip and fall accident resulting in several broken bones and complications, we interviewed several personal injury attorneys but found Tom Curcio to be the very best in class.” – client 2019

Early this year, while walking, I was hit by a car. Suddenly my life was a cacophony of emergency rooms, police reports, hospitals, surgeons, too many insurance companies, all wanting me to sign something. It was awful!- Client 2023

When Should You Think About Filing a Personal Injury Claim After an Accident at a Grocery Store?

Firstly, the severity of your injury plays a pivotal role. Severe injuries present a financial burden such as medical expenses or lost wages and are significant enough to justify initiating legal action. However, minor injuries may not be worth your time or effort of pursuing a lawsuit if the amount of possible compensation are outweighed by the costs and time involved in pursuing a claim.

Next up is negligence –A popular term in law meaning that in order to win your case, it has to be concluded that fault lies with the grocery store. This failure might have resulted from their lack of response to a known hazard, not having the right procedures in place to prevent a hazard, , or their duty to warn of a hazard.

Then comes the evidence. Accident reports, pictures, witness statements, and video are used to paint the picture of the incident and prove the claim of negligence. The burden to prove negligence is on the plaintiff (the one bringing the suit) so evidence is a key part of a personal injury case.

Last but not least, timing is everything. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Virginia is two years from the date of the incident. That means that the claim must either be settled or a lawsuit filed in court within this two-year window. If the claim is not settled and a lawsuit is not filed within two years from the date of injury, the claim is forever time-barred and cannot be pursued. Also, the store or their legal team may try to get you to settle quickly before you have a chance to consult or hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. They do this to get you to settle for less with the bait of avoiding lengthy proceedings. It is in your best interest to hold off on talking directly to them, outside of the initial incident report. So act quickly on finding a competent personal injury lawyer. Most offer a free consultation to advise what your next steps should be.

Have You been Injured?

If you’ve suffered an injury due to negligence of a grocery store, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. As personal injury lawyers, we’re here to help you navigate your road to recovery and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Curcio Law has experience handling grocery store slip and fall, parking lot, and display case injury claims. Call or text (703) 836-3366 or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation.

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