People treat a trip to the grocery store like a dull necessity, not a source of personal risk. Still, grocery stores and supermarkets are fraught with dangerous elements that could lead to a guest slipping and falling.
A slip-and-fall might lead to a soft tissue injury, a broken bone or even a brain injury. In severe cases, people may require hospitalization and could lose wages because of their injuries. Such situations often give rise to premises liability claims, as most supermarkets and grocery stores could prevent the vast majority of slip-and-fall injuries that occur on their premises by addressing known risk factors.
1. Rain storms and dirty shoes
Most businesses put rugs by the front entrance in case people track moisture in from outside or have particularly sandy or dirty shoes. Both moisture and sand or mud tracked in from outside can pose a slipping hazard right by the front doors of the business. Giving patrons an opportunity to clean and dry off by providing absorbent rugs can be a smart move on the part of a retail establishment.
2. Improperly anchored or saturated rugs
While rugs are important for the prevention of slip-and-falls near entranceways, they can create their own tripping or slipping hazards. Some businesses fail to properly secure or anchor their rugs, meaning that they may slide when people step on them or get wrinkled up. In both cases, people could end up hurt. Highly saturated rugs soaked in water or covered in filth could also dirty people’s shoes and lead to them slipping and falling.
3. Ignored leaks
Maybe there is a refrigeration unit near the checkouts that drips whenever someone opens the door to select a beverage. Perhaps there is a leak from the ceiling that sometimes causes a small puddle in the deli. When businesses ignore areas where moisture may accumulate inside their store, they run the risk of someone slipping and falling because of those little puddles.
4. Dropped or spilled product
Maybe someone lost their grip on a jar of salsa, so it shattered and left a puddle of juice and diced tomatoes all over the floor. Perhaps when someone spilled cereal or pasta. Both wet and dry food items can make the floor dangerous and cause people to slip.
Most of these issues would be easy for a business to prevent with proper staffing practices, but understaffing is a rampant issue in the retail industry these days. Those injured while visiting a business may have grounds for a premises liability insurance claim or possibly even a civil lawsuit. Recognizing that a business could have prevented a slip-and-fall injury might motivate someone hurt while shopping to demand financial justice.