Grocery stores come in all shapes and sizes, from small fruit and vegetable convenience stores to huge sprawling supermarkets, but they share a common responsibility for the safety of their customers. The law recognizes that it’s impossible for grocery store owners to constantly inspect their aisles, and to clear them of hazards instantaneously, but it does impose a duty to conduct reasonable inspections and repair or warn of hazards.
If you’ve been injured at a grocery store, it can be difficult to figure out whether or not you have a claim against the store owner. That’s why it’s prudent to call an experienced Orange County grocery store accident lawyer that can help you understand your rights. The Crockett Law Group is the most reputable personal injury firm in Orange County, with a team of attorneys that has successfully collected money damages for people injured in grocery stores. Call (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation with a premises liability lawyer.
Damages For Grocery Store Accident Cases
When grocery stores are liable for injuries sustained on their premises, or as a result of the food they sell, injured victims are entitled to make a claim for the following types of monetary damages:
Unreimbursed Medical Expenses and Future Medical Costs
This category of monetary damages includes hospital bills, doctor’s fees, testing, physical therapy, residential rehabilitation, nursing home care, alterations to your home and vehicle, prosthetics and other types of cost incurred to treat and/or accommodate the injuries you sustained. This includes both the money that’s currently been spent, plus an estimate of the cost of care for the rest of your life.
Lost Earnings and Lost Earning Capacity
Lost earnings are for the salary you’ve lost because of the injuries you sustained due to your accident from the date of the accident to the date of settlement or trial. You can also make a claim for lost business profits, the cost of hiring somebody else to replace you at your business, and for the expense of education or retraining if you can no longer do the type of work you did before the accident.
Lost earning capacity is the amount of money that you will lose throughout your entire lifetime due to your accident. For persons that are severely or catastrophically injured, these costs can be substantial, but the amount that can be collected must be quantitatively calculated.
Property damage claims are more common for car accidents, but grocery store accident victims should aware that they can be reimbursed for items such as prescription glasses, handbags, and clothing that is damaged or destroyed due to the accident.
Pain and Suffering
This monetary compensation for your subjective pain and suffering due to the injuries you sustained. The pain can be physical or emotional, but must be backed up with medical documentation and testimony that shows why you suffered so greatly. For example, a psychologist could testify about the emotional pain and suffering from having a disfiguring scar or losing a limb. California does not have a cap on subjective damages so very large settlements and awards can be obtained for sympathetic victims with severe or catastrophic injuries.
This type of damage is intended to punish defendants for extremely egregious behavior. For a grocery store accident, this might be selling food that they knew was tainted or opening the store even though they knew that the ceiling was in poor repair and was likely to fall down. California has no cap on punitive damages.
In order to collect the largest possible amount of damages for a grocery store accident case, it’s important to hire an Orange County grocery store accident attorney that has an excellent track record. The Crockett Law Group has a top-notch team of lawyers that’s successfully collected large amounts of money for grocery store accident cases. Call (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation.
Premises Liability Claims Against Grocery Stores
A grocery store owner, like the owner of any other business, has an obligation to inspect for hazards and defects, and to repair or warn customers of potential dangers. These are some of the most common types of premises liability claims at grocery stores:
- Injuries from shopping carts;
- Slippery floors due to spillage of liquids or food;
- Wet floors due to mopping;
- Broken doors;
- Items falling from shelves or displays;
- Protruding objects and
- Hazardous escalators, elevators, or stairs.
The law mandates reasonable efforts towards safety, holding grocery owners liable when they fail to do so. For example, a grocery store is not expected to make sure that every single one of their grocery carts is accounted for at all times, but if they are helter-skelter throughout the store, causing people to walk into them and trip over them, the store is responsible for injuries that result as a consequence of their lack of reasonable care.
If you’ve been injured at a grocery store, but you’re not sure if you have a case, a quick call to an experienced Orange County grocery store accident attorney will put your mind at ease. Call The Crocket Law Group at (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation.
Supermarket Responsibility for Food Safety in California
The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the California Retail Food Code outline the food safety laws and regulations for retail food facilities in California. There are specific provisions about how foods should be stored, including specific required equipment and procedures in the event of a power outage.
One of the requirements specified in the Guidelines for Food Safety at Retail Establishments During Temporary Power Outages is that food must be kept out of the temperature danger zone of 41 – 135 degrees Fahrenheit. If you become ill from food you’ve purchased at a grocery store, it’s worth considering that it might have been caused by food handling practices that are negligent and/or violate the law.
If this happens, it’s important to keep the remaining food items in your freezer as evidence and to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If more than one person got sick from the suspect food, there’s an inference that it might have caused the sickness.
Food poisoning cases against grocery stores are a type of product liability case, and one of the challenges is proving when and where the food became contaminated – at the factory or farm, during transport, or while it was at the store. That said, the grocery store does have a non-delegatable duty to inspect food, when possible, and not to sell it if it appears contaminated. For example, there’s usually no way for a grocery store to know that food in a can is contaminated, but if frozen food arrives defrosted, it should be tossed rather than sold.
Contact an Orange County Grocery Store Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been seriously injured by the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of a grocery store owner, you should consider investigating whether you have a claim for money damages. The Crockett Law Group has successfully collected large amounts of money for people injured at grocery stores. Call (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation.