Can I recover costs for my medical bills due to me falling at grocery store?

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Can I recover costs for my medical bills due to me falling at grocery store?

I slipped on something and caused me to fall and injure my lip hip, pelvis and left thigh. I also cut my right foot and right knee. Currently on crutches unable to work and no medical coverage due to job elimination.

Asked on July 8, 2014 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The grocery store would only be liable (or legally responsible for your costs and/or injuries) if they were at fault--they are not liable simply because you fell on their property, any more than you would be liable for a friend's injury if the friend slipped and fell at your home without you doing anything wrong.

They would be at fault if:

1) They actually knew of something wet/slippery on the floor (such as because someone had told them), had enough time to clean it up, but still had failed to clean it; or

2) They *should* have reasonably known that something wet/slippery was on the floor, such as because enough time had passed that they (some employee of theirs, that is), should have spotted it, and again, had a chance to clean it, but failed to do so; or

3) Some employee of theirs caused the wet/slippery spot.

If they were not at fault--for example, if a customer spilled something only a few moments ago, and they did know of the spill or have any chance to clean it up--they would not be liable; without fault, there is no liability in a case like this.

Even if they are liable, if they will not voluntarily compensate you, you would have to sue them for the money; to win, you'd have to be able to prove in court that they were at fault.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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