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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.


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