How to handle a medical injury suffered at a store?

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How to handle a medical injury suffered at a store?

I slipped and fell on water on the floor at a food store. There was not a wet floor sign out and the associates didnt seem to care that I fell. They did not have me fill out an incident report at the time. I needed to go to the

emergency room. At the emergency room the determined nothing was broken but I most likely tore the ligament in my knee. I have been referred to an orthopedic surgeon. How should I handle this incident with the store. My health insurance is not going to pay a bill that is their fault?

Asked on June 25, 2019 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It may or may not be their fault: it depends on the exact circumstances. A store is liable for an injury from a wet floor if--
1) Their employee was the one who left the spill/wet area and did not clean it up (e.g. a careless mopping job; the employee spilling a beverage); or 
2) Someone reported the wet area to the store and they did not reasonably promptly (within a few minutes) take steps to mop it up or block it off; or
3) The water was sitting there for long enough (typically around 30 minutes) that someone from the store should reasonably have noticed it and taken action; or 
4) The water was from some known leak (e.g a leaky roof or window or pipe) but they did not take action to protect customers.
That is, there needs to be some element of store fault. On the other hand, say that a customer spilled soda or water or etc. a few minutes ago and didn't tell anyone; in that case, it is not reasonable to hold the store accountable for another person's actions when there was no reason they should have known abou it that quickly or taken action.


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