How to handle a medical injury suffered at a store?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years 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.

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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