What can we do if my son fell and was injured at a store yesterday because the floor was soaked with n unknown substance in the restroom?

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What can we do if my son fell and was injured at a store yesterday because the floor was soaked with n unknown substance in the restroom?

He hit his head causing a gash on his elbow (back and bottom). The store was aware that the floor was wet as was confirmed when I addressed customer service. Nothing was done immediately before the incident or after. The person at customer service continued to help other customers. I filled out an incident report. My son was in tears. He is 5 and has type 1 diabetes. Can we sue for negligence, bodily injuries, pain and suffering?

Asked on August 11, 2014 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the store knew about the wet condition and had time or an opportunity to correct it (e.g. the spill did not occur right before the accident, before anyone could reasonably be expected to clean it up), then the store may be liable. But that does not mean it is necessarily worthwhile suing: you can only recover for out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs, your lost wages (if you missed work due to taking your son to the hospital or otherwise caring for him), and for "pain and suffering" if the injury causes significant impairment to life or disability or disfigurement which lasts at least for several weeks. If your son is, as we hope, fundamentally ok, with no long-lasting impairment and if you have small medical bills, it's most likely not worth suing--you could not recover enough to justify the cost of a lawsuit.


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