Should I contact the store first and give them a chance to settle this or should I just go ahead and contact a personal injury lawyer?

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Should I contact the store first and give them a chance to settle this or should I just go ahead and contact a personal injury lawyer?

I fell at a local grocery store Piggly Wiggly and completely tore my Achilles tendon and had to have surgery to repair it. At the time of the accident I had the store manager fill out an accident report. I have spoken to the store manager after my surgery but I have not asked to fill out any type of claim through the store for reimbursement of my insurances and my own moneys paid out or any money lost do to other reasons.

Asked on November 30, 2016 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The key question is: why do you think the store is liable? The law does not make a store liable or responsible for all injuries to customers; rather, the store is only liable if they were at fault in some way. Typically, that would involve leaving a tripping or slipping hazard in place *after* having had a reasonable opportunity to correct it (e.g. if a customer spilled water and created a puddle, the store is not instantly liable; they are only liable if they don't mop it up in a reasonable time, which could be easily 10, 15, 20 or more minutes depending on the circumstances; or if there was a loose step, torn carpeting, or some other maintenance issue which you tripped on). If the store was not at fault in causing your fall, they are not liable for your injuries--liability depends on fault.
If they were at fault, if the injury was a torn Achilles and involved surgery, you should hire an attorney to seek compensation; the injury is more than serious enough to justify a lawyer's help and make it cost effective.


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