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?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

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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