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I slipped and fell in the supermarket. Can I make a claim for medical expenses?

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Michael Ehline
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Michael Ehline has clung strongly to his Scandinavian-American values bequeathed to him by his parents. He’s honest, he works hard to the end and believes strongly in self-dependence. He’s been a part of US Military – a United States Marine. Full Bio


I slipped and fell in the supermarket. Can I make a claim for medical expenses?


It’s not something we always think about, but there is a legitimate danger at supermarkets of slipping on fallen food like smashed grapes, tangerines, and pieces of lettuce, celery and other types of foreign foods like kiwis and passion fruit. These are typically the smaller, thin-skinned foods that explode upon hitting the ground, or after being stepped on. Sometimes there is nothing a shopper can do to get compensation. Other times, the grocer or one of its agents is legally and thus financially responsible to help make you whole or “indemnified”.

When going to the supermarket to get food for your family, the last thing you want to worry about is getting injured. While not common, slip and trip injuries in groceries happen every day in this country. Depending on the objects around and the slipperiness of the floor, such accidents can cause soft tissue damage, broken bones and long-term medical issues. Being able to find and pay for proper medical care in the aftermath of such an accident is paramount.

Such a setting is not usually considered a risk to travel to. However, there have been quite a few accidents involving liquids or objects creating slip and trip hazards at grocery stores. Due to issues with the products themselves and their manufacture and packaging or placement errors caused by the store’s staff, these could be an issue for anyone traveling the aisles.

This can especially be the case for fruit—grapes and kiwifruits are a good example of foods that fall and smash out slippery fluids and jelly-like substances. In addition, once the item creates the hazard, it is the responsibility of the grocery to make sure that it is cleaned up and to make the area walkable again.

This means that the landowner or manager has a duty to make reasonable inspections, since they know there is a high probability that someone will slip in the fruit and vegetable sections, as well as the milk and juices sections.

If you have been injured by such a slip, trip or fall, it is important to find the right legal and medical options immediately. Banana peels and slipping characters are depicted in cartoons for a reason. But grapes and even passion fruits ripen fast and smash easily. If you fall in these foods, there is a chance you will be out of commission for a while.

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