You go to the same store once a week to stock up on groceries and supplies. You’ve done this for the last six years, ever since you moved into your new home. The store is close to your house, it has a great selection and you like the prices.
For years, that visit is completely uneventful. Then, as you turn a corner onto a new aisle, eyes scanning the shelves for the next item on your list, you slip and fall.
Perhaps a pipe leaked and the floor got wet. Maybe an employee spilled something and never cleaned it up. Perhaps they waxed the floor too much on that one aisle, leaving it far too slick.
There are a thousand potential reasons, but the end result is that a hazard you never saw and never could have expected sends you sprawling to the floor. It’s nothing minor, either. You wind up in the hospital with a fractured hip, missing work as your medical bills rack up.
You are not alone
The first thing you should know is that you are not alone. You are far from the only person to get hurt this way. Thousands of lawsuits start every single year after injuries in stores, and most of them revolve around slip-and-fall cases. People often feel foolish or assume they have no legal options, but this is a common problem and you absolutely do have options.
It does not matter if you purchased anything
People sometimes make the mistake of assuming they have to make a purchase to actually have a viable lawsuit, establishing their relationship with the store through that purchase. They believe the store only has a responsibility to protect customers from injury and that someone who does not buy something at that time is not a customer.
This is not true. You do not have to buy anything. The store needs to provide you with a safe environment simply because you entered. The liability is not tied to any purchase. If negligence led to your injury, that’s still negligence, even if you do not make it to the check-out lane.
You do not need severe injuries
Many people also think that you need severe injuries to start a lawsuit. You do not. A broken hip is severe, as noted in the example above, but imagine that you just strained your back. You don’t need surgery, but it still leads to pain, you need medication, you may have to go to a doctor and it can inhibit your life.
If you got hurt at all, you may be able to seek compensation. Make sure you know what legal options you have.