Because Stop and Shop is a supermarket chain, the kinds of accidents that would occur in such an environment are similar to those that would also occur at Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and other big retail companies.
Here are a few examples:
Slip and Fall Accidents
These accidents usually happen mostly due to negligence. However, the nature of the slip and fall accident often decides whether the store can be held liable. Before we discuss liability issues, these slip and fall statistics will give you a better understanding of the severity of these accidents.
- At least 57% of all claims in the food industry involve slip and fall incidents.
- Personal injury lawsuits have risen by 300% in the food service industry since 1980.
- Grocery stores all over the United States spend a combined total of around $450 million annually defending slip and fall claims.
- Nearly 60% of general liability claims involving grocery stores are slip and falls.
- At least 22% of workers who suffer slip and fall injuries require at least 30 days away from work to recover from their injuries.
- Slip and falls are the leading cause of employee injuries in the food service industry.
Different factors could cause slip and falls in supermarkets like Stop and Shop. For example, say a customer accidentally spills cooking oil on the floor. Such an accident immediately creates a slip and fall hazard. If you or your loved one accidentally steps on the spilled oil, you will likely slip and fall, suffering serious injuries.
However, it is important to note that when it comes to slip and fall incidents at grocery stores, the injury victim must prove certain elements in order to pursue compensation. For example, their actions before the accident could help determine whether Stop and Shop or any other store where the accident occurred contributed to the injury.
For example, it is common knowledge that skateboarding inside a grocery store is not a great idea. So assuming that there was cooking oil on the floor you slipped and fell on, you may not be able to claim compensation because skateboarding in such an environment is typically not allowed.
The supermarket does not have to explicitly warn its customers about the dangers of skateboarding in the store; they will likely treat this as common knowledge.
That said, you might have a valid claim if you notified a store attendant about the dangerous condition, in this case, the spilled oil, but failed to remove it. Failure to respond to a dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time is considered negligence.
When someone notifies the management about the condition, it would be unrealistic to have it cleared within seconds. However, if it stays on for hours, you might be able to hold them liable for negligence if you get injured by the dangerous condition at the store.
Tripping injuries are also quite common in these environments. This is because, in most cases, the store does not need to warn customers about tripping hazards. Rather, they expect customers to be able to know about these hazards and exercise reasonable care to avoid them.
For example, let's say an employee is restocking the shelves. In that case, it may be impossible to keep the area around them free from empty carton boxes. Instead, they expect shoppers to notice these boxes and avoid them. So if you trip and fall over empty boxes and decide to file a lawsuit, the judge or jury will rule in favor of the defendant.
Now let's look at a situation where the plaintiff (you) might have a valid reason to file a claim or lawsuit.
Suppose you trip and fall over loose wires at the supermarket. You might have a valid trip and fall accident if the store owners, employees, or manager knew or should have known about the wires but did not do anything about it.
Bear in mind that they do not have to be notified by customers about the dangerous condition. On the contrary, the condition should be noticeable to any individual working at the store. This includes but is not limited to store attendants, cleaners, and other on-site workers.
However, you must have been injured due to the trip and fall incident to receive compensation. In other words, you cannot file a claim just because you tripped and fell. Instead, the reason for filing a claim should be based on your injuries.
When you file such a claim or lawsuit, you might be able to recover damages. We will discuss some of the most common damages for these kinds of injuries shortly.
These injuries mostly affect employees. They are more common in departments that use heavy machinery, such as forklifts. If you work at Stop and Shop and have been injured by equipment, you may be able to file a worker's compensation claim with the employer.
Here is how a worker's compensation claim works:
When you file a worker's compensation claim, your employer's insurance provider might compensate you for damages such as medical bills and lost wages. In return, you agree to waive your right to file a lawsuit against your employer.
That is usually the whole point of filing a worker's compensation claim; your employer, through their insurance company, agrees to compensate you for your injuries. On the other hand, you agree not to pursue legal action against your employer even if they are responsible for your injuries.
But filing a worker's compensation claim against Stop and Shop does not mean you cannot file a lawsuit against another party.
Using the equipment-related injury as an example, let's say you got injured by faulty equipment, meaning the injury was not your fault. You did everything to protect yourself, including following best safety practices, but you still got injured because of the faulty equipment.
If so, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the equipment manufacturer. Bear in mind that, at the same time, you may still have an active worker's compensation claim against your employer.
Shopping Cart Injuries
If you have ever been hit by a shopping cart, you probably understand just how painful these injuries can be. While most supermarkets claim that they are not responsible for their shopping carts outside the store, they may be liable if you get injured inside the store. But, of course, this depends on the circumstances of your case and the jurisdiction.