What You Need to Know if You Are a Senior and Fall in a Supermarket

San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency issued a report in September 2012 examining trends in senior fall accidents. The report noted that Emergency Department discharge records for 2010 show that 4,797 of all the reported injuries to people ages 55–65 were the result of a fall. There were 7,128 injuries because of all other accidents including motor vehicle accidents, overexertion, and drowning. Among those aged 65–74, there were 3,633 injuries from falling compared to only 3,452 from all other types of accidents. There were more than twice as many fall injuries than all others in those between ages 75–84, and four times as many in those over 85.

Why a fall in a supermarket may be different than a fall in other places

The chances of being injured because of a fall seem to increase as we age and we are less agile, lose our balance more easily and are more prone to be seriously injured if we do fall. In many situations where a senior is badly hurt from falling, the accident happens in his/her own home. A senior can also be injured from a fall which happens outside the home, including in a supermarket. There is a heightened risk to a senior of falling in a supermarket, which is often big, crowded and prone to liquid, produce, flyers or other items around that can cause someone to slip and fall.  If you have a fall in a large supermarket, you can be overwhelmed and focused on getting medical attention, but you should keep the following in mind:

  • Know where you are ―Many supermarkets are very large and contain many aisles that look alike. In a slip and fall accident case, it is important to take note of exactly where you were in the supermarket. If you have a camera or phone with a camera, take pictures. Try to get the names and contact info of any witnesses, especially other customers.
  • Know what caused you to fall ―Whether it is water leaking from the freezer section, a fallen cardboard advertisement display or spilled food, it is important to be able to describe the substance in as much detail as possible.  In a slip and fall case, your description may be necessary to show how long the substance was there without being cleaned by the supermarket employees.
  • Make a report ―Always report the accident to a supermarket manager. This is especially important if you were not directly taken from the supermarket by ambulance.  You want to be sure your accident is documented even if you got the names of supermarket employees who assisted you. Many supermarket employees are part time or seasonal and you cannot rely that they will be located or recall your accident.

A slip and fall in a supermarket in San Diego, San Jose, Santa Clara County, and San Francisco or anywhere within the State of California can be a terrifying experience, particularly for a senior. If you were injured in a supermarket fall accident, allow a California personal injury attorney to answer your questions about the legal standards and procedures so that you have the peace of mind to focus on your recovery.

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