Injury Lawyer for Slip and Fall Accidents at BJ’s
Given the size of a BJ’s Wholesale Club, the vast amount of inventory, and the constant movement of customers in and out of the store, it is no surprise that you face the risk of an injury from a slip and fall accident. Store owners and their staff are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for everyone that enters the store. When they fail to do so, and someone gets hurt, the store is liable for the damages. If you slipped, fell, and suffered an injury at BJ’s, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
What Are the Risks for a Slip and Fall Accident at BJ’s?
BJ’s sells everything from groceries to furniture and electronics. With such a diverse inventory in a large warehouse setting with concrete floors and high shelves, many circumstances could lead to a slip and fall accident. Some common examples include:
- Items placed high on the shelves in an unstable position may fall on the floor.
- Exposed wiring or electrical cords in the electronics displays may cause a person to trip.
- Wet floors from mopping or spills are dangerous when left without barriers or warning signs.
- Poor or damaged lighting in dark areas of the store makes it difficult for customers to see obstacles in their path.
- Uneven flooring is sometimes hard to recognize in a busy store.
- Loose railings may cause a person to lose balance and fall.
- Equipment in the frozen food section or the bathroom may leak onto the floor.
Sometimes a slip and fall accident happens under the most unpredictable circumstances. Some people, such as senior citizens and individuals with preexisting injuries, are more vulnerable to severe injury from a fall. For example, seniors often suffer broken hip bones. Anyone could end up with any of the following injuries:
- Head injuries: including a concussion, skull fracture, bleeding on the brain, or any other type of traumatic brain injury
- Back injuries: including damage to soft tissue or the spinal cord, fractured vertebrae, or disc compression
- Knee injuries: including sprains or torn ligaments
- Superficial injuries: including cuts or bruises
The costs for medical treatment for any of these injuries can be extensive. For example, a torn ligament usually requires surgery and physical therapy to recover, and back or head injuries can cause lifetime disabilities.
The losses you incur from a slip and fall accident can add up quickly. If you can prove that your injuries were the result of an accident caused by the store’s negligence, you could recover compensation for the following:
- Cost of past and future medical treatments, which would include any ongoing therapies for temporary or permanent disability
- Cost of past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering, which includes mental and emotional struggles, loss of enjoyment in life, and disfigurement
A slip and fall attorney can help you better understand the value of your claim so that you receive adequate compensation.
Who Faces Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident at BJ’s?
The only way to receive compensation in a slip and case is to prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries. In New York, two applicable legal concepts govern this type of lawsuit: premises liability and comparative negligence rule.
As previously stated, the property owner at a BJ’s must maintain safe conditions on the property for all visitors. That duty of care is the concept of premises liability. For example, New York faces heavy snowfall in the winter, and the owner at BJ’s is responsible for the conditions outside of the store as well. The law requires them to clear the parking lot and walkways within a reasonable timeframe, which usually amounts to a few hours after the snowfall ends, to make it safe for customers to enter the store. If you slip and get hurt on compacted snow in an unplowed parking lot days after the storm passed, the property owner is likely responsible.
The Rule of Comparative Negligence
In some cases, the plaintiff and defendant share fault for the accident and resulting injuries. When this happens, the comparative negligence rule is used to determine how much of the claim’s monetary value you can receive from the defendant’s insurer. Comparative negligence rules that the percentage of responsibility you have for the accident will be deducted from the awarded amount of your claim. For example, if your case goes to trial and the court awards you $40,000 and deems you 50% at fault for your injuries, your total compensation amounts to $20,000. In New York, you can receive some compensation even if your percentage of fault is greater than the defendant’s percentage.
How Can Your Actions After the Accident After Your Case?
There are a few steps you can take after a slip and fall accident that will help protect your health and preserve evidence you can use to combat arguments against your claim:
- Call out for help before you move. If you come to the store with someone, that person can help you, but if you are alone, call out to someone in the store.
- Check yourself for injuries. Move slowly to assess any possible pain coming from your head or back. Moving too quickly could cause further damage if your injuries are severe.
- Call 911 if necessary. Your health takes top priority, and if you feel you need emergency medical assistance, use your phone to call or ask someone to call for you.
- Speak to the manager or supervisor right away. Ask someone to get the person in charge at the store. Explain how the accident happened and ask for a copy of the accident report.
- Document everything around you. If you are well enough to remain on the scene, do not leave until you take photographs of the hazard that caused your accident and any visible injuries on your body. Talk to witnesses and ask for their contact information. Ask the manager for the property owner’s name, email, and phone number. Take a quick video of the area around you to have a thorough record of the circumstances surrounding the accident.
- See a doctor later if you did not need emergency care. Some people will avoid the doctor at all costs. However, you may have internal injuries with latent symptoms that could cause irreparable damage if you wait too long to seek treatment.
- Contact a slip and fall accident lawyer. Immediately following the fall, your memory is more reliable. Speak to a lawyer about what happened and ask about your options.
Sometimes corroborating your story is as simple as getting security footage from the store, and other times you need the help of an experienced attorney to gather enough evidence to prove negligence.
Why Should You Schedule a Consultation With a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer?
Even in a straightforward case, insurance adjusters will likely do their best at undervaluing your claim to save money for the insurance company. The slip and fall accident attorneys at Hill & Moin deal with insurers regularly and know all of their tactics. If you face the physical and financial burdens that follow a slip and fall injury caused by another party’s negligence, you deserve legal representation that will fight to get you a fair and fast settlement. Contact Hill & Moin today to schedule a free consultation and get started on a solution.