Tips for Kroger Slip and Fall Claims
Kroger Slip and Fall Lawyers
Kroger is the largest revenue-generating retailer in the United States as of 2016 with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio where it was formed in 1883. Kroger operates over 3500 supermarkets, stores and convenience stores across the United States. Naturally, a retailer of this size is going to have slip and fall type accident arise from time-to-time. It should come as no surprise then, that they have set policies and procedures in place for documenting, dealing with, and defending slip and fall accidents that occur upon their premises. Here are some tips on things you should do and things to expect if you have suffered an injury due to a Kroger slip and fall accident.
Report the Incident
First and foremost, if you experience a slip and fall accident at Kroger, report the incident to a store manager. This should trigger them to investigate the cause and take down a report of what happened. If there are employees in the area that may have been a part of the creating of the slippery condition that caused your fall, it is wise to get their names documented.
Do Not Make Conclusory Damaging Remarks in Haste
Keep your description simple. Stick to the facts. For example: “I was walking and felt my feet slip out from under me” is an ok description. Don’t make conclusory statements or guess at what happened by saying thing such as: “I must not have been looking where I was going” or “I guess I wasn’t paying attention.” Many people do not realize it but simply falling on someone’s property due to water on the floor does not make them liable for your injuries. To prove a premise liability case, you must show that they were aware of the dangerous condition before you fell and did not act reasonably to clean it up or warn you. You must also prove that you were exercising reasonable care and that you were not aware of the dangerous condition. Your statements to any manager, employee or adjuster action on behalf of Kroger can be used against you.
Do Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Many people make the mistake of letting their embarrassment from having fallen or their adrenaline rush from the scare drive them to not report the fall and not to ask for help when they are hurting. This is a big mistake. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries. Some of the most common injuries caused by slip and falls include:
- torn ligaments in the knee
- broken ankles
- broken wrists, and;
Do not assume that pain you feel now will just go away. When the excitement wears off, you may feel much worse than you suspect at the time. If you hurt, get medical help.
Do Photograph the Cause
Do not assume that evidence in your favor will be preserved. If you have a cell phone with you and a re physically able to do it, snap photos of the condition that caused the fall and, if possible, its source. You cannot expect any store to preserve evidence that would make them responsible for someone’s injuries. I
Preserve the Video
Like many stores, Kroger stores are equipped with a multitude of video cameras. Do not assume they will save this evidence for you. Many supermarkets have set policies to “recycle” video tapes after a certain number of days. Kroger Co. has actually been sanctioned in at least one case for not preserving the video footage of a fall despite having a camera pointed at the area of the fall. (See Kroger, Co. v. Walters, 735 S.E.2d 99 (Ga. App. 2012).
In Texas, a grocery store like Kroger has no duty to preserve the evidence until the injured party sends them a notice letter instructing them to not spoliate the evidence. Furthermore, you need to specify that you want the video for the entire 24 hours preceding the fall if you want to have a chance of seeing the originating cause of the condition. It is a mistake to simply request the video of the fall itself because this will not show the cause nor how long the condition was present. Failure to draft and send the right non-spoliation of evidence letter timely could result in the lost of critical evidence in your case.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
After a Kroger slip and fall, it is not uncommon for you to receive a phone call from a third-party administrator wanting to discuss your incident. Sedgwick Claims CMS commonly handles the accident claims for Kroger. They do not work for Kroger per se. Rather, they are a company that helps Kroger resolve and defend against liability claims. They work on behalf of Kroger. It is in their financial interest to give Kroger a reason to deny your claim since saving Kroger money is their job.
Sedgwick Claims CMS will often ask you to give a recorded statement. Do not do it without an attorney present. They are trained professionals whose job is to get you to say something that can be used to deny your claim. If you do a simple search on the Rip-off Report or Complaint Board websites, you will see a litany of complaints about how they denied injury claim after injury claim. These claims run from premise liability to worker’s compensation claims.
There is much more that goes into obtaining justice for your Kroger slip and fall accident than simply calling Kroger and reporting a fall. Be aware of the tricks, traps and hurdles you must overcome. You are at a disadvantage from the start because they hold all of the evidence and have the power to preserve what they see beneficial. Before you call Sedgwick back, do your research and consult a slip and fall attorney so that hopefully you do not become the next denial.
Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. has been helping victims of slip and falls recover since 1979. Our initial consultation is free, and; we do not charge any fee unless we make a recovery. Call today at: 1-800-298-0111.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.