Avoiding a Fall While Grocery Shopping
Roughly a third of the adults in the United States who are 65 years old and above will fall in a given year while outside of their homes. However, anyone could be at risk of slipping or falling while at the grocery store. There are some steps you can take to avoid slipping and falling when you are out shopping.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
Avoiding slippery shopping center floors can be as easy as paying attention to wet floor and similar warning signs. By law, grocery stores have a duty to protect you against dangerous conditions. One way that they do this is by placing warning signs wherever a hazard may exist. In some cases, a section of the store may be roped off or otherwise off-limits to shoppers while the floor is being waxed or a large spill is being cleaned.
Wear Shoes With Adequate Grip
While there is no law against wearing high heels or flip-flops while going out to buy popcorn or a can of soda, it can increase a person’s risk of falling. This is because these types of footwear can be flimsy or awkward to walk in. Although the store owner does have a responsibility to protect you, you also are expected to take reasonable actions to avoid having an accident.
Therefore, wearing sneakers with soles that grip and don’t have wheels could keep you safe and protect against the possibility of being deemed partially liable for a fall. Consulting with personal injury lawyers may make it easier to determine your liability in a case involving a fall at a grocery store.
Stay on Carpets or Mats
If possible, walk on carpets or mats as opposed to the floor itself. As a general rule, rugs do a better job of absorbing water or other liquids that could cause someone to fall. In addition, they do a better job of helping your shoes or feet grip the floor. However, if you do walk on a carpet, be sure that it isn’t bunched or has folded corners as that could cause a tripping hazard or otherwise lead to a slip-and-fall injury.
Keep an Eye on Your Surroundings
It is important that you are aware of what is going on around you while walking around a shopping center. For instance, you should watch out for candy or other small objects when walking in the bulk section. It also is not uncommon for grocers to water produce or have frozen coolers filled with ice, which could result in water dripping on the floor. You should also be on the lookout for children running around or elderly folks who could walk into you because of their poor eyesight.
Know How to Handle Hazards Related to Inclement Weather
If you know that it has been snowing outside, be prepared for the entrance of a store to be wet or slippery. This is because everyone who enters the store has brought snow or grime in with him or her. It also is a good idea to prepare for a slippery parking lot or sidewalk as the store owners may not be able to put salt down as soon as it starts snowing. To mitigate the dangers of slipping on wet floors due to bad weather, it can be a good idea to wear boots instead of sneakers.
Ride in a Cart
Most grocery stores will have motorized carts available that you can ride in if walking is not possible because of an injury or another condition that makes walking difficult. If you don’t feel like you can keep your balance on even somewhat moist floors, don’t hesitate to use the cart instead.
If you fall while out grocery shopping, contact the personal injury lawyers at RAM Law as soon as possible. You can reach our practice by calling our office in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600. Our office in Somerville can be reached by calling (908) 448-2560.