Costco Slip and Fall Claims in Atlanta
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According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and fall injuries account for nearly one million of all annual emergency room visits, representing 12 percent of all fall-related injuries, which are actually the leading cause of emergency room visits overall. In an environment like Costco, with its cement flooring, heavily stocked aisles, and food samples at every turn, there is the potential for a trip or slip and fall accidents—even while taking a leisurely stroll from aisle to aisle.
Under Georgia’s laws of negligence, a store like Costco is required to keep its public areas safe and free from hazards—or it could face significant liability in the event a trip or slip and fall occurs. For advice and guidance on filing a personal injury claim against Costco, contact The Champion Firm, P.C., in Atlanta as soon as possible following your injury.
Why The Champion Firm is Right for You
When you suffer from a slip and fall at an Atlanta Costco, you need an experienced attorney who knows what it takes to get the compensation you need.
The Champion Firm Difference:
- $90,000,000+ in personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- We negotiate a fair settlement or are prepared to take your case to court.
- We’ll discuss your case and answer questions.
Premises Liability in Georgia
Premises liability is a legal term referring to the liability imposed upon shopkeepers and property owners in the event a guest suffers injuries. Under the language of the applicable statute, property owners and managers must keep the premises and its approaches reasonably safe and must exercise “ordinary care” in so doing.
Of course, the definitions of “reasonably safe” and “ordinary care” will depend upon the unique circumstances surrounding the incident in question. In general, this standard imposes a duty to keep the premises clear of known hazards or any hazards that could have been uncovered following a reasonable inspection. As a Costco customer, you are considered an invitee, which means that Costco owes you the highest duty of care to ensure you’re safe on their property.
How to Prove Negligence in Your Slip and Fall Claim
Since Costco has a duty to ensure their premises are clear of known hazards, they could be found negligent if you’re injured on their property. To prove negligence, you must establish the following elements:
- Costco owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- Their breach of duty directly caused your accident
- Your accident produced monetary and non-monetary damages
For example, suppose you slipped and fell on a wet floor and Costco failed to set up a wet floor sign. In that case, Costco could be negligent and responsible for your damages.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Unlike other grocery stores, such as Publix or Wal-Mart, Costco looks and feels more like a warehouse. Products could fall from high shelves and wet concrete floors could increase your risk for a slip and fall. Your accident could have been caused by the following:
- Cracked or uneven floors
- Electrical cords running across areas of high foot traffic
- Wet floors
- Spilled liquid products
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slipping and falling on Costco’s concrete floors could cause lasting injuries. You could have experienced the following:
- Hip fractures
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Joint injuries
- Knee injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Wrist and ankle sprains
A slip and fall accident might have caused the death of your loved one. The National Floor Safety Institute states that falling is the second leading cause of injury-related death for individuals between 65-84 years of age. If your loved one suffered fatal injuries, you could pursue a wrongful death claim.
What to Do After a Costco Slip and Fall
You must act fast after your slip and fall accident to ensure you have the best chance for physical and financial recovery. Follow these steps after your accident:
- Seek Medical Care – Do not take your injuries lightly. You might not feel the full extent of your injuries until several hours after your accident or even the next day. So, it’s important to seek a doctor’s evaluation even if your injuries appear to be minor.
- Gather Evidence at the Scene – If you’re able, take photos and videos of the accident scene. Taking pictures of a wet floor, spilled products, or other key details could strengthen your injury claim. You should also collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the fall in case their testimony is needed.
- Collect Your Medical Records – Store any documents you receive from the hospital in a safe place. You need to show the at fault party you were injured and that you have the medical bills to prove it.
- Record Any Lost Wages – Record any days you missed from work and lost wages.
- Document How Your Injuries Impacted Your Life – Consider purchasing a post-injury journal that details your recovery journey and how your injuries have changed your life.
Costco Stores in Atlanta
You might have been injured at one the following Costco locations in Atlanta:
- 2900 Cumberland Mall, Atlanta GA 30339
- 500 Brookhaven Ave, Atlanta, GA 30319
- 6350 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30328
Costco Slip and Fall Compensation
A slip and fall accident could produce significant damages that require financial compensation. You might be entitled to the following:
- Current and ongoing medical bills
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Lost income
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Diminished quality of life
Sample Costco Cases
When it comes to a large warehouse-type retailer like Costco, reasonable safety will—at a minimum—mandate that employees keep aisles clear of debris, promptly clean spills, and keep overhead inventory properly stored and secured. The following are several real-life cases involving Costco, which will help illustrate the nature of premises liability claims involving this type of retailer:
- In 2012, a California jury awarded a woman over $400,000 after she fell on a foreign substance in the public area of the food court, fracturing her patella and requiring surgery.
- In 2014, a New York court awarded a woman $9.9 million after suffering a permanent injury to her arm and spine. In this case, an employee attempted to load her cart onto a cart escalator, when the cart suddenly careened backwards, pinning the woman.
- In 2015, an Illinois man received $125,000 after suing Costco for negligently failing to warn customers that it had recently painted the curb with high-gloss paint, causing him to fall and fracture his orbital bone.
Commencing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Georgia
For the injured plaintiff, the journey to financial recovery begins by filing a personal injury lawsuit. After filing the initial pleadings, both parties will engage in depositions and the mutual exchange of documents relating to the case—a process known as the “discovery phase.”
From there, Costco may offer a sum of money in order to settle the case, which the plaintiff is free to accept or reject. Should the case proceed to a trial, the injured plaintiff would bear the burden of proving that the store failed to maintain reasonably safe conditions, which led to the plaintiff’s fall and subsequent physical injuries. The retailer may also offer several defenses to the personal injury claims, which a premises liability attorney at The Champion Firm, P.C,. can help combat and defeat.
Why You Should Consult a Lawyer
An Atlanta slip and fall lawyer can benefit you by:
- Determining the value of your case
- Negotiating with at fault parties
- Helping you find medical treatment
- Filing your injury claim
- Representing you in trial if a settlement can’t be reached
Costco Slip and Fall FAQs
What Happens if I Fall in the Parking Lot?
Costco has a duty to keep their entire premise free from known hazards, which includes the parking lot. If you slipped and fell while walking into Costco, you could still be entitled to compensation.
How Long Does a Slip and Fall Case Last?
It’s hard to say exactly how long a slip and fall case will take to settle. Your case could take anywhere from a few months to a few years to settle. It all depends on the severity of your accident and whether you have to take your case to court. Your Atlanta slip and fall lawyer will review the details of your case and explain how long it could last.
What if Costco Claims the Accident was My Fault?
Costco and their insurance company will do anything they can to avoid liability for your damages. They might argue that you caused the accident. An experienced slip and fall attorney will handle all communications with the at fault party and gather evidence to strengthen your case.
Contact The Champion Firm, P.C., Today
If you recently suffered injuries while shopping in a Costco store and would like to discuss your options in a personal injury lawsuit, please contact The Champion Firm, P.C., today at 404-596-8655.