Costco is a warehouse club that sells bulk food and other consumer products. While shoppers enjoy the specialty items and discounts, they may be unaware of the potential dangers in the shopping environment. With its cement floors, overstocked shelves, and food sample booths, Costco stores have a high potential for slip, trip, and fall accidents. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip and falls account for more than 1 million emergency room visits per year.
If you or a loved one was injured after tripping, slipping, or falling at a Costco in Marietta, GA, contact a slip and fall lawyer right away. Call The Champion Firm at (404) 596-8044 for a free consultation.
Why The Champion Firm Is Right for You
Selecting the right lawyer can make the difference in getting the compensation you deserve after an accident. The Costco slip and fall attorneys at The Champion Firm understand the stress you’re facing and how best to support you after a slip and fall accident. Working with us can make the difference in getting 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.
What Causes Slip & Falls at Costco?
Costco is a busy warehouse store with concrete floors, high shelves, and a large inventory. There are many different ways that shoppers can be injured. Some of the situations that commonly lead to a slip and fall accident include:
- Products that are unpacked and sitting in aisles
- Pallets of merchandise at the ends of aisles
- Wet floors in high-traffic areas, especially during rainy weather
- Spills in the aisles
- Failure to use Wet Floor signs
- Electrical cords running across the aisles or walkways
- Rugs that are not flat on the floor
- Uneven walking surfaces
Common Injuries in Costco Accidents
If you slip, trip, or fall on a concrete floor, your body will hit the ground or nearby objects with force. This can lead to a host of different injuries. Approximately 5% of slip and fall injuries cause broken or fractured bones. Other common slip, trip, and fall injuries include:
- Cuts and abrasions
- Neck and head injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Sprained wrists and ankles
- Knee injuries
- Hip fractures
- Soft tissue damage
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
In the most serious slip and fall accidents, fatalities may occur. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls are the second leading cause of injury deaths for people 65 to 84 years old, and the first leading cause of injury death for those 85 and older.
Laws That Apply to Slip & Falls at Costco
When a person is injured on someone else’s property, that injury falls under Premises Liability law. In Georgia, property owners have a duty of care to their guests and customers to keep common areas reasonably safe. As such, Costco employees should be inspecting the store regularly to ensure that the business is safe for shoppers and free from any dangerous conditions or hazards.
If Costco employees act (ex: spill product in an aisle) or fail to act (ex: don’t clean up a spill) in a way that leads to your slip and fall injuries, the company is liable under Georgia’s Premises Liability laws.
Costco Must Uphold Their Duty of Care
Costco has a duty to all visitors and shoppers who are at the store. They are also responsible for the safety of shoppers in the parking lot.
Costco’s legal duty is to maintain a reasonably safe environment for its customers and visitors. If the company fails to do that and you’re injured in an accident on the property, it is liable.
Negligence in Costco Slip and Fall Claims
For your slip and fall case to be successful in Georgia, you must prove that Costco had a duty of care to its shoppers, but was negligent in that duty. Because of Costco’s negligence in keeping the store safe, your slip, trip, or fall occurred.
In other words, you must prove that:
- The store owed you a legal duty
- They were negligent in that duty
- Their negligence caused your accident
- The accident led to your injuries and other damages
It can be a challenge to prove that Costco owed a legal duty. Costco’s legal team will try to reduce or eliminate their liability in your accident. They may also try to claim that the slip and fall was your fault.
To prove liability, your slip and fall attorney will collect evidence such as photographs, videos, and eyewitness statements to support your claims. They will also need to prove that Costco knew or should have known about the unsafe shopping environment. Their employees’ actions or inactions led to your injuries. Your slip and fall attorney may ask for damages including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What to Do After a Fall at Costco
If you’ve been injured after a slip and fall at Costco, you should act quickly to ensure your legal rights are protected and that you’ll receive the full compensation you deserve. Here are some steps to take:
- If your injuries are serious, call 9-1-1 and request an ambulance for emergency medical treatment
- Take pictures and video of the scene of the accident
- Take photos and video of any injuries
- Get the contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Collect all medical records and bills
- Record any lost time from work or missed wages
- Document how the injury has impacted your life and the lives of your family members
Costco Stores Near Marietta, GA
If your slip and fall accident occurred at any Marietta or local Costco Wholesale store, please contact us.
Costco Will Try to Protect Themselves
If you’re injured in a slip and fall accident at Costco, the company’s legal team will try to reduce or even eliminate its responsibility. They may argue that you are to blame for your own accident. If Costco employees ask you to fill out an Accident Report, be sure to speak with a slip and fall accident attorney before you sign anything. The Accident Report may contain a liability waiver, which is something you DO NOT want to sign. Or, Costco may ask you to give a statement, during which they’ll try to twist your words and get you to take the blame for the accident. Instead, let your attorney communicate with Costco and its legal team. The attorney will make sure your legal rights are protected and that you’re not taken advantage of.
Why You Should Consult a Lawyer
A Marietta slip and fall attorney can help your case by:
- Determining how much your case is worth
- Communicating with Costco’s legal department
- Helping you obtain the necessary medical treatment
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit
- Taking your case to court if Costco refuses a fair settlement
Slip & Fall Compensation from Costco
A slip and fall accident at Costco is a type of personal injury claim. With these claims, you can recover financial compensation for your accident.
Possible Damages in a Costco Slip & Fall
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at Costco, you can recover for many damages, including your:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Loss of earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Sample Costco Cases
Every year, there are many slip and fall cases involving Costco. Here are some real-life cases that help illustrate the nature of slip and fall personal injury claims:
- 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 she suffered 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 backward, 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. The man fell on the paint, causing him to fracture his orbital bone.
Negotiating a Settlement vs. Suing Costco
Although you may want to get your case over with as soon as possible, it is not always the best option. Initial settlement offers are typically a lot lower than what you would need to cover your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. If Costco refuses to negotiate or make a fair settlement offer, your attorney may need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Once your attorney files the lawsuit, they will obtain evidence and additional supporting information during what’s called the Discovery Process. This evidence will help prove that Costco and its employees were negligent and should be held liable. After the Discovery Process is completed, the attorney will begin preparing for trial. Costco may still try to make a settlement offer at this time. Many personal injury cases do settle before they make it to court.
Proving Costco Was Negligent Is Key
The key to a successful slip and fall claim is proving that the other party was negligent. In other words, your slip and fall attorney will show that the company had a duty to protect its customers but failed in that duty. Your attorney will point to actions that any reasonable, responsible party should have taken, such as mopping up a spilled product, keeping the store entrance clear, or carefully stacking the overhead shelves. Your slip and fall attorney may also need to obtain records from Costco, which can be a challenge.That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney who is knowledgable and
Costco Slip & Fall FAQs
What If I Fall in the Costco Parking Lot?
Costco is responsible for keeping the entire property safe, which includes the parking lot. If Costco fails to keep the parking lot safe, and you’re injured in that area, the company could be held responsible.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Case Against Costco?
Slip and fall claims can take anywhere between a few months to several years to settle. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident and whether you have to take the case to court. The Champion Firm has the time and resources needed for these types of cases, and we are prepared to be your support team and best advocates.
What If an Employee Said I’m At Fault?
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at Costco, the company will try to reduce or eliminate its liability in the accident. A Costco employee may even argue that the accident was your fault. This is where an experienced slip and fall attorney can help. The attorney can communicate with Costco on your behalf, advocate for your legal rights and compensation, and gather any evidence to support your case.
Contact The Champion Firm
If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident at Costco, it’s important to have an experienced attorney working on your case. If you would like to discuss your legal options, reach out to the slip and fall attorneys at The Champion Firm at (404) 596-8044. We offer free initial consultations.