One of the most common types of slip and fall accidents is at the supermarket. In most cases, these type of accidents occur when you are shopping alone.
YOUR TESTIMONY WILL BE VITAL
There are often no witnesses to the accident, which makes your description of events crucial. Usually, these cases are litigated. You will likely testify at a deposition (which is known as an Examination Before Trial in New York) where you will be provided an opportunity to state how the accident occurred. How you testify about how the event happened will be crucial.
I will personally prepare you for your deposition. Due to COVID, most depositions are now conducted remotely, via Zoom or Microsoft teams.
There are two basic areas where the defendant (the Supermarket) will attempt to discredit your case.
YOUR ACCIDENT REPORT
Reports, both the accident report and your medical reports, are the primary way the defense will attempt to poke holes in your case. At the onset, you must be cognizant of whatever you write in the accident report in the store and tell your doctors can and will be used against you if you are inconsistent. Usually, right after the accident the store manager or an employee will ask you to fill out an accident form. You may have stated incomplete or inaccurate information at the time. At your deposition, you will be questioned and you must explain conflicting versions. Possible explanations include:
- You were not thinking clearly because of the pain and you were in shock.
- You were under medication at the time you drafted the statement which hindered your ability to think clearly.
- You were under the understanding that the form was preliminary and you did not make a complete statement.
- The manager filled out the form and you never had the opportunity to read it.
- You raced through writing the report because you were in pain and needed immediate medical attention
- The form was too short and you were unable to write a complete statement.
THE TESTIMONY OF THE STORE EMPLOYEE WILL BE IMPORTANT
After your deposition, we will then have the opportunity to question a store employee. We will work to establish whether the store had notice of the condition that caused you to fall. We will question them about prior notice of the condition, if there were any accidents that occurred at the same location before your accident and if they had any prior safety concerns.
The testimony of a low-level employee is usually more credible than store managers. They are usually more truthful about how often people fall in the store, the frequency of spills, how often they sweep the floors, and many other topics.
The issue of whether the store followed proper policies and procedures will take on special importance. Immediately following the accident, the manager will say to you that you shouldn't worry and they will take care of everything. This is usually a lie and we will work to uncover the truth. The forms that you may have filled out will likely be incomplete.
If you were injured in a market, contact the Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson and we will set up an immediate virtual consultation.