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Kentucky and Tennessee Retail Store Injury Attorney

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When you’re injured at someone else’s place of business, it can be a traumatic and difficult experience. Employees and managers are trying to get you out of the store quickly, and you’re trying to figure out what happened and how to handle everything around you. By the time you realize you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, the business has already made their own report on how the incident occurred and their insurance and legal team is already on the case, putting you at a disadvantage. That’s where our trained attorneys are ready to step in and put control back on your side.

If you’ve been injured in a retail store, call us at 800-800-4600

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    FREE CASE EVALUATION

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What to do if you are injured in a store

Every day, most people will find themselves visiting one or more stores. If you aren’t the owner of that store, you have to trust that the store is safe, that there are no hazards, and that the store is following all applicable safety laws and codes.

If you had a slip and fall injury or some other accident occurred where you were injured at a retail store, you may have a personal injury claim. Serious injuries occur at retail stores and in store parking lots every day, and there’s a specific process you need to follow to make sure the proper people are held liable for your injuries and medical bills.

The first thing to realize is your clock starts ticking to file a claim the moment the incident happens. You could potentially have as little as one year to file a lawsuit before your claim could be barred from recovery. This is why contacting an attorney can be very important in the early stages of your claim.

Complete a store incident report

Before you leave the store’s premises, if you are able to, make sure you speak to a store manager or store owner to ensure an incident report is made to document what happened and how you were injured. In situations where you’re injured on a private property, there often aren’t police reports, so it is necessary to make sure the store creates an incident report. The incident report will be very important for the insurance claim.

Take photographs if you can to document what caused you to fall. The store may not give you the store’s insurance information, but know that they will be contacted the moment you leave the premises to see what they can do to minimize their liability.

Seek medical treatment

In all injury claims, the time between an injured person sustaining the injuries and the first time you seek medical attention is important. Make sure that you tell the doctor that your injuries sustained were caused by a fall accident on a store property. If the medical report shows your fall injuries were linked to a specific incident, it is easier to have the medical costs made part of the legal claim.

Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible

As soon as you leave the store, the store manager will contact the owner and the insurance company so their legal team will be on the case from day one. They are working to collect video and photograph evidence, obtain witness and employee statements, and will do everything they can to make it look like the incident was your fault. To help not only preserve the evidence of your fall or incident, but to also take control of the narrative in your case, contact an attorney as soon as possible to let them know your side of the story and what injuries you incurred.

Hughes and Coleman is ready to receive your call at 800-800-4600.

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Is a store liable for a customer injury?

It can be difficult to prove a store’s liability, but we can through proving the property owner or store employees were negligent. The insurance company for the store will do everything they can to say the accident and your injuries were your own fault. That’s where having an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial.

How to prove retail store negligence

To win a case against a retail store, we must prove the store’s negligence. This is done by proving the following:

Duty of care:  You must be able to prove that the owner of the store had a duty to make sure that you were safe on their property. In the case of a retail or department store, the property and store owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care and maintenance to ensure a safe premise. Examples of these duties include keeping floors dry, warning customers of potentially dangerous conditions, and preventing falling items from shelves.

As a customer to a store, the law would classify you as an Invitee. An invitee has been invited into the property for business purposes, so the property and store owners have a higher duty of care to make sure their premises is safe.

Breach:  You must be able to show that the property owner did not abide by that duty or legal obligation and failed to provide a safe premises. You must prove that the owner knew or should have known that unsafe conditions existed in their property. Store employees are hired to help the store owners ensure their property is safe and clean for customers, so if the employees fail to do that job, their negligence may be shifted to the owner.

If you were injured due to a hazard such as a spilled milk carton, malfunctioning shopping carts, or a bunched-up floor mat, the store failing to correct that hazard in a reasonable amount of time is a breach of their duty to keep the premises safe. Today, most retail stores have cameras throughout the store for store security. Hiring an attorney quickly after sustaining injuries helps ensure these video recordings are preserved to help prove their breach.

Causation:  In addition to proving a duty to exercise reasonable care and a breach of that duty, you will have to prove that your serious injury was caused by the premises’ owner’s negligent acts. The defendant’s negligence must be the substantial factor in causing your injuries. This is where it is very important to have documented evidence, photographs, and medical records.

Things like poor lighting in the stores and parking lots, water or other spilled liquids in the store aisles, a lack of wet floor and warning signs, can all lead to injury, and it’s important to gather evidence as soon as possible before the store corrects the issue that caused your injuries.

Damages:  In order to recover damages, you must prove that you actually suffered damages and that the injury occurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Damages aren’t just medical expenses, but also include lost wages, severe pain and suffering, and further harm the incident caused to you and your family.

The store’s insurance company may reach out early on in an attempt to settle your personal injury claim by just offering the emergency room or medical bills in hopes of getting out of the claim cheaply. Insurance companies hope that you don’t realize how large your compensation claim could be.

This is why Hughes & Coleman offers a free consultation to help you evaluate your legal remedies and see how much financial compensation you are really entitled to.

What if you have a slip and fall outside of the store?

Retail accidents often can happen outside of the store in their parking lots. Property owners still have a duty to ensure their entire property is safe for customers. A dangerous condition could be a pot hole, uncovered drain, and poor lighting that could cause you to not see a curb or other hazard. A claim for store liability can still be made, and slip and fall accidents that occur outside the store can still lead to a personal injury case.

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Am I partially at fault?

Contributory negligence or comparative fault negligence can be a defense used by insurance companies if you were partially at fault. This can bar or limit an injured person from recovering damages if they contributed to their own injury through their own negligence. The law is different depending on the state where the injury occurred.

In Kentucky, you can recover a percentage of damages equal to the defendant’s negligence. For example, even if you were 90% at fault in an accident and the store was only 10% at fault, then you can recover 10% of the damages resulting from your accident.

Tennessee follows a different approach. In Tennessee, you will only be allowed to recover damages if you are less than half at fault for the damages. As long as you were 49% at fault or less, then you can recover damages. For example, if you were 30% at fault in an accident and the store was 70% at fault, then you can recover 70% of the damages. If you were 50% at fault in your accident or more, then you can’t recover any damages at all.

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How much compensation can I expect for negligence?

To ensure you get top dollar for retail store negligence injuries, you need a quality law firm with a team and experienced personal injury lawyer. When you have a claim against a retail store or department store, you aren’t dealing with the store owner or the store employee, but their insurance company. An experienced lawyer will know help ensure a fall claim is fully compensated in all areas, which include the following:

Medical Expenses: It is important to seek medical attention for your own injuries as soon as possible. Emergency room bills, surgery costs, medical supplies, prescriptions, physical therapy, and other medical treatment for such injuries are all part of the personal injury claim. Even minor injuries may still need medical attention. One aspect a good personal injury attorney won’t miss is to make the store liable for future medical expenses and permanent injuries.

Lost Wages: Store injuries, whether it be a slip and fall or other personal injury accident on a store or person’s property, can lead to you missing work or even losing your job. If the retail store negligence caused you to miss work or be permanently unable to work again, those costs should be made part of the insurance claim, and you should be compensated.

Non-Economic Damages: An injured party is not limited to compensation that comes in the form of a bill. If you have a personal injury claim from a slip and fall at a department store or retail store, you realize that the pain and suffering you’ve been through is more than just what’s written down in a medical report. You have to live with daily pain. You are limited in things you can do. You miss out on time with your family and friends. A fall accident can be a traumatic experience, and can lead to emotional trauma, nightmares, and psychological injuries, especially in cases of head injuries and neck injuries. This pain and suffering deserves to be compensated, and a strong law firm and personal injury lawyer can help make sure the department store and their insurance company pay for these damages.

Punitive Damages: In certain instances, a retail store or department store may act in such a reckless manner that punitive damages can be awarded. These damages are designed to punish the owners for their actions to deter similar conduct from happening again. These situations come up when an owner knew the store owed a duty to make the premises safe, knew of a substantial hazard, and intentionally did nothing to fix it. While these situations can be rare to rise to the level of awarding punitive damages, it’s important to talk to an experienced fall attorney. That’s why Hughes & Coleman offers a free legal consultation and free case evaluation to help make sure you are getting all the compensation and financial award you are entitled to.

Miscellaneous Expenses: There’s always more expenses and costs to dealing with an injury. Travel costs, having to purchase items to help you around the house, and buying special clothing, chairs, shoes, etc. to accommodate your injuries are just some of these unforeseen expenses. In the most unfortunate of circumstances, funeral expenses may also be part of the claim. These expenses should never be overlooked in a personal injury case.

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How do I prove Causation and Damages?

In most cases, the insurance company for the store will not accept your claims for damages at face value. Insurance companies make money by taking in insurance premiums and paying as little as possible on claims. Expect the insurance adjuster to dispute every injury and medical bill, make up other reasons for why you were unable to work, try to blame you for the incident, and minimize your claims for pain and suffering.

In many cases, experts will need to be called in to investigate where you were injured and evaluate your damages. There are experts who are specialized in investigating premises liability cases, can conduct a variety of tests, and know the various building and safety codes that businesses violate often that lead to injuries. There are also medical experts who are sometimes needed to link the injuries and treatment claimed to the incident, as well as experts who can testify to lost wages and earnings. Hughes & Coleman has experience dealing with these experts on a daily basis and will ensure you have the highest quality representation, and the most qualified experts to help prove your case.

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I had a slip and fall injury at a retail store, and I need an attorney; now what?

Control starts with a call. If you had a slip and fall accident or other injury at a retail store, you can call a local attorney today at Hughes & Coleman – 800-800-4600. If you have a premises liability case, your main focus should be to recover from your injuries. You have enough to deal with right now, don’t try to fight a case by yourself. Premises liability cases can be extremely complicated. There are deadlines to meet, procedural rules that must be followed, and paperwork that has to be filed. Failure to cover everything can result in detrimental effects for your case or even in your case being thrown out altogether. The attorneys at Hughes & Coleman are here to fight your case so that you don’t have to.

Once the attorney client relationship is established, we will take care of all the paperwork, make sure all procedure and deadlines are followed, and handle communications with the insurance companies so all you have to worry about is getting your treatment and recovering from your injuries. Being injured is difficult enough without having to fight to be compensated. Our experienced attorneys and staff will be there for you to help you take control of your life again and get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to speak with our team

Remember that if you’re injured at someone else’s place of business, our team is ready to step in, evaluate your claim, and help you regain control of your case so you can get back to your life as quickly as possible.

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