Statistics for Store Injuries

By far the most common causes of injuries in retail and grocery stores are slips, trips, and falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicates the average rate of slips, trips, and falls was 26 per 10,000 workdays for one decade. (1) (2) Yet, customers “are at risk for many more accidents than employees.” (3)

In the case of slips, trips, and falls, “The severity of the injury is typically based on the velocity of the impact (how far and how fast you fall); the hardness and other characteristics (smooth, rough, etc.) of the surface that you land on; and the orientation of the body upon impact,” according to Loss Prevention Magazine. (4)

In “Retail trade…the rate of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses rose in 2018” to “3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers,” reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (5)

The numbers get worse. According to BLS, there were 263 fatalities per 100 workers in the retail industry in 2021. (6)  

Additionally, BLS  data for private industry retail in New York City (NYC), shows there were 6 occupational fatalities in 2021. (7)

Customers Injuries at Grocery and Retail Stores 

Injuries from supermarket and retail store accidents are a growing concern. Among the common injuries customers or employees may experience are: (8) 

  • Back injuries Debilitating back injuries can happen unexpectedly. Lifting, twisting, pushing, and pulling can damage muscles, ligaments, and joints. (9) 
  • Cracked pelvis — A cracked pelvis can be a severe injury. The bone fractures can be life-threatening and may involve damage to the organs the pelvis protects. This type of fracture often needs emergency medical care and lengthy physical therapy and rehabilitation. (10)
  • Fractures Broken legs, arms, hips, or wrists are relatively common injuries you can end up with. They happen from you falling down or something falling on you. (11)
  • Spinal cord damage — Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious injuries because they could lead to temporary or permanent paralysis. (12)

If you or a loved one have been injured at a retail store or supermarket, contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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Causes of Store Injuries

The causes of these injuries are often preventable. In most cases, the supermarket or store could have prevented your injury if they had taken actions to protect you.

Some of the causes of injuries include: (13) (14)

  • Aisle obstructions — Grocery aisles can become cluttered. For example, when items fall off shelves or are dropped during restocking. This can also happen when product displays become unstable and give way. (15)
  • Cracked or uneven pavement outside — Rain, snow, and icy conditions contribute to unsafe walkways, parking lots, and steps. These surfaces can crack or gradually become uneven and. This leads to trips and falls, resulting in serious injuries. These “trip and falls continue to plague the industry, increasing 11 percent” in 2019. (16)
  • Damaged or defective grocery carts — Grocery carts can tip over. Children are the most likely victims of grocery cart mishaps. “Close to 66 children are treated in emergency departments for shopping cart-related injuries every day.” (17) 
  • Defective entrance and exit doors — You can become caught or trapped in malfunctioning automatic door systems, especially in older systems installed in grocery stores. This can lead to cuts, bruises, lacerations, fractures, crushing injuries, and even head injuries. (18)
  • Improperly positioned or missing floor mats — Floor mats are often placed in areas where water may collect, to absorb the moisture. When improperly positioned or missing, you are at risk. “Floor mat safety may seem like a small thing but it adds up to over $2 billion in damages every year.” (19)
  • Slips and falls — Wet and slippery floors can create hazards for workers and customers alike by causing slip and fall accidents. One insurance company notes, “the payout for a claim involving a fall is 29.8% higher” than other common claims. (20)

Holding the Store Liable

When you have been seriously hurt in a supermarket or retail store, it is important to know if the store should be held liable.

Businesses are responsible for both safe business practices and maintaining a safe premises. They can be held responsible when they do not. 

Store owners and operators have a duty to their customers and employees. They must ensure hazards are identified, and then removed or adequately repaired. 

To win your case, you must show a court the store failed to implement safe practices or maintain a safe premises. You must prove the store breached its duty of care.

Dangerous Situations

For example, a business must post warning signs or rope off areas posing a danger. This is required to prevent someone slipping, tripping, or falling and then becoming injured. 

A store also has an obligation to implement safe storage and cleaning practices. This avoids exposing workers or customers to toxic chemicals, or to being struck or crushed by falling objects. 

Any breach of this duty might be considered negligence or fall under premises liability.


Negligence is a legal concept based upon what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances. (21) 

“All members of the community owe a duty to act as a reasonable person in undertaking or avoiding actions with the risk to harm others.” (22) 

Premises Liability

Your case may also fall under the concept of premises liability. Premises liability dictates, while you are on someone’s property, they are responsible if you become injured due to owner or operator negligence. (23)

Success in these types of cases can be very challenging, so you want to hire an attorney to help you file your lawsuit.

If you have suffered an injury from an accident at a supermarket or retail store, contact us today to understand your legal rights.

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Filing a Lawsuit

The first step to filing your lawsuit in New York state, is to determine where to file it. If you are filing the lawsuit, you are the plaintiff. You must begin legal action in the county where you — or the party you are suing — lives, works, or conducts business. The party you are suing is the defendant. (24)  

When filing a suit in New York City, “If no party has residence, employment, or transacts business within the City, the action must be filed in the county where the cause of action arose.” (25) 

Filing your lawsuit means submitting an application for a Pro Se Summons and paying a fee to the clerk of the court. The clerk of the court then assigns an index number to the case, and issues a summons and complaint to the defendant. (26) 

The summons and complaint must be served on the defendant, who has approximately 20 days to answer in court. Once the defendant answers the summons and complaint, a court date is set. (27)

Lawsuit Damages

A favorable outcome to your lawsuit can mean the court awards you money for any harm done to you. Some of the forms of damages you may be awarded include:

  • Lost wages — This money is awarded for loss of earnings or income, including a loss of your job due to your injuries.
  • Medical expenses — This covers expenses you already have and may also cover an estimate of future expenses.
  • Mental anguish — Funds can be awarded for non-physical suffering. For example, embarrassment due to disfigurement.
  • Pain and suffering — The money you may get is usually for long-term physical pain and the suffering coming with it.
  • Property damage — This covers the costs of repair or replacement of any of your property damaged in the accident.
  • Punitive damages — This money is awarded as a punishment for the defendant’s behavior if the court deems it particularly bad. 

Many times, lawsuits are settled outside of court through negotiations. Settlements usually provide monetary compensation for many of these categories.

Either way — through a jury trial or a settlement — an attorney can help you achieve the best outcome in your case.

How W&L Can Help

W&L has a team of personal injury attorneys who have years of experience in complex store accident cases. We have won verdicts and judgments — and negotiated settlements — on behalf of our clients who were seriously injured. 

Here are a few of our achievements for our clients:

  • Head injury results in high six-figure settlement. Our client was struck on the head by falling luggage while on an international flight. 
  • Blow to the head with a baseball bat garners $13.34 million judgment. Our client was brutally attacked with a baseball bat by a bouncer and dragged outside the bar.
  • Traumatic brain injury from apartment building walkway fall leads to multimillion-dollar settlement. Our client fell 25 feet from an apartment walkway, in violation of the New York City Administrative Code.