Trip and Fall at Grocery Store

The Stanley Law Firm represented a client who was involved in a trip and fall accident after grocery shopping in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

In this trip and fall accident, our client had finished grocery shopping and was returning to her vehicle along with her husband. As she walked in front of her vehicle, she stepped into an area that had not been properly maintained and was several inches deep. This inadequately maintained area caused her to fall.

Due to her fall, our client suffered a scalp laceration, a right elbow fracture, and a left hip fracture that resulted in a left total hip replacement. The resulting bills totaled $57,945.00.

Our firm hired a forensic architect to investigate the cause of the trip and fall. After doing an on-site investigation of the scene, the forensic architect determined that the owner of the parking lot had failed to maintain the parking lot in a safe walking condition in accordance with the standards of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Also, the forensic architect determined that the condition of the parking lot was in need of repair because of the broken, depressed, uneven, and cracked condition of the parking lot area.

Additionally, the forensic architect determined that the parking lot owner was responsible for routine safety checks of the parking lot in accordance with a publication by the National Parking Association (NAP). The NPA’s publication recommended that the safety checks should include inspections for tripping hazards on a daily basis or on a weekly basis at a minimum. These safety checks were intended to cover the most typical aspects of maintenance including those related to cleaning, safety, equipment, and structure. However, these recommended safety checks and any appropriate repairs were apparently not being done by the parking lot owner.

As a result of the forensic architect’s findings, the Stanley Law Firm notified the owner of the parking lot that it intended to bring suit against the parking lot owner and the grocery store. The owner refused to settle the case and this law firm mailed a letter stating that if the case was not settled within the insurance policy limits, then the owner and its insurance company could be subject to punitive damages.

Moreover, prior to filing suit, our firm discovered that the grocery store had notified the parking lot owner of the dangerous area where our client had fallen. However, even after the grocery store made numerous requests for the broken, depressed, uneven, and cracked parking lot area to be repaired by the parking lot owner, the parking lot owner failed to repair the dangerous area.

After extensive negotiations and just prior to our firm filing suit, the insurance company for the parking lot owner paid our client a six-figure amount to settle the claim.