We all go to a big box stores like Food City, Ingles, Publix, Walmart, Home Depot, Family Dollar, and Lowe’s to get the things we need to live. When we’re there, we should be able to expect that we won’t be exposed to dangerous conditions when we’re just trying to shop quickly and get on with our daily lives.
However, big box stores are full of hazards like slippery floors and falling objects. When these stores fail to prevent these dangers and protect their customers, the results can cause serious injuries or even death.
If you have been injured at a big box store in East Tennessee and the accident wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Contact The Terry Law Firm now for a free claim review and advice about your best legal options.
Types of Big Box Store Injuries
Some of the most common injuries at big box stores are falling object injuries, slip and fall injuries, and assault and battery.
- Falling object injuries – When merchandise isn’t stocked properly, it can fall on unsuspecting customers and cause very serious injuries. Equipment failures, such as broken dollies and ladders, can also cause falling object injuries. Sometimes merchandise or equipment is so large and heavy, it causes serious head, back, and neck injuries when it falls. These conditions can cause a person to have expensive, lifelong medical problems or disabilities and can even be fatal.
- Slip or trip and fall injuries – These occur when something in the walkway creates a hazardous condition. This can happen when someone spills something and the store fails to clean it up quickly, leaving the walkway slippery. Accumulated ice or snow around the store or poor lighting can also cause falls if the store doesn’t take care of them. These types of injuries can also occur when someone leaves an object in a walkway like merchandise or equipment, which causes someone to trip and fall.
- Assault and battery – When you’re shopping, the last thing you expect is to be attacked. However, if stores don’t have proper security precautions in place, people that enter the store can inflict serious physical and emotional harm on other patrons. These types of injuries can also occur when a security guard suspects someone of a crime and uses excessive force to deal with that person. Inadequate lighting and inadequate security in parking lots can also set the stage for attacks.
Who Is Liable for Falling Objects and Slip and Fall Injuries at a Big Box Store?
Store owners and managers have a responsibility to make sure their property is reasonably safe for all authorized visitors, including customers, delivery drivers, and others. Both the owner and the manager can be held liable when an authorized visitor is injured by a hazard that they knew about or should have known about and didn’t fix.
In some cases, the store might lease sections of the property to other businesses or hire contractors to maintain the facilities. These parties might also be partially liable for injuries to guests.
Authorized visitors include customers, invited or permitted guests like merchandise suppliers, and employees. Most of the time, stores are not liable for injuries to illegal trespassers like burglars or people entering the store after hours. However, exceptions exist if the store intentionally created a dangerous situation for the trespasser or if the trespasser was a child.
Tennessee Premises Liability Laws
Tennessee law outlines that to bring a case against a big box store, you must prove negligence and injuries.
- Negligence – To successfully argue a case against a big box store, you must prove that the store’s owner, manager, or other responsible party should have reasonably known about and prevented or resolved the hazard. Similarly, you must show that the dangerous condition was not so obvious that you should have been able to avoid it. Otherwise, the store might try to claim that you are at least partially at fault for your injuries.
- Injury – You must also demonstrate that the hazard directly caused your injury, which can be proven by medical records, witnesses, and expert testimony. The store might try to claim that your injury was a preexisting condition or happened after your accident at the store. Because of this, it is critical to gather as much evidence as you can from the accident scene and to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
Also, you must keep in mind that Tennessee law has deadlines for filing an injury claim. Injuries at big box stores are subject to a statute of limitations under Tennessee’s premises liability laws. According to these rules, you must file a claim within a year of the injury. After that time period has expired, you will likely not be able to take legal action against the store.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer?
Contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Big box stores are owned by large companies with lawyers and insurance companies who will do everything they can to protect their reputation and pay you as little as possible. To successfully battle these large and powerful companies and their insurers – and seek the maximum compensation you deserve – you need an attorney who is experienced in dealing with large corporations and their representatives.
An experienced lawyer can help you quickly gather the evidence you’ll need to prove liability and your injuries and can negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies to pursue full compensation. Skilled attorneys will also keep tabs on deadlines and paperwork requirements to ensure that documents are completed thoroughly and persuasively and are submitted in time for you to get the justice you deserve.
How Can The Terry Law Firm Help Me?
The personal injury lawyers at Terry Law Firm have been fighting for clients across East Tennessee for more than 50 years. Our trusted legal team has the experience and dedication you need to tackle your case.
We’ve helped clients win millions of dollars for their injuries, and as our client testimonials demonstrate, we provide each client with personal attention and compassion.
Don’t wait to go after the justice and maximum compensation that you deserve. Call us today at or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.