Pallets serve the purpose of stacking and transporting items while they are being handled by equipment such as forklifts and pallet jacks. We’ve all seen these flat structures being loaded with goods at grocery stores and big box stores like Walmart and Costco. Aside from transporting items, pallets can also serve as the foundation of product displays, which makes sense considering they can bear an immense amount of weight.
While pallets are a staple at major retailers, they can be the source of serious injuries if they’re left out where they shouldn’t be. Trip and fall accidents can happen from someone’s foot getting caught in a pallet at a store. Or, the individual may trip over a pallet and step on or strike a dangerous object, which can cause serious injury.
Customers and other legitimate visitors have the right to expect that a location will be safe when they step into a commercial property. If a pallet is left out on the floor, or in an area that’s frequented by customers, that is considered an act of negligence by the store. Have you or a loved one been injured by a pallet that was not put away in a safe location? In that case, please take some time to speak with one of our attorneys. You may have grounds for a lawsuit against the store, which can help you cover medical expenses, lost wages, and various other losses resulting from your accident. If you’re ready to learn more about your legal options, contact DTLA Law Group and schedule a free consultation.
Injuries from a Pallet Trip and Fall Accident
Catching your foot on something and tripping is something that happens quite often throughout a person’s life. Some accidents result in little to no physical damage, but that’s unlikely to be the case when you trip over a misplaced pallet at a store. For one thing, pallets are extremely heavy, as they’re made of hardwood that’s meant to bear a lot of weight. Then, you have to consider the layout of a store and the many hazards you can come in contact with as you fall down. For example, a customer’s head may strike the edge or corner of a shelf, or they may fall on to a store display that comes toppling down on them. People have even tripped over pallets and stepped on a dangerous object, like a rusty nail.
In short, store pallet trip and fall accidents pose a high risk of serious injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Hip fracture / broken pelvis
- Broken ribs
- Broken nose / facial bones
- Ankle sprain / fracture
- Hand / wrist sprain
- Broken bones in the feet and toes
- Torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
- Deep cuts from falling on sharp objects
- Knee injury (dislocated kneecap, Torn ACL / MCL)
- Permanent scarring
- Nerve damage
You may also suffer emotional injuries, like PTSD and depression, which are very common among fall-related accident victims. It can be very challenging to recover payment for these injuries, which is why it’s important to consult an experienced trip and fall accident lawyer. The attorneys of DTLA have many years of experience in fall-related accident claims, so you can be confident in our ability to recover your payment.
Can I Sue the Store where I was Injured?
Yes, you can sue the store where you were injured if your accident was caused by an act of negligence, like a misplaced pallet. Negligence is defined as the failure to take reasonable care for the purpose of preventing injuries to another party. When someone is injured due to an act of negligence, they can seek monetary compensation from the responsible entity. To give you a better understanding of this concept, here are the four elements you will need to show in order to sue the store for damages:
The store owed you a duty of care as an invitee (on the premises for a business reason) or licensee (on the premises for a social reason).
The business breached their duty of care by failing to take reasonable care, like making sure a pallet is not left out on the floor during business hours.
The store’s breach of duty (negligence) was the cause of your physical and emotional injuries.
Due to your injuries, you are entitled to monetary compensation from the store.
If you believe that your trip and fall over a pallet accident meets all four of these conditions, please give us a call right away. Our personal injury lawyers will take immediate action on your case and fight tirelessly to recover the damages you deserve.
Monetary Damages in a Lawsuit against the Store
A trip and fall over a misplaced pallet accident can cause you to suffer from a variety of physical and mental injuries. As a result, you will sustain financial and emotional losses, which you can recover through the following damages in a lawsuit against the store:
- Cost of medical treatment
- Rehabilitative services (mental health counseling, physical therapy)
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages / lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages
Keep in mind that this is a basic list of the possible damages from a pallet accident lawsuit. There may be other losses you can recover, but you will need to learn about them from an experienced trip and fall accident lawyer. For more information during a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact tour law firm at your earliest convenience.
Statute of Limitations for a Pallet Injury Lawsuit
California imposes a strict statute of limitations on all personal injury lawsuits, meaning you have a limited amount of time to file an action for monetary compensation. The SOL for a trip and fall over pallet accident is two years from the date you were injured. If your injury from the accident is not discovered until a later date, you have two years from the date of discovery to bring a lawsuit against the store.
Exceptions can be made in rare cases, like if you were a minor at the time of the accident. In that case, you would have two years from the day you turn 18 to file a claim for damages. Victims who were physically or mentally incapable of taking legal action after their accident may also qualify for an extension of the SOL. As you can imagine, most people would not qualify for an extension under these circumstances. Thus, it’s essential to speak to an attorney and take immediate actions in a claim for compensation.
Speak to a California Fall Injury Attorney
Fall-related accidents are the number one cause of ER visits in the U.S. on a yearly basis. The most serious of these accidents take place at commercial properties, such as supermarkets and big box stores. With this in mind, business owners have a duty of care to ensure that pallets are not left out on the floor, or anywhere else that guests and visitors may tread.
If you’ve sustained an injury from a misplaced pallet, please take a moment to contact our office. Our lawyers can advise you of your rights as an accident victim, which may include monetary damages from the store. Our law firm can file an injury claim on your behalf and ensure that you receive a fair settlement from the responsible party. We will do this at no cost to you, since we operate under a Zero fee guarantee. The only way we get paid is by winning your case, and if we don’t win, you won’t be responsible for any of our fees.
The attorneys of DTLA are waiting to speak with you, so please give us a call and schedule a free case evaluation.