Accidents can happen in any drugstore or retail store, and CVS has a massive presence across the U.S. with a vast volume of customers coming in and out daily. Employees at CVS have a responsibility to maintain safe conditions for customers and prevent accidents as best they can. However, accidents still happen, and sometimes no one is at fault. Additionally, not every accident results in injury, but it is particularly frustrating when it does and someone else is at fault. If you suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident at CVS, you may be eligible for compensation.
Investigating Your Slip and Fall Accident at CVS
To present a viable claim, you must prove that CVS failed to fulfill the duty of reasonable care that it owes all visitors and that the breach of duty caused your accident and subsequent injuries. The first step in the investigation is determining the cause of your injury.
As a nationwide corporation, CVS has a legal team with a thorough understanding of the rule of premises liability. This means that property owners should understand their duty of care and train their staff to maintain safe conditions for anyone shopping in their stores. However, employees sometimes neglect their responsibilities and managers sometimes fail to keep the store in proper shape. Some potential causes of a slip and fall at CVS include:
- Worn or tattered carpeting
- Broken tiles or uneven flooring
- Mopped floors without proper signage
- A poorly maintained entrance with wet floors or damaged rugs
- Fallen items in the aisles
- Exposed wires or electrical cords
- Carts of inventory left in the aisles during restocking
- Precariously stacked displays
- Precariously placed items on the shelves
The rule of premises liability does not just apply to the inside of the store. The parking lot and surrounding walkways are also part of the property, and CVS is responsible for maintaining safety standards there as well. For example, Connecticut is a winter-heavy state. It receives a heavy volume of snowfall and is susceptible to icy conditions. Paved parking lots are a common spot for black ice, and compacted snow is a slip and fall hazard as well. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain cleared parking areas and walkways into the store.
The demographic that most commonly suffers serious injuries from a slip and fall accident are seniors, but anyone could get hurt in a CVS. Some common injuries include:
- Broken or fractured bones, most often in the hips, wrists, hands, ankles, and feet
- Torn ligaments in the knee
- Sprained or strained muscles
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries, such as fractured vertebrae or herniated discs
- Head injuries ranging from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury
- Cuts and bruises
- Torn rotator cuff
Some of the possible injuries have an extensive recovery time, and some may even be disabling. All these factors affect the extent of your damages and the potential value of your claim.
Damages You May Recover
Compensatory damages are commonly recovered in personal injury cases. These include two categories:
- Economic, or specific, damages, which include the cost of medical treatment, cost of future medical treatment, cost of lost income, cost of future lost income, property damage, and any other related expenses, including household care
- Non-economic, or general, damages, which include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, scarring or disfigurement, loss of enjoyment in life, and loss of consortium
In some personal injury cases, the jury may award punitive damages. Unlike standard compensatory damages, which are meant to make the injured person whole again by covering any financial burden and awarding monetary compensation for pain and suffering, punitive damages are designed specifically to punish the defendant for wrongdoing. However, the standard for awarding punitive damages is that the intention or act of the defendant must be particularly egregious or heinous. This is almost never the case in slip and fall accidents. Therefore, punitive damages are rarely awarded in a slip and fall case.
Proving Your Damages
Once you understand the damages you may recover, you further build your case by valuing your claim with solid evidence. You can calculate economic damages using:
- Medical bills from treatments for your injury
- Estimation of costs for future medical treatments
- Pay stubs that show lost wages
- Recent tax returns to estimate future lost wages
- Receipts for any other expenses related to the accident
The non-economic damages do not have an inherent monetary value, which makes them more difficult to calculate. Sometimes you may use a multiplier method or look at precedent from similar cases. An attorney may also refer to reports from experts in various related fields, including occupational therapy and psychology.
Understanding Liability in a CVS Slip and Fall Case
The foundation of a slip and fall case is the four elements of negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, cause, and damages. The duty of care belongs to the property owner, which is CVS in this case. The breach of duty of care is the failure to remove the hazardous condition. One of the following must happen for you to claim a breach of duty of care:
- The property owner or employees must have intentionally created the dangerous condition that caused your accident.
- The property owner or employees must have known about the dangerous condition because any reasonable person would have known and would have remedied it.
- The property owner or employees knew about the dangerous condition and did nothing to remedy it.
The breach of duty then causes the accident that results in your injury. The injury incurs the damages. If you slip and fall because the staff at CVS was negligent but you do not suffer any injury, you do not have grounds to sue. Damages must exist to justify a lawsuit.
In a slip and fall case, the most common retort from the defense is the argument that you, the plaintiff, either bear all or some of the fault for the accident. This concept of shared fault invokes the application of the rule of comparative negligence. In a personal injury case, a judge may instruct the jury to determine how much to award in compensation and what percentage of fault each party holds.
The rule of comparative negligence says that the percentage of fault your bear equals the percentage deducted from the awarded compensation. There are two types of comparative negligence:
- Pure comparative negligence states that you may recover compensation even if your share of fault is up to 99%.
- Modified comparative negligence states that you are not eligible for compensation if your share of fault is above 50%.
Connecticut follows the rule of modified comparative negligence. Therefore, if your percentage of fault is 51% or higher, you cannot receive compensation. If it is below 51%, that amount is deducted from the awarded compensation.
Hiring a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer
The statute of limitations for a slip and fall case in Connecticut is two years. That means that you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. If you suffered an injury from a slip and fall at a CVS, the premises liability attorneys at Gould Injury Law can help you recover the compensation that you deserve as quickly as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we will get started on your case right away.
If you suffered injuries due to a slip and fall at any of the following commercial establishments, our personal injury attorneys could help with your case:
- Basking Robbins
- Bath & Body Works
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Big Lots
- Burger King
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Dollar General
- Dollar Tree
- Duane Reade/Walgreens