Costco Escalator Accident – Expert Advice from a Florida Premises Liability Lawyer

November 28, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Premises Liability Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question: I was shopping in Costco and while I was going up the escalator, my cart that was full (over 100 pounds) started to roll on me. I fell and hurt my hip and lower back. I was breast feeding my daughter of 2 month and the milk immediately was gone that same day, so in other words lost my milk (the most healthiest thing for a baby). The cart that I had was broken therefore the magnet that was supposed to hold it didn’t and it slid right on me and really hurt me! I ended up going to the hospital and am still to go for other exams. Is this a legitimate case ???

Answer: The answer to your question depends on the law of the state in which you live.  Your email does not indicate what state you are from.  I am a Florida accident lawyer specializing in car accident, Florida personal injury accidents such as slip and fall claims, and workers compensation claims.  Laws vary from state to state, so you should always check with an experienced accident attorney in your area to get more information. You may have a claim against Costco, or possibly the manufacturer or distributor of the grocery cart system, depending on who is responsible for maintaining the system.  Your email doesn’t give full details of how the accident occurred, however, if the cart escalator is supposed to hold the cart in place, and it didn’t, resulting in your injuries, you probably have a claim.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an experienced injury accident lawyer in your area that specializes in premises liability claims. He or she can advise you what the law is in you area regarding an accident such as yours since they may be different than those for Florida personal injury accidents.

 In Florida personal injury accidents, a store owner such as Costco owes two duties to its customers – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn its customers of dangerous conditions that the customers cannot appreciate themselves. Your email says the cart you had was broken.  Your attorney is going to need more information regarding why you think it was broken.  Other than it starting to roll, what about the cart or magnet was broken?

You should contact an accident injury lawyer soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now to preserve your claim and maximize its value. The lawyer should notify Costco to find out what types of insurance coverage are available, and more importantly, advise Costco to preserve the cart without alteration so that is can be inspected later to determine what happened during your accident. You should try to obtain photographs of the escalator system, the cart, magnet, and any visible injuries that you may have.

Keep in mind that Costco is a very large company that most likely uses this cart system at many of their stores.  An experienced injury accident lawyer can seek documents from Costco to find out whether other accidents similar to yours have occurred at other stores.

Most accident attorneys specializing in claims such as yours handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.  So, you have nothing to lose by meeting with an accident lawyer to discuss the claim.  If you went to the hospital and you’re still having problems, I would not hesitate to speak with an accident attorney to at least see whether you have a claim to pursue.  You should do it soon so any attorney you hire has a chance to put Costco on notice of preserving the cart.

If I can help any further with your personal injury question, please do not hesitate to contact me. Good Luck.

For more information about Florida personal injury accidents, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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