Common Causes of Grocery Store Accidents in Arizona and How to Avoid Them

Grocery shopping is a routine activity for most people, but accidents can and do happen in grocery stores. Slips, trips, and falls make up the majority of grocery store accidents, but injuries from falling merchandise, shopping cart collisions, and other hazards are also possible.

If you’ve been injured in an Arizona grocery store accident, you may be entitled to compensation. But your best bet is to avoid accidents in the first place. Here are some of the most common causes of grocery store accidents in Arizona and tips to stay safe.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are among the top causes of grocery store injuries in Arizona. Some common slip hazards include:

  • Spilled liquids – Beverage spills from broken containers, leaky meat packages, melting ice at the seafood counter, and more can create slippery conditions.
  • Produce debris – Dropped fruits and vegetables can leave wet, slippery spots on the floor.
  • Unstable displays – Improperly stacked or unbalanced merchandise can fall into aisles.
  • Cluttered aisles – Merchandise extending into aisles can cause shoppers to trip.
  • Uneven flooring – Transition areas between flooring types, ruptured or buckled tiles, and floor defects can cause slips and falls.

To avoid slips and falls, be alert in grocery store aisles. Give wet floor signage a wide berth, report spills to staff promptly, and use caution around produce displays and freezer sections where moisture is common. Don’t carry or push overloaded carts that block your view of the floor ahead.

Tripping Accidents

Tripping over floor obstacles is another major cause of grocery store injuries. Some tripping dangers include:

  • Floor mat buckling or curling at edges
  • Uneven surfaces between flooring types
  • Poorly placed P-racks and displays
  • Stocking carts and other equipment in aisles
  • Low shelves or racks protruding into aisles

Scan ahead for tripping hazards as you walk through the store. When browsing merchandise, stand back from shelves and displays to avoid tripping over lower racks.

Shopping Cart Injuries

Shopping cart accidents cause thousands of grocery store injuries each year. Some ways you can be hurt include:

  • Carts tipping over while moving, especially around corners
  • Having a foot or other body part run over by a cart
  • Collisions between carts, carts and people, or carts and shelving
  • Items falling out of carts onto people
  • Attempting to move overloaded or broken carts

To prevent shopping cart injuries:

  • Use care when turning carts and passing others
  • Keep aisles clear and don’t leave carts unattended
  • Report damaged carts like stuck wheels
  • Place heavy items low and balance cargo
  • Don’t allow children to stand on carts or horseplay

Other Hazards

Some other potential grocery store hazards include:

  • Items falling from shelving and hitting people below
  • Broken glass from dropped jars and bottles
  • Being struck by automatic doors opening and closing
  • Food sampling tables obstructing aisles
  • Poor lighting in sections of the store
  • Unprotected deli counters, salad bars, or hot food stations

Stay alert for falling merchandise when walking under shelving and displays. Report potential risks like broken glass or jammed doors to staff immediately. Supervise children closely and don’t allow them to run around unattended.

Crowded Conditions

Grocery stores can become very crowded at peak times, increasing the risks for accidents. Rushed and distracted shoppers may be less cautious while busy store traffic makes navigation tricky. During crowded sale events, overstocked displays and merchandising may spill out into regular aisles. Trying to wheel carts down congested aisles or standing too close to others browsing shelving raises your chances of collision injuries. When possible, avoid peak shopping times or allow extra trip time to move cautiously.

Poor Maintenance and Housekeeping

Many grocery store accidents stem from improper maintenance or hazardous conditions that are left unaddressed. Some examples include:

  • Ignoring roof leaks that lead to unsafe wet flooring
  • Allowing shelving units or refrigeration to fall into disrepair
  • Neglecting safety features like non-slip floor treatments
  • Failing to promptly clean up spills
  • Allowing cluttered aisles and blocked emergency exits
  • Missing or burnt out light bulbs in sections of the store

If you notice any unsafe premises conditions, report them to store management right away. Slippery areas that lack warning signs, obstructed walkways, and other dangers should not be ignored.

Insufficient Security

Grocery stores attract a high volume of traffic, making security an important issue. Security shortcomings like poor lighting in parking lots, lack of video surveillance, limited staff presence, and inadequate deterrents can lead to increased risks. Slip and falls, shopping cart collisions, and other accidents may be more likely due to insufficient security. Violent events and other crimes on premises can also cause injuries to shoppers just going about their regular grocery runs.

Scope out the visible safety and security measures when visiting a new store. Avoid using dimly lit exterior areas like parking garages during off-hours. Report any suspicious activity to store personnel immediately.

Premises Liability in Arizona

If you are injured in a grocery store accident caused by unsafe premises, you may have a premises liability claim against the property owner. Under Arizona law, property owners have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors.

If the grocery store failed to fix known dangers, lacked adequate safety policies, or failed to warn customers about hazards, they can be held financially responsible for any injuries and damages that occur.

Some examples of negligence that may support a premises liability claim after a grocery store accident include:

  • Ignoring previous incidents and hazard reports at the location
  • Failing to maintain adequate housekeeping and sanitation protocols
  • Not correcting damaged or deficient facilities like broken freezer doors
  • Having unsafe shelving units that do not meet industry standards
  • Lacking reasonable security measures given the location and size of the store
  • Insufficient slip-resistant flooring in areas exposed to spills
  • Poor lighting in sections of the premises
  • Not placing warning signs like wet floor indicators

To prove negligence and recover damages, an experienced personal injury attorney can investigate the grocery store’s policies, procedures, and past safety record following your accident.

Getting Compensated for Your Grocery Store Injury

Don’t assume an accident was “your fault” and give up your right to recover damages. Grocery stores have a legal obligation to prioritize customer safety.

If you’ve been hurt in an Arizona grocery store accident, contact the experienced premises liability attorneys at Monge & Associates today at (888) 477-0597 for a free consultation. With 32 offices located in 19 states, including Arizona, Georgia, and South Carolina, we’ll thoroughly investigate the accident, build your claim, and fight to get you maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses.