Which Insurer Is Responsible? Navigating Insurance Coverage for Ohio Grocery Store Claims

Slip and fall accidents are unfortunately common in grocery stores. With so many people coming in and out and items being moved around, spills are bound to happen. When a customer is injured in a slip and fall, figuring out who is responsible for damages can be complicated. This article will provide an overview of how liability is determined in Ohio grocery store accident claims.

Establishing Liability

The first step is establishing that the grocery store was negligent and, therefore, liable for the customer’s injuries. Under Ohio law, property owners like grocery stores have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe. This includes inspecting for hazards, promptly cleaning up spills, and warning customers of wet floors or other dangerous conditions.

If the store failed to fulfill this duty and a dangerous condition that they knew or should have known about caused the customer’s fall, they can be held liable. The key issues are:

  • Was there a dangerous condition like a puddle or fallen object?
  • Did the store know or have reason to know the condition existed?
  • Did the store fail to take reasonable steps to remedy the hazard or warn customers?
  • Did this failure directly cause the customer’s fall and subsequent injuries?

If the answer to all those questions is yes, the grocery store will likely share some liability. However, the injured customer may also bear some comparative fault if they were not paying adequate attention while walking through the store.

Identifying Relevant Insurance Policies

Once liability is established, the next question is which insurer will pay for the damages. Grocery stores carry several different policies that could come into play, including:

  • General liability insurance – Covers premises accidents as well as product liability claims. This policy will pay for the customer’s medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other accident-related expenses up to the policy limits.
  • Excess/umbrella insurance – Provides additional coverage above general liability policy limits. This kicks in if the damages exceed the underlying policy.
  • Workers’ compensation – Covers injuries to employees. This would apply if a grocery store worker was hurt in the same accident as the customer.

Rules of Precedence

Which policy pays first in a given claim situation? General liability insurance is always primary for injury claims by non-employees. Workers’ comp is primary for employees. Excess policies only pay what general liability insurance does not cover.

An exception involves auto accidents inside the grocery store, such as a customer struck by a stocking cart. In that case, the store’s commercial auto policy may be primary over general liability.

Seeking Maximum Compensation

Slip and falls often cause serious injuries with mounting medical bills and lost wages. That is why it is critical to identify all potential avenues for insurance coverage after a grocery store accident. An experienced Ohio personal injury attorney can help assess liability, pinpoint applicable policies, and make sure you receive a full and fair settlement.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a grocery store or other business establishment, contact Monge & Associates today to discuss your legal options. We have 32 offices in 19 states, including Ohio, Missouri, and Kansas. Our dedicated team is here to help accident victims recover the maximum compensation they deserve. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.