Dollar General is big business. It’s listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and its revenue in 2018 was about $25 billion. It has more than 15,000 stores scattered across the United States along with 16 distribution centers. The company is heavily into auto racing sponsorships and is the title sponsor for races in Charlotte, Chicago and Phoenix.

The Duty

Dollar General’s business management plan is similar to that of other discount stores. Management could be overburdened, and the company’s stores could be understaffed. Dollar General sells everything from eggs and milk to its own lines of clothing. With such a broad inventory of merchandise, there are always safety hazards that arise. It’s the legal duty of Dollar General to maintain any premises that it occupies in a reasonably safe manner, so it is free from hazards that might cause injury to shoppers in its stores. Given the responsibilities of management and the lack of employees on a business premises, safety hazards aren’t always addressed in a timely and responsible manner.

Slip-and-Falls and Trip-and-Falls

When victims of slip-and-falls and trip-and-falls at Dollar General stores are injured, they often seek compensation for the damages that they suffered. Such claims or lawsuits are controlled by the law of negligence in that Dollar General knew or should have known of a hazardous condition on its premises and either did nothing about it or took inadequate measures to remedy the condition. In retail stores like Dollar general, these hazardous conditions are usually seen in the three contexts that follow:

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  • Wet or otherwise slippery floor surfaces that cause shoppers to slip and fall.
  • Merchandise racks, displays, merchandise itself or uneven floor surfaces that cause shoppers to trip and fall.
  • Merchandise that is stacked and stored vertically that falls down onto shoppers.

Should Have Known

Cases involving hazardous conditions that Dollar General should have known about are the most difficult to prove. If a customer slipped and fell on a wet floor, what comes to issue is how long it was wet. Negligence might be proved by investigating whether management and employees had a regular inspection routine, whether there was a legitimate reason for the floor to be wet, whether warning signs were placed around the wet area and whether lighting conditions at the specific area at issue were sufficient.

In 2016, a jury returned a verdict in the amount of more than $1.7 million in favor of an Alabama woman who slipped and fell after stepping on a clear liquid laundry detergent at a Dollar General store. The woman suffered severe leg and shoulder injuries that required eight surgeries. Although the store was open hours a day, store policy only required employees spending 10 minutes a day on safety inspections.

The Most Common Defense

There are many defenses to premises liability cases, each of which depends on the specific facts surrounding the case. In the context of slip-and-falls and trip-and-falls, the most common defense is that the claimant simply wasn’t looking where he or she was going. There was a failure to use due care and caution for his or her own personal safety. A person might even have been walking in a place where they weren’t supposed to be like a back storage area.

How To Report an Accident at Dollar General

If you suffered serious injuries after a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall at a Dollar General store, here are a few things that you might want to do to help any case that you might have.

  • Immediately report the accident to employees and management.
  • Get immediate medical help.
  • Obtain witness contact information.
  • If possible, obtain photographs of the condition and the exact spot where you fell.

Contact us after an injury at any Los Angeles area retail store.