What You Need to Know if You Slip and Fall at Costco

In Ontario, many of us shop for groceries and other household items at Costco or other big box stores.  For some shoppers, a trip to Costco can result in a life-changing fall. If you or a loved one suffered injuries at a warehouse store, can you file a claim for compensation?

Our firm regularly represents clients who have been injured while shopping at a Costco warehouse store. Our clients have been injured both inside and outside Costco warehouses. We have secured compensation for our clients in every Costco injury case we have handled.

Table of Contents

  1. Can You Win an Injury Case Against Costco?
  2. Injuries Outside the Store
  3. Injuries Inside the Store
  4. Costco Incident Reports
  5. How Can Lawyers Help with Your Claim?
  6. What Can You Expect in a Case Against Costco?

Can You Win an Injury Case Against Costco?

Yes, it is possible to win your slip and fall case against Costco. If you hire an experienced personal injury law firm, you increase the likelihood that you will be able to prove that Costco did not take the precautions it needed to take to make sure their shoppers are reasonably safe.

Injuries Outside the Store

We have seen many injuries in the parking lot often as a result of a slip and fall on ice or snow. These injuries can be significant and include broken bones or traumatic head injuries.  

If you slip and fall on snow or ice on private property, like a Costco parking lot, you should contact a lawyer immediately. 

There are short notice periods (deadlines) to notify the owner or occupier of a parking lot or sidewalk of a possible injury claim due to snow or ice. If you miss the deadline, you could miss out on compensation.

Injuries Inside the Store

We have also represented clients who have been injured inside Costco.  Very often, these injuries are caused by slips and falls on spills on the cement floors.  For example, we have had clients injured due to falls caused by:

  • Spills of slippery substances, like oil, soap, or ketchup.
  • Accumulated water due to poor drainage at an entrance or exit of the store.
  • Dripping plants from the garden centre that were brought into the store. 
  • Remnants of food dropped from the sample section or the restaurant.

We have also had clients injured by protruding displays or shopping carts.

Costco Incident Reports

Normally Costco employees will complete an Incident Report at the injury scene.  As your lawyers, we will insist that we get a copy of that incident report.  Costco employees are also trained to take photos of the area of an incident or injury.  In fact, many stores have a camera set aside for this purpose.  We will ensure we get copies of the photos taken at the scene.

The Incident Report Form used at many Ontario Costco warehouses indicates that the Costco member is entitled to a copy of the incident report, upon request.  If you would like to have the report and photos for your own records before you retain a lawyer, you should ask for it.

How Can Lawyers Help with Your Costco Slip and Fall Claim?

Proving Costco’s Warehouse was Unsafe

We know what documents to use.  Costco is required to keep certain specific records about how it maintains its store to keep shoppers safe.  Those maintenance records will show Costco’s system and whether it was followed on the day of your injury.

Costco employees normally take photos of the scene of an accident in the warehouse. We will ensure we collect those photos.

We know what the standards are for safe displays, in terms of height, heaviness, and other safety requirements.

We know how to demand that: 

  • any camera footage be preserved; and
  • witness names and contact info be provided.

Proving Your Losses

To get compensation, the injured person must prove that the injury caused losses.  Our firm will build your case to show:

  • You suffered injuries that were serious and impacted your life in important ways and
  • You suffered financial losses, such as loss of income, expenses for rehabilitation, or medication.

What Can You Expect in a Case Against Costco?

Unlike some companies, in our experience, it is usually not possible to negotiate a fair settlement with Costco unless you start a lawsuit. You may be able to settle a very small case on your own for a “nuisance” amount but in our experience, it’s usually not enough to cover all of your expenses. 

In Ontario, Costco hires “third party adjusting” firms who investigate Costco claims.  They will typically try to get a recorded statement from the injured person.  Unless there are very unusual circumstances, our firm does not typically allow Costco’s adjusters to speak to our clients.

After we assess your case, we will likely start a claim against Costco immediately.

Almost all personal injury cases, including cases against Costco, do settle without a trial.  However, you will likely have to go through some of the steps of litigation before we can demonstrate the value of your case and the risk to Costco of proceeding to trial.

If we cannot get a fair settlement in your case against Costco, you can be certain that our lawyers will take your case to trial to fight for your compensation.

Speak to an Expert

Costco Wholesale has a large team of experts to help protect their best interests. It’s usually in your best interest to also hire a team of experts to help fight for you. You don’t have to do this alone. Our slip and fall lawyers have years of experience fighting for our clients. Call us today for a free consultation and we’ll let you know if you have a valid case against Costco.