By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you slip and fall in a grocery store, do you automatically get paid?

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A customer at a Kroger grocery store in Georgia slipped and fell on a slippery wet floor, injuring both knees and her wrist. The wrist never healed but instead developed into a disabling pain condition that forced her to quit her job as a hairdresser. She sued Kroger and won almost $2.8 million dollars. Which makes many people consider if they can find themselves a slippery floor somewhere.

Because there are lots of people who think that they might win the lawsuit lottery. Here’s the question: if you slip and fall at a store, are you automatically entitled to money?

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In order to file a lawsuit, it’s not enough to show that you got hurt, you have to show that the other party was negligent. So while a supermarket or other retail store that invites you on the premises to buy their stuff is obligated to make the place safe, you have to show that a reasonably prudent person behaving as you did would be hurt by their negligent action (like not cleaning up a slippery floor).

So if you, for example, decide to reach something on the top shelf by standing in your cart to get it, they’ll probably show that you – and not they – were negligent. If you spill something on the floor on purpose to slip on it, they will likely find that you acted fraudulently and they’ll sue you.

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So the best you can do is know that the law is there to protect you – and also that it’s your duty to protect yourself.