If I Slip and Fall in a Store, Can I Sue?
Slip and fall injuries fall under premise liability law. If you slip, fall, trip or are injured on someone else’s property, there is a chance you may have a viable lawsuit and be eligible for compensation. These cases are built on the premise of negligence and typically carried out against the store owner, tenant or property management company – depending on the circumstances.
Elements of a Claim
To file a personal injury claim for your fall in a store, you will need two main elements present:
- Prove the property owner did not take reasonable actions to prevent the dangerous condition, and
- Prove that you were not being exceedingly careless (meaning you didn’t purposely fall or cause the injury).
During the initial investigation, your attorney will determine how the accident was caused and if there was a preexisting condition on the property that the owner should have been aware of. They will also look to see if the condition could have been prevented or corrected via action. Lastly, your attorney will assess the “avoidance of obvious danger” element. That means they will assess whether or not you could have anticipated the hazard that lay before you and avoided it, meaning you saw the wet floor and purposely walked into the puddle to slip and fall.
To have a strong case, the owner, tenant or manager must have known about the hazardous condition and had a reasonable amount of time to correct it. If the condition literally just manifested and you were injured, you may not be able to prove the owner was negligent – since they didn’t have reasonable time to correct it. If, however, that same hazard was present for several days or even noted in a maintenance log, but the owner failed to repair it, you may have a claim.
Sometimes it can also come down to a violation of a statute or building safety code. For example, stores are required to have rails for their staircases. If the store owner did not have one present or it was broken and you fell down the stairs, their violation of building codes would make it easier to prove your claim.
Types of Premise Liability Claims
There are several key types of liability claims that can be brought against a property owner, including:
- Business Liability – This is when the employee’s negligence or property owner’s negligence led to your injury. You could be injured in a gym, retail store, grocery store, etc.
- Injuries in Other Locations – You could be injured in another location that is still owned by the company, such as a parking lot or parking garage, sidewalk, etc.
- Dangerous Conditions – Owners are responsible for keeping their property free of dangers. If you were injured because of a dangerous condition (i.e. stairway, employee negligence, no wet floor signs, etc.) you may be entitled to compensation.
Speak with an Attorney First
If you have slipped, tripped or fallen at a store, contact a personal injury attorney at Hancock Injury Attorneys today. We can discuss your case over a free consultation. Call to schedule at 813-534-6929 or fill out an online contact formwith your questions.