You might be able to recover damages for your injuries from a slip and fall accident in a store or business. Unfortunately, you cannot get compensation for slip and fall injuries on your property, but if you got injured on someone else’s premises because of the landowner’s negligence, you might be eligible to pursue damages.
How to Hold a Store or Business Responsible for a Slip and Fall Injury
When a store or business opens its doors to receive customers, they have a legal duty to maintain the premises reasonably safe.
According to Pepperdine University, if the owner knew or should have known about a hazard on the property and did not take action to correct the defect or warn about it within a reasonable time, they can be liable if someone gets injured because of that dangerous condition.
Let’s say that a department store was having trouble with its escalator. Due to mechanical problems, the escalator would suddenly stop and start without warning, sending the shoppers on the escalator flying.
The manager knew about the problem but did not bother to cordon off the escalator to block people from using it while waiting for the repair person to arrive. As a result, if someone got injured during that time, they could pursue a claim for damages that resulted from the manager’s negligence.
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Reporting the Slip and Fall to the Person in Charge
One of the favorite defenses that a store or business will use when facing a premises liability or slip and fall injury claim is that the person who got hurt did not report the accident to the company. In addition, some owners will go as far as to deny that the injury even happened on the premises.
By making a prompt report of the accident to the store, you can link your injuries to the location and have a record of the defect or negligence that caused you to get hurt. Also, businesses usually have to notify their insurance carrier when someone makes an incident report about an injury that happened on the premises. Therefore, it is best to use the store’s incident report form and keep a copy for your records.
Document the Scene Where Your Accident Occurred
Most likely, the business will move quickly to correct the dangerous condition to keep other people from getting hurt. The problem for you is that the corrective action destroys the evidence of the hazard. If possible, try to take photos on your mobile phone of everything that will be useful in your injury claim.
If you cannot take the pictures yourself, you might try to have another person at the scene capture the images for you. Again, things like the dangerous condition, the location of the hazard, and your injuries will be helpful for your claim. Also, try to get the names and contact information of eyewitnesses and other people with relevant information.
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Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Stores and Businesses
Many different things can cause a slip and fall or a trip and fall accident at a store or business. For example, wet or slick floors because of spills or leaking refrigerator equipment often cause slip and fall injuries in grocery stores.
These are some additional causes of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents in businesses:
- Loose rugs that cause a person to get tangled up or trip
- Unsecured electrical cords or cables that trip visitors to the business
- Insufficient lighting that makes it difficult for customers to see hazards on the floor
- Cracked or uneven floors or broken floor tiles
- Rips in the carpeting
- Poorly designed shelving or display units that have portions sticking out into the aisle
- Merchandise and other items on the floor
This is not an exhaustive list of all the conditions on commercial premises that can lead to slip and fall or trip and fall accidents.
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Determining the Value of Your Slip and Fall Injury
The amount of damages you could pursue for your slip and fall injury will depend on the unique facts of your case, says the American Bar Association (ABA). Every fall injury case is different. Some of the factors that can impact the monetary value of your injury claim include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The amount of your medical bills
- How much time you missed from work without pay because of your injuries
- Whether the conduct of the owner of the business or an employee was outrageous
- Whether you have any residual impairment from your injuries
- How much you suffered from physical discomfort and emotional distress because of the incident
- How well you recuperated from your wounds, including things like complications, setbacks, and whether you achieved full recovery of your previous abilities
- What medical procedures you had to undergo to correct the damage you suffered
Learn More by Speaking to a Slip and Fall Accident Attorney About Your Claim Today
Call in the Strong Arm of Loncar Lyon Jenkins. We help people who suffer injury because of the carelessness of others. Let us fight your battles for you so that you can focus on rest and getting better. You can contact us today for a free initial consultation with no obligation.