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Slip and Fall Accidents in a Store

The personal injury attorneys at Alperstein & Diener explain the protocol for pursuing a lawsuit over a slip and fall accident that occurred in a store or business.

Slip and fall accidents occur every day and more of the injuries resulting from these accidents are causing serious, life-threatening harm to people, oftentimes leading to permanent disability. It’s more common to hear about slip and fall accidents from workers while on the job, such as construction workers on a dicey construction site, but they are also occurring at a rapid rate within stores and businesses.

No matter the cause, the most important factor to consider when determining if a slip and fall injury that occurred in a store is worth pursuing a lawsuit is whether the store was negligent. A store is liable for a slip and fall accident that occurred on its property if the fall was caused by a defect, the store was aware of the defect and had an opportunity to cure the defect but failed to do so prior to the fall.

Simply falling in a store does not prove that the store was unsafe or that the store should be deemed negligent. Proving negligence is often extremely difficult in slip and fall cases.

So, the next question becomes, “Who do you sue in the event a slip and fall accident occurs due to a store’s negligence?” The person or place that becomes liable often depends on the nature of the suspected negligence. In the event the store owner also owns the property, then it’s fairly cut and dry to determine that the store owner would be the defendant. However, if store owners lease their property, the defendant may be the landlord or property owner.

If the fall resulted from a structural issue, such as a water leak, in the building in which the store exists, the claim would likely go against the landlord or property owner. On the contrary, if the slip and fall was caused by something that the owner/tenant did or did not do, such as failing to mop up a spilled beverage or marking an unsafe area with a caution sign, then the claim would likely go against the store owner.

In an effort to prepare for further action with a slip and fall injury claim, ask yourself these questions.

  1. Why was the area slippery or hazardous?
  2. How long had the substance that caused the slip and fall been present?
  3. Were there warning signs or cones to deter customers from proceeding through the unsafe area?

Remember, every slip and fall case is unique, and no one particular outcome can be guaranteed. If you were a victim of a slip and fall accident within in a store or business, consult with a reputable personal injury attorney and explain the series of events in full detail as he or she will inform you of your options.

For more information about slip and fall accidents that occur in stores or businesses, or your individual circumstances, contact Patricia A. Cleaveland or Lynn Hoffman.