Slip and Fall in a Store

Slip and fall accidents are considered by the United States National Safety Council to be one of the most prevalent causes of unintentional injuries in the country.  Those who have suffered a slip and fall accident can be faced with devastating emotional, physical and financial issues.  Aside from losing time at work, victims of a fall could have to be admitted into a hospital and even, in some cases, need rehabilitation.  Sadly, in more serious cases of slip and fall accidents, the victim could be forced to move to a nursing home, and are never again able to be at home or care for themselves. Some slip and fall accidents have resulted in a wrongful death.

In all of these cases, the physical and emotional pain is great, but the financial burden can be even greater.  When someone slips and falls in a store, who is responsible to pay for the loss of time from work, medical bills, rehabilitation, cost of caregivers or a nursing home, or even for the loss of life?  In many cases, the property owner or the leaser can be held liable. If you or someone you love has suffered from a slip and fall accident inside of a store, it is vital that you contact a good personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.  The attorneys at Burns and Jain can help you determine whether the property owner is liable in your case and get you monies for your pain and suffering and lost earnings.

What to do if you Slip and Fall in a Store

If you have fallen inside of a store, or other property, there are a few steps that you need to take.  First, make sure that medical help is on the way.  Gather the names of any and all witnesses to the fall.  Most importantly, get pictures of the cause of the accident.  If you were unable to take photographs, go back with a friend who can take photographs of where you fell and what caused the fall.  If your accident was caused by a puddle of water, torn rug, etc, get a picture of it.   The pictures and the word of your witnesses could help determine liability.

If there is a condition causing a drip, get a picture of that condition.  A leaky refrigeration unit, or countertop that slopes the wrong way, could be fixed and the opportunity to “prove” the condition could be lost.  Bring a friend as a witness to the condition.  

Types of Slip and Fall Store Cases

Here are a few other conditions which help prove whether the property owner is liable.

  1. If the owner of the premises, or an employee caused the accident directly, either by spilling something, causing a tear in the floor, or left items that caused a victim to trip.
  2. If the owner or an employee knew of a spill, tear in the floor, uneven flooring, etc that caused the slip and fall accident, but did nothing to fix the issue.
  3. If the owner or an employee should have known about the issue which caused the accident, but was not aware and therefore did nothing to fix it.

The third example is more prevalent, but it does require a few conditions to hold the owner liable.

  • Had the hazard been there long enough that the owner should have been aware of it?
  • Does the owner have proof of regular maintenance performed on the property to prevent slip and fall accidents?
  • If the fall was caused by tripping over an object left on the floor by an employee or owner, was their a legitimate reason for the object to be there?
  • Could the object have been moved elsewhere, covered, or otherwise made safer?
  • Could the object have been made easier to see, whether by warning or barrier?
  • Was the danger exaggerated by dim lighting?

Slip and Fall Accidents and the Insurance Defense Lawyers

Of course, in any slip and fall accident case, the insurance company and later the defending attorney will try to claim that the accident was the fault of the victim.  That is why it is important to be fully prepared to prove liability, using your witnesses and your photographs.  You must also be completely honest with your own personal injury attorney about every detail that lead up to the accident.  If you were jumping, running, texting, involved in horseplay, or in any other way distracted we will need to know in order to be prepared in court.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death due to a slip and fall accident, call Burns & Jain today and we will help you receive the compensation you deserve.  The initial consultation is always free.