If you are injured in a store, you may wonder what your options are for compensation. After all, you didn’t cause the injury, but now you are stuck paying compounding medical bills, dealing with lost wages and more.
Whether the store is a big box chain store or a local retailer, the business owner is responsible for protecting the public. They provide a service and invite you onto their premises, which means they are also obligated to take steps to ensure their patrons are out of harm’s way. If you are injured in a slip, trip or fall incident in that store or outside of it, the business owner(s) may be liable for your injuries and damages.
A Duty to Maintain
The viability of a premises claim would, first and first foremost, be determined on whether or not the business owner or property manager had a duty to maintain the property and provide you with a safe place to enter. Stores are legally obligated to maintain reasonably safe premises – meaning they have to clean up hazards or foreseeable hazards in a reasonable amount of time to prevent injury to their customers.
The business owner can be liable for any injuries that occur on their premises if you can show that the injury occurred due to unsafe conditions on the property. Furthermore, you must show that the owner knew about the unsafe condition and had a reasonable amount of time to repair it – but chose to not do so.
The Landlord or Store Owner?
If you fall because of a structural issue, the claim is likely against the property owner or landlord. For example, if you fall because of a water leak that created a slippery surface, the owner would be responsible. If, however, you fell because of something the tenant did, such as not picking up boxes, then the tenant would be responsible. It is important to find out if the property is owned by the same person operating the store. Oftentimes, retail outlets are not owned by the actual store – instead, it may be owned by a property management firm that rents or leases the property to the store.
Issues in a Fall Case
There must be negligence in order to have a valid personal injury claim. The most important issues affecting negligence include:
- Was the floor unsafe?
- Why was the property unsafe?
- How long was the property unsafe before your injury?
- Was there any warning about the unsafe area?
- Did you know there was a safety hazard?
- Did the store owner or landlord know – or should have known – about the potential safety hazard?
Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered from a slip, trip or fall at a store, speak with a personal injury attorney. Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC can assess your injury claim and help determine if you have a negligence case against the store owner, property manager or tenant. We will aggressively protect your right to compensation under the law. Call us at 800-991-0474 to schedule a free consultation or fill out an online contact form with your questions.