You've Fallen And You Want To Sue: What To Know

Posted on: 18 October 2016

You know you should have been more careful, but you fell down while shopping and feel that the store should have taken more care to prevent the fall. You have the right to shop in retail stores and be in a safe environment, and the stores are responsible for seeing to it that they do everything possible to create that safe environment. If you have suffered from an injury in a retail store, read on to learn more about getting compensated

Is the customer really at fault?

The amount of care each party (you and the store) is expected to use to prevent accidents is a prime determination of liability. Liability, in this instance, means fault. Customers are expected to use common sense and be careful, since it is simply not possible for a store to foresee every single issue ahead of time. The court will view the accident and your share of liability using this question: Did you know about the danger and did you try to avoid it?

For example, if you get distracted and walk into a large display in the middle of a store isle, you may have a problem proving the store was at fault. After all, most stores have a habit of placing these displays in the isles, and the display was certainly large enough to see and avoid (if you had been paying attention). A reasonable person would have noticed the display and avoided being injured.

A retail store bears the brunt of responsibility for keeping their premises safe for customers. That responsibility even extends to events that are not their fault. For example, a loose tile that trips a customer and causes an injury is an obvious liability issue, but stores are also responsible for weather conditions, the actions of other customers, and other issues that may be ostensibly outside their realm of control.

For example, if a store offers soft drinks in cups, spills can often occur. When a customer slips and falls on a wet spot caused by another customer's carelessness, the store bears the responsibility. Even if the store did not offer beverages, it is in their best interest to keep the floors dry by addressing problems as soon as possible.

Failure to warn

Stores must not only address current conditions, but anticipate potential problem areas. Some common means of addressing problems include placing signs or warning cones in wet areas on rainy days, providing plastic bags for wet umbrellas, and more.

If you have been injured in a store, contact a personal injury attorney, such as Dennis M. Walters, PC, as soon as possible.