June 8, 2022
If you suffer a slip and fall accident accident in a commercial establishment such as a store, can you sue them? It depends on the circumstances, but a store is responsible for keeping its customers safe from unreasonably dangerous conditions. Your chances of winning fair compensation are better if you know how to sue a store for an injury.
The identity of the defendant in an in-store slip and fall accident is not as straightforward as it might seem. It might seem clear if the store owns the property on which it sits. In most cases, however, the store leases its space from a property owner who might not even live nearby. Although you might sue an employee, an employee probably cannot afford to pay for the out of pocket expenses and pain and suffering you sustained as a result of your slip and fall incident.
If the landowner leased the premises to the store, you have two possible defendants. How do you choose between them? It depends on the nature of the unsafe condition that led to the accident:
If you have grounds to sue both, you can do so. When suing both entities it is possible to have both of them contribute to your compensation award thus maximizing your recovery.
Can you sue a store for falling and injuring yourself? Remember that a store’s liability for dangerous conditions is not absolute. They must simply exercise “reasonable care.” Some typical issues in a slip and fall case include:
These are just a few of the questions to answer in a slip and fall case.
Slips, trips, and falls can be caused by many dangerous conditions, including:
There are many more possible conditions that might cause a slip and fall accident. The key to identifying a condition as unreasonably dangerous is to look for ways that the store could have been negligent in failing to repair or warn of a condition.
Negligence per se arises when someone violates a public safety law. It is a legal shortcut to proving negligence. If you can trace your slip and fall accident to a building code violation, for example, you can establish negligence in a way that is difficult for a jury to deny. If you can prove that this negligence caused your accident, you have won your case. Evidence like this might get you a generous out-of-court settlement.
Under what conditions is a store liable for a customer injury? A slip and fall negligence claim against a store breaks down into four elements of the claim—duty of care, breach of duty, damages, and causation. You must prove all four of these elements on a “more likely than not” basis to win your claim.
The duty of care towards a customer includes the duty to conduct a reasonable inspection of the premises and the duty to repair or warn of any dangerous condition that remains.
You must show that the store breached its duty of care in a specific manner. Its employee may have failed to erect a “Wet Floor” sign after mopping, for example. Once you establish a duty of care and the breach of that duty, you have established negligence.
You must prove the number of your damages down to the last dime.
You must prove that the store’s negligence caused the accident. You must also prove that the accident was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the store’s negligence.
Slip and fall compensation amounts vary greatly from case to case. Typically, you may claim compensation for the following losses:
If the store’s conduct was outrageous, you might even qualify for punitive damages. The lawyer will make sure that the case results review meet all your expectations.
A personal injury lawyer will know how to file a slip and fall claim. The general process, which varies from case to case, works like this:
Very few slip and fall claims go all the way to trial. Instead, most parties settle out of court.
Suing a store over a slip and fall claim works better than suing over a car accident because a store probably has greater financial resources to pay the claim than your average motorist. You need to identify the proper defendant, however.
The lawyers at Brooks & Radchenko have handled a multitude of slip and fall claims. Ms. Radchenko has served as president of the New York State Trial Association.
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