Retail Store Slip and Fall Accident Cases
What happens when a customer slips and falls at a retail store? In short, the victim might have a premises liability claim. Generally speaking, a slip and fall accident is a personal injury law term that refers to a situation where someone slips and falls on someone else’s property and gets injured as a result. This type of cases fall under the broader legal category of premises liability law.
Everyday Occurrences Lead to Slip and Fall Accidents
We’re never expecting to have an accident, and these accidents can be scary and extremely dangerous. One of the most alarming elements of these cases is that they usually occur under everyday circumstances. For example, a wet floor or a patch of ice at a retail store’s entrance can lead to traumatic accidents. Indeed, many victims of retail store accidents sustain serious injuries that require lengthy and extensive medical treatment.
When a customer slips and falls at a retail store, it’s important to contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. Retail store owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for customers, and a failure to do so can result in a successful lawsuit for the victim. If you or a loved one have been injured after slipping or falling at a retail store, you may be eligible for compensation. The experienced attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz have substantial experience handling premises liability claims, and they’ll work tirelessly to make sure you’re compensated for your injuries.
Are Retail Store Owners Responsible for Slips and Falls?
When a person is injured by a slip and fall at a retail store, it’s important to have an idea of who was at fault for the accident. Depending on certain factors, the retail store owner might be responsible. In some cases, however, the victim might simply have been careless, causing her own injury
When are business owners liable? In short, they have a duty to maintain the property of the retail store and to make sure that it’s free of any dangerous conditions. This is a common law standard of care, but different states also have their own statutory laws concerning liability in a slip and fall case. In Florida, it’s tougher for a business owner to be liable for a slip and fall, and heavier burdens of proof are placed upon the plaintiff. As a result, it’s important to have an experienced injury attorney on your side.
Florida Slip and Fall Law
Florida has more restrictive slip and fall laws than other states. The law actually changed back in 2010, and the current law tends to favor business owners. Under Florida Statute §768.0755, in order for a business owner to be liable, Florida statutory law requires that she or he had actual or constructive knowledge about the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall. In addition, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove it. So, for a Florida retail store owner to be held responsible for injuries from a slip and fall accident, the plaintiff must be able to prove one of the following:
- The business owner actually caused the condition that led to the slip and fall. So, for example, a retail store owner or one of her employees might have spilled cleaning liquids on an aisle floor that caused a customer to slip and fall. In this case, the owner certainly had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition.
- The business owner didn’t cause the problem that led to the slip and fall, but she or he knew about it and failed to remedy it. Here, again, the retail store owner would have actual knowledge of the dangerous condition.
- The business owner should have known about the dangerous condition, either because it had existed for long enough that a reasonable store owner would have discovered it, or because such a condition occurred on a regular basis and should have been foreseeable to the owner. This category is a little bit trickier. An example might refer to a situation where a customer spilled a bottle of water on the floor, and that slippery spot went untouched for many hours. In this case, a reasonable store owner should have been taking care of her store aisles.
What Must the Plaintiff Prove in a Florida Slip and Fall Case?
What does a plaintiff need to prove in order to win a slip and fall case? Under Florida Statute §768.0755, a plaintiff must prove the following:
- The business owner owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- The business owner was negligent and failed to exercise reasonable care when she or he failed to maintain, inspect, repair, clean up, or warn about the dangerous condition that led to the slip and fall
- The business owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused the accident
- The business owner’s negligence was the legal cause of the plaintiff’s injury
Business Owners in Florida Have Duties to Customers
Retail store owners have a duty to their customers. They must always use reasonable care when they’re maintaining their business, and they also have a duty to warn customers about any potential hazards in the store. If a business owner fails to use reasonable care or fails to warn a customer about a dangerous condition, that store owner can be held liable for any injuries a customer sustains.
Consult a Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s important to speak to an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible. You’ll need an experienced attorney on your side during this process. The lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz will advocate for you every step of the way. Contact us today to discuss your case.