It’s no secret that Americans love shopping. “Retail therapy” is one of our favorite pastimes. In addition to recreational shopping, how much time do you spend at the hardware store or shopping for groceries? When you add it all up, we spend a lot of our time at retail shopping locations.
But what happens if you’re injured when you’re out shopping? Slip, trip, and fall accidents happen every day. If you have been injured in a fall at a retail store, there are some important things you need to know.
The Retailer’s Duty to You
The retailer has a basic legal obligation to ensure that the premises are reasonably safe for its customers. This means that the location should be free of obvious dangers such as tripping hazards, standing water or other slippery areas, falling merchandise or other items, or basically any condition that is likely to result in injury to an unsuspecting customer. Here are some common conditions that can result in a slip, trip, and fall accident and injuries:
- Poor lighting – this could be due to the lights being too dim for the space or as a result of a broken fixture.
- Torn carpet or broken flooring – a common tripping hazard.
- Wet floors – either due to a spill or leak, inclement weather, or recent mopping.
Stairs deserve special mention. In addition to broken or missing handrails, any of the conditions enumerated above creates a very dangerous condition on the stairs.
Keep in mind that the retailer’s duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition may extend outside of the store, to include the sidewalks, the parking lot, or other property owned and maintained by the retailer.
What This Means for You
The retailer’s duty requires it to take action when there is a known hazard. This may require them to fix the hazard, such as by replacing the torn carpeting. In other instances, the retailer may satisfy its obligation by posting a warning, such as putting out a “wet floors” sign after mopping.
For many slip and fall cases, the most difficult issue is often proving that the retailer knew or should have known that the hazardous condition existed. For example, if someone spilled something on the floor that caused you to slip, you’ll need to prove that the spill was there long enough for them to know.
A lawyer can help you evaluate and prove your case. This may require getting copies of surveillance videos or other corporate records by subpoena.
Contact Slappey & Sadd Atlanta Area Slip, Trip, and Fall Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in a fall at a retailer, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, bringing a claim against a corporate retailer isn’t easy – they aren’t likely to accept fault, and you’ll probably have to deal with their insurance company and their team of lawyers. The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd are on your side. We can help evaluate your case and determine how to proceed. If you’d like a free consultation, email us or call 404-255-6677 today!