Can I Receive Compensation if I Slipped and Fell in a Store?
It is very easy to fall in a store, and victims might suffer terrible physical injuries when they hit the floor or strike another object on their way down. As seasoned Florida slip and fall attorneys, we have met with people who have fallen in grocery stores, pharmacies, fast food restaurants, and other business establishments.
Fortunately, Florida law requires that a business owner maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. When a business falls below this standard, and when a customer slips or trips, then the store could face a personal injury lawsuit.
Causes of Slip and Falls in Stores
There are many ways that a person can slip. Some of the more common include:
- Water that has pooled around the soft drink machine in a fast food restaurant. If the floor is not wiped regularly, a patron could slip.
- The store mops its floor and does not put up a cone or sign warning customers.
- A jar of pickles could smash into the grocery aisle, causing liquid to spread.
- Worn carpets provide inadequate traction for a person walking, especially someone coming down the stairs.
- Inadequate lighting makes it hard for a customer to see where she is putting her feet, causing her to slip and fall.
- Wet leaves or other debris fall on a parking lot, becoming slick from rain.
Store Owner Liability for Slip and Falls
The key will be determining whether what caused you to slip results from the store owner’s negligence. If so, you can sue for compensation.
The fact that you fell does not mean that the store owner was negligent. For example, a customer walking ahead of you could spill a drink, which causes you to slip. The store owner did not have enough time to wipe up the liquid, so he is probably not responsible for your injuries.
There are many considerations that go into determining whether an owner is negligent:
- Whether the business owner knew about the hazard or should have known. Under Florida Statute § 768.0755, if you slipped on a transitory substance, then the owner must have actual or constructive knowledge of the substance on the floor.
- Whether the business owner warned customers of the hazard and whether the warning was adequate.
- Whether the business owner tried to keep customers away from the hazard by roping off the area.
- The amount of time it would take to fix a hazard and how long it existed.
It is hard for most people to analyze these facts. Also, you might not know how long a store owner knew of a defect, if he knew of it at all. An attorney can help analyze whether you have a valid case.
Contact a Coral Gables Premises Liability Lawyer
After a bad fall, you are probably in considerable pain. Fortunately, the attorneys at Halpern Santos & Pinkert can help you bring a lawsuit for compensation.
Contact us today. One of our attorneys can meet for a free consultation to review the facts of your case.