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Determining Who is Liable for Slip and Fall Accidents in a Store or a Business

On Behalf of | May 25, 2014 | Articles

If you suffer an injury as the result of a slip and fall in a store or on the premises of a business, it can be difficult to determine whether you can sue and who you should be suing. It’s important to note that you can’t sue just because you fell over in someone’s store. You have to show that there was some unsafe circumstance that led to your fall. In other words, you need to prove negligence was involved.

Negligence must have been Involved

To be able to sue, you need to show that the business was negligent in some way and that your slip and fall was the result of that negligence. For example, if you fell because you tripped over your own shoelace, you don’t have a case. On the other hand, if the store employees didn’t clean up a slippery substance on the floor in a reasonable time frame or at least provide warning of its existence, and you fell, then you might have a case.

Who should You File Your Lawsuit Against?

Determining who you should be suing in your slip and fall case is a matter of the type of negligence involved. If the store rents the property from someone else, then any slip and fall injuries you sustain caused by structural problems with the property are the responsibility of the property owner. If the fall was caused by employee negligence in putting up warning signs that the floor had just been waxed, for example, then you will have to take the store owner to court.

Other Important Considerations

Things aren’t all that simple with slip and fall cases. For example, if you fell on a slippery floor, to have a reasonable chance of winning, you need to know why the floor was slippery and how long it had been like that. And this is information you need to obtain before leaving the store. It will be hard to convince a jury six months later that you know what you slipped on, if immediately after your accident you admit to a store employee that you don’t know why you slipped. So, as soon as you can, check around to see what caused you to slip and fall.

Furthermore, you also have to prove that the store employees were aware of the issue or should have been aware of the issue but did nothing to remedy it in a timely fashion. For example, if someone who is shopping in the store drops a bottle of oil and it splatters oil all over the floor and you slip in it thirty seconds later, then you won’t have much of a case because the store didn’t have time to learn of the issue. However, if the spill isn’t cleaned up and you slip in the oil an hour later, then you might be able to win the case.

Slip and fall cases can be quite complex, which is why you need the advice of a lawyer who knows this area. At Makarem & Associates, we have attorneys specializing in slip and fall cases who can give you the guidance that you are looking for. This journey ahead is difficult to navigate and you need a legal professional who has been around the block before. You can email us [email protected] or give us a ring by dialing this number: 310.312.0299. You deserve compensation and we can make this a reality.