If you were in a slip and fall accident at a store, you might have a reasonable legal claim against the store. If the accident happens outside the store but is still part of the business’s premises such as the storefront, where the business is responsible for maintenance, then it is the same case. Businesses that welcome the public into their premises have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe.
Any business that is accessible to the public must take steps to keep their customers safe. This includes maintaining their properties and removing any dangerous conditions that may arise. Customers who get injured in a slip and fall accident on store premises may have a legal claim against the business, but it does not always mean all slip and fall cases goes in favor of the injured.
There are many causes for a slip or fall such as an accumulation of snow or ice in the entryway of the store or the presence of misplaced objects such as items on display that could fall on the floor, or even an errant floor mat. Poor lighting which leads to poor visibility could contribute to these hazards, as is a simple puddle from a spilled drink. The causes are numerous, but the legal responsibility of the store will depend on whether it had, or should have reasonably had, notice of the unsafe condition and failed to take action to fix the problem.
The store can be held liable for the accident if it knew of the hazard or condition, even if it did not create it, but also did not take any steps to fix it. If, for instance, a leak within the store causes the occasional build-up of moisture at a certain part of the floor, the store would be obligated to fix the leak as soon as possible, and meanwhile, put up slippery signs at the area of the moisture. It must take steps to ensure that customers will not step on the wet portion of the floor.
An injured person will have to show evidence that the store knew or should have reasonably known of the condition and did not take action. Additionally, the injured customer will have to show that the hazard was not readily noticeable for the customer to be able to avoid the accident reasonably. In other words, the customer will also have to be responsible for keeping himself/herself out of harm’s way. The store will not always be liable for everything that goes wrong inside its premises if the injured is shown to have acted in an unsafe manner.